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Oct 22 / Rebecca I. Allen

The road less traveled

Claire, a 7-year-old mixed breed sits atop Essie, a 6-year-old Norwegian fjord packhorse as her master, Bernice Ende chats with passer-by, a common occurrence for Ende during her trek across the country on horseback. Photo courtesy Owen K. Martin/West Valley View

West Valley View, March 25, 2008
Lone horsewoman and her dog ride from Arizona to Montana ―with a lot of help from strangers along the way. Click for full story

View more photos and hear Bernice talk about her life as a long rider in this audio slideshow (produced by Owen K. Martin and Rebecca I. Allen)

This article won second place for personality profile in Arizona Press Club’s annual award competition. Brynn Mandel, a feature writer for the Republican-American, judged the 30 entries. Mandel, who received a first place award for arts and entertainment writing in 2007  from the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, wrote:

“Allen’s subject clearly has a strong sense of purpose and an ability to articulate what she gets personally from her long rides. Allen organized and conveyed this well, capturing memorable telling details — the dog on horseback, the lack of loneliness, the .357 Magnum. She managed to weave the spirituality/‘trail magic’ theme subtly from beginning to end, maintaining it just enough to connect the dots without hitting readers over the head.”