Son Noah and Howard

Daughter Sarah

Wife Rebecca


Mongolian Adventurers: Leo Murray, Mongolian Horseman, and Howard

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mongolian Horseback Riding Trip

I'm back in Ulaanbaatar, the capital, after an amazing adventure in Mongolia. Here is a brief summary of the trip.

The trip was quite the adventure, a real stretch for me, both physically with the horseback riding and socially with the expats group on the trip who had traveled together many times before. At the end of the second day of horseback riding, I sat in my tent, body aching with soreness, feeling not yet apart of the group, wondering what I had gotten myself into. But I took it on as a challenge and by the end of the trip was galloping on my dependable and spirited Mongolian horse, had become part of the group, and was having a great time.

The country was magnificent, grand valleys surrounded by rolling hills and forested mountains, each inhabited by just one family living in a ger (Mongolian yurt), with about 200 livestock, sheep, goats, cows, yaks, and horses, no surfaced roads, and no fences or concept of private land, all welcoming us into their home for snacks (fermented cheese). Great country for horseback riding! The weather was incredibly variable, raining (or snowing) one minute and sunny and hot the next. The temperature varied from 80 degrees during the afternoon to below freezing at night. My sleeping bag was not adequate, but I used my daughter's advice and sometimes wore 6 layers of clothing in my bag at night to keep sufficiently warm. It rained 3 days but I somehow managed to make it through and keep dry.

I return to California with fond memories of an amazing adventure, the sights of China, a vast culture in rapid transition, and the magnificence of Mongolian countryside and its people, as seen on horseback.

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