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Unbranded talks with NickerNews, Part Five
: Ben Masters spoke with NickerNews from Bozeman, Montana, where the Unbranded foursome had a rest day before heading north and west. The horses got a rest
day, too, staying at the
Mountain Sky Guest Ranch
in Emigrant, Montana.
Read Part I
Read Part II
Read Part III
Read Part IV
You were out of cell range and we haven’t talked for some time. How was Yellowstone National Park and the rest of the 300 miles since we last spoke?
It was awesome. It was our longest stretch without a rest day or a resupply.
The horses held up really well.
The fishing was out of this world. …We caught cutthroat trout by the dozen. Some were over 18 inches long. We released all the cutthroats. We did catch some brook trout and we ate them. Much better than trail mix and astronaut food.
We saw three bears. All black bears. The horses kept their cool. They didn’t lose their minds. They really didn’t care.
We did see some bison.
We have a BLM burro, we call her “Donkey.” She just walked right up to the bison and started grazing peacefully with them. Just hanging out with a massive 2,000-pound buffalo.
It was comical.
[The burro, pictured right, was acquired in Utah from Heath Webber, a BLM wrangler. Masters says, “she’s a real sweetheart” who’s bonded with fellow rider Ben Thamer. ]
Is this feeling like the homestretch?
Absolutely. We’re over three-quarters of the way. The horses are in great shape. It’s the final stretch.
From here, we head through the Gallatin Range, the Madison Range, the Beaverhead Mountains, the Tobacco Roots, the Continental Divide, and Bob Marshall Wilderness.
How are you feeling about wrapping up this trip?
I’m ready for it to end. But at the same time, I’m going to wish it was still going when it’s over.
So you have a rest day today?
Yes. Although rest days aren’t really rest days. We shoe the horses. Do maps. Get clean. Pick up the food that’s been shipped to us. Buy food…We mostly buy meat because that’s what we miss the most.
PHOTO, from left to right: Tom Glover, Jonny Fitzsimons, Ben Thamer, Ben Masters.
What lies ahead for you and your teammates after the trip concludes?
Tom (Glover, who graduated from Texas A & M with a degree in construction services) will be back on his construction job.
Ben (Ben Thamer) will head to south Texas to work as a wildlife biologist. Texas A and M. Grew up in Houston but wrangled in Wyoming, working for elk hunting outfitter.
Jonny (Fitzsimons has completed Officer Candidate school) will begin as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
Myself, I will be grabbing a camera to get footage of wild mustangs and wildlife to put into the film....There are so many different stances on mustangs. So much controversy. So much emotion. I’ll be doing interviews.
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View Reader Comments:
So awesome to live the experience three the four adventure nice cowboys! So exciting waiting for the film to come out!
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"Anyone who is concerned about his dignity would be well advised to keep away from horses." - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
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