Wander Woman is painted in silver on her black GMC truck, but Wonder Woman would be as fitting a description for Linda Jenny.
The goal of this Upper Bucks equestrienne is to ride her horse, Roxy, in all 48 mainland states. She and Roxy have visited 41 so far.
Unforgettable places on her latest tour? She said, “White Sands in New Mexico and riding along the Pacific Ocean beach in Oregon.”
Her all-time favorite, though, was in Idaho with a magnificent view of the western side of the Grand Tetons.
Early in October she’ll be heading to Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine before her final rides in Delaware and West Virginia.
During her summer trip west Linda revisited some states but added rides in South Dakota, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Nevada to her list.
She also rode her third 1-mile stretch in the 2023 Pony Express Re-Ride in Nebraska. She had participated in the historic reenactment on two previous trips.
She described her beloved Roxy, a 17-year-old American paint horse, as “a happy traveler. She’s always ready to climb into the trailer and go.”
Linda and her husband, Dave, who stayed home this trip, had traveled extensively when they were younger, so she has long been a happy and experienced traveler herself.
Linda has made friends across the country with fellow horse lovers who are able to provide overnight accommodations for both woman and horse. She arranged to stay with them where possible; otherwise, she had to find a place for herself as well as stabling for Roxy.
Along with the fun and the freedom and the beauty of such a venture comes the planning, which she admits can be a horse of a different color. As she works her way across country in her diesel-burning truck, she needs to plan not only where she and Roxy can spend the night, she also has to find places for breaks and, especially, for gas stations. Even if she has a reserved destination she has to be sure she gets there on time.
“I don’t want to find myself out of gas 70 miles from a gas station,” she said, so she does carry a 58-gallon fuel can. She has to struggle with that so other drivers often offer to lift it for her. “And I can’t stop at just any gas station with the horse trailer,” she said.
There can also be problems with state regulations for horses, too. Linda and Roxy had to skip California this trip because of a virus that was causing a 30-day quarantine.
“Driving down from the Rocky Mountains on Interstate 70 hauling a 28-foot horse trailer wasn’t exactly fun,” Linda said.
“That’s the stress of it,” Linda said. Still, the statistics prove her determination. During her most recent jaunt with its joys and trials, this woman and her beloved horse covered 9,832 miles. They made 40 overnight stops and returned to their home exactly “three months to the day.”
Linda said women often ask her about the dangers of traveling alone. “I’ve never been afraid,” she said. “I don’t take unnecessary risks. I don’t drive at night. I keep my head down. I plan for a five-hour drive, which usually takes seven with breaks. Roxy needs breaks, too.”
This adventurous woman, a retired nurse who has fought her way through breast cancer and the loss of an adult son, just keeps going.
Soon, after just celebrating her 69th birthday, she’ll be off to ride in her final East Coast states. She’d like to complete her quest in the fall. After that, she’s got her eye on at least one ride in Canada.
And about that Pony Express Re-Ride? “They give you a pin each time you ride,” she said. “I’ve got three now, but I want to get all eight.”
Kathryn Finegan Clark is a freelance writer who lives in Durham Township. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.