"My mom, I think she’s a genius," says Azevedo, who traded off driving duties with Linda, following the trail on adjacent roads. Driver and rider would meet up at night, finding one another using GPS. "She did most of the navigation, which is tricky when there's no cell service."
Azevedo added that their horse, Sedona, performed very well despite challenging circumstances. The riders had a real glimpse into the dangers of frontier travel.
"Wyoming has the craziest weather; it never does what it says it’s going to do," she says. "Once a tornado almost touched down. Things were going sideways. It was scary. There were some late rains that turned the dirt roads to mush. We were actually stranded twice in Wyoming."
The riders ended their journey in Carson City, Nevada. The original route went over the Sierra Nevadas into California, but that stretch of the trail has been largely paved over. Azevedo says the trip was a great experience to share with her fellow Humboldt equestrians, and a rare one. The current organizer of the endurance rides, XP Rides, may soon shift its focus to only offering shorter rides along only portions of the trail. Getting permits to ride the entire length of the trail has proved to be time-consuming.
Azevedo and her fellow riders have chronicled what might be the last full ride of the XP on a blog, which you can find here.