1 Woman. 1 Dog. 2 Horses. 1,000 Miles.
A horse pilgrimage across Patagonia documenting the culture of the last wild frontier.
The Trail Not Taken
With slow travel nearly forgotten, explorers nowadays are finding its importance in re-connecting them to elements often missed by journeying at unnatural speeds.
In a land that refuses to be explored by any other means, traditional horse-packing across Patagonia provides a traveler the chance to step back in time while exploring the culture and rugged, unforgiving landscape of one of the last untouched places on earth.
Such a wild, limitless place, Patagonia is filled with inspiring tales and unaltered truths from the distant past. Gauchos (cowboys) and their families have turned these lands and estancias (ranches) for generations. My mission for this trip is to discover, document and share these undying formalities during my solo journey covering over 1,000 miles by horseback, with my dog Darcie.
How You Can Help
Many of the funds have been raised thus far for the purchase of the horses and some of the equipment.
**Note: You may see the total budget of this campaign lower (20k down to 15k already!) due to external funds, grants, or just plain hard work going into bringing this trip to life.
However, sharing every step of the journey, and telling the story virtually takes extra gear and time, a lot of it. This means purchasing and carrying solar panels, charging equipment on the trail, posting, updating and going out of our way to find connectivity, which can be miles from our original route.
The remainder of the funds raised will go straight to the necessities to keeping the Patagone team on the trail throughout the estimated 4 month journey.
Basic Cost Breakdown:
-Shoeing Costs for Duration of Trip: $800
-Feed for Horses: $350
-Feed for Dog: $200
-Horse Transfer on Return Post-Trip: $1,000
-Emergency Vet Funds: $600
-Satellite Communicaitons: $500
-Topo Maps: $90
-Horse Gear/Equipment: $1,500
-Shipping of Gear to Depots: $250
-Camera Equipment: $4,500
-Animal Vaccinations & Papers to Travel: $350
-Documentation Storage: $600
-Emergency Medical Supplies for Animals: $300
-Solar Gear: $600
No funds? That's okay! You can help Patagone out tremendously just by sharing this campaign~
Patagone by Artist Jade Antoine
My expedition will include my two Criollos, Sundance and Bandido. The Criollo is Argentina’s national horse breed. Much like the Mustang of North America, the Criollo would evolve into one of the hardiest horse breeds in the world, capable of surviving nearly any extreme.
While many travelers, bikers and explorers are confined by marked routes or pavement, Patagonia offers one by horseback an exclusive path, that blazed only by the explorer himself. Even the most desolate areas of Patagonia are quilted with estancia fences. Traveling as a gaucha, working and staying with local gauchos along the way, and speaking the language will allow me to pass through fences, estancias and areas others cannot.A gaucho without a horse is said to be a man without legs.
Patagone’s objective for this trip is to inspire those who enjoy slow-paced, traditional travel, while respecting and understanding the local culture. The name “Patagonia” is known by many. Pata, which means foot, paw or hoof; “Patagone” denotes going by foot, or in my case, all three.
As a former West Texas rodeo kid, it’s safe to say that I’ve spent more days with horses in my life than without. I’ve had the pleasure of guiding backcountry horse trips both in Alaska and Minnesota. Upon arriving in Patagonia on my first solo journey, I was met with Patagonian gaucha legend Carol Jones , who quickly took me under her wing as I was eager to learn all I could from the way of the gaucho.
Risks & Challenges
Besides the natural threats of hypothermia, wild dogs, drought, forest fires, injury, storms, raging rivers, puma, heat exhaustion, grazing scarcity, wild boar, hunger, snow storms, horse accidents, lameness, rocky trails, and hail there is the threat of getting robbed, language barriers, getting lost or even loosing my horses.
I hold all of these challenges in perspective and have spent years working alongside the local gauchos, learning the language and preparing for the risks and challenges.
However the biggest risk of Patagone is in completing the ride in the summer months, not in whether we finish the ride. Every challenge will be dealt with a follow up of frequent updates provided throughout the duration of the ride.
Carol Jones is considered “the granddaughter of Patagonia”. Her grandfather was the first to settle here in Bariloche, as the Jones family name stretches across the Andes and prairies to the south. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid followed suit and became close friends with Jones’ grandfather.
“Camping out in the mountains, we fell asleep to the sound of the tucu tucus, small burrowing animals hammering away in the ground underneath us. Sitting by the campfire in the valley when the southern full moon slipped over the ridge, Mrs Wangford saw it upside down for the first time. The landscape was spellbinding. No wonder Jarred came here. No wonder Butch Cassidy settled down the road in Cholila. It was the ride of a lifetime,” Hank Wangford says in overwhelming wonderment documented in The Guardian’s article during his visit with Jones. (Image above by Erik Ljung )
Patagonia is impossible to tame, but the Jones family has perfected the art of running the wild. The Jones family holds many of Butch and Sundance’s Patagonian secrets. I will have the unique opportunity to document their landmarks and stories as I come across them on the trail. It is an honor to work alongside Carol and help continue the Jones family legacy.
Check out artist Jade Antoine’s beautifully designed Patagone stickers & postcards (personalized & handwritten during the ride & shipped with love from Patagonia to YOU!).
Catch up with me on the trail via satellite phone call or even Skype, get exclusive images & updates, or even put your dream adventure into action with private coaching on sponsorship, ambassador programs, grants, media, website, marketing, and branding.
A heartfelt thank you to all of you who have donated. Your donation will be honored with the same rewards so please CONTACT ME with the necessary details to deliver your rewards!!!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years of working in expeditions, it’s how incredible things happen when people unite and contribute their time, funds, or even more so the strength within their own voice to something that moves them.
Many of the funds have been raised thus far for the purchase of the horses and some of the equipment through the use of my own personal savings, selling stories, acquiring gear, discounts, and support through incredible friends, sponsors, and YOU!
However, sharing every step of the journey, and telling the story virtually takes extra gear and time, a lot of it. This means purchasing and carrying solar panels, charging equipment on the trail, posting, updating and going out of the way to find connectivity, which can be miles from our original route.
I am completely humbled in asking for this sum of aid. A heartfelt thank you for your support in Patagone and taking the time to help spread the word.
With sincere appreciation,
Stevie Anna, Darcie, Sundance, & Bandido