Sunday, April 23, 2017

2017- The Illinois Rail Ride - Press Release



Press Release 2017

Buffalo Moon Expedition’s message is simple.  However, the long-distance delivery of that message has a most been most unusual and sometimes unfathomable even for horse minded folks who trail or endurance ride.
 
Experienced long-rider Megan Gray and her horse Shadow will be heading back out on expedition this week starting from Medinah Black Horse Troop Stables in Carols Stream with hopes to complete the ride in Burlington Iowa.  They are attempting a ride across the state of Illinois on many of the Rail beds that have been converted into trails throughout the state.

The Rails To Trails Conservancy has had their sights on Gray for several years now.  They have sponsored a few of her expeditions in the past.  Gray is an avid conservator of horse history and also rail trails.  Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors to build healthier places for healthier people.

An experienced equestrian explorer, Gray also is the founder of Buffalo Moon Expedition, an organization that preserves equestrian travel.

All of her expeditions have been inspired by Gray’s horse-loving father who wanted to travel together on a journey like this. He passed away in 2007 before that dream of theirs came to fruition.   But this past year, Megan has experienced the death of 40 people… in various degrees of closeness and she plans on helping others as she finds healing herself.  She is riding as memorial to her mom who passed from cancer and Burlington, Iowa is near and dear to her heart:  The Gray Family are founders.  Megan even changed her last name to her mother's maiden name a few years ago to honor her and the Gray Family.

“There are so many people out there who are hurting emotionally and just as many who want to share and celebrate their lives on an adventure like this,” Gray said.

Their travel style is similar to that of the Old West.  The duo travels from town to town and less than 15 miles a day at a  leisurely pace of 4 miles per hour.

“Without our horses, this ride wouldn’t happen. They are the ones who make it everything it is,” Gray said. “ Shadow is very well road tested and have traveled through towns, over tracks and under bridges.  The safety and care of their horses always comes first!  The expedition will stop if Shadow's well being are in jeopardy.

This modern day urban cowgirl relies on help from hosts and sponsors as she ventures the trail. Hosts often transport gear to the next host, and give them a place to shower, eat and rest. "Truly, all you really need is just a toothbrush" she chortles.

“It’s not the miles, it’s the meaning,” Gray emphasized again. "The longest journey we take is life itself, and as the old cliche goes, it's not the destination it's the journey.

Our modern day Don Quixote rides off this Wednesday with their dreams in the saddle bags and a whole bunch of hope to pass on to those they meet on the trail!

Buffalo Moon Expedition does not accept monetary donations. Those who want to donate money to support the ride are asked to donate to a favorite heritage charity of choice. 

Support Buffalo Moon Expedition as they make their way on their route.   Megan would love to have you join her on her Facebook age at www.facebook.com/megangray226@gmail.com