Longrider passes through Arlington
August 27, 2008 · Updated 3:38 PM
ARLINGTON Gene Glascock was seen riding his horse through Bryant, north of Arlington, late afternoon Wednesday, July 18 and after several calls into the Arlington Times office about him, Beth Hill confirmed he would be arriving at her house Thursday afternoon.
Glascock was passing through town on his way from Sumas on the Canadian border to Mexico. He had hoped to travel via the Pacific Crest Trail, but it wasnt possible due to storm damage. He knew there had been considerable damage on the PCT, but assumed there would be a way around it.
The Forest Service was trying to help me find an alternate route but it just wasnt possible. It couldnt be done, Glascock said. Not in the North Cascades region anyway.
I knew it was bad, but didnt realize it was that bad, Glascock said.
Glascocks host in Marysville for one night, Beth Hill, is a fellow equestrian who was dismayed that Glascock wasnt able to ride the PCT.
I just think its a shame that the Forest Service cant repair the trails, said the active member of Back Country Horsemen who feels the BCH are perhaps taken advantage of.
The government knows that well eventually get around to fixing the trails as volunteers because we want to use them, but I dont think its right. Isnt that what we pay taxes for?
After following mostly pavement from Sumas to south of Arlington, Glascock was relieved to find the horse path on the Centennial Trail starting at 152nd Street, not far from Hills house.
I think we should have more rail trails because they appeal to a lot of different users, Glascock said.
He planned to follow other similar rail trails on the western slopes of the Cascades until he connected with the PCT in the southern part of the state.
I was the first person to ride the John Wayne Trail, Glascock said.
He left Hills house Friday morning with the intention of making it all the way to Snohomish for the next night and then hooking up with the Snoqualmie Valley Rail Trail.
My fellow horse lovers are very good people, Glascock said. They pass me along the way.
Glascock usually travels with three horses, two carrying gear and one for him to ride.
I had to get rid of one horse already, Glascock said, while preparing to depart from Hills yard near the Centennial Trail July 20.
That was the laziest horse Ive ever seen. He admitted however, that neither he nor the horses like to walk on pavement.
I did get off the pavement now and then, but not much, he said about the trip from Sumas.
Glascock has completed several long rides in his life. On his first long ride, from the Arctic Circle to the Equator, Glascock covered 12,000 miles, starting in May of 1984 and finishing two years later in May 1986. At the end of that trip he gave his horse to the president of Ecuador.
For his second long ride, he visited all the state capitols in the U.S.A, a trip he started in 2002. It took three years, three months and two weeks.
The first two trips were just for the kick in the pants and the more recent ones, hes had a personal mission to raise money for students in Paraguay to study in the United States.
Now over 70, Glascock said he never walks because he has pain from arthritis. Hes lost his hearing in his left ear and its not so good in his right.
He discovered a love for Paraguay and its youth when he was teaching there, but when his hearing went bad, he couldnt teach anymore.
If you love someone you want to make life better for them, he said.
Glascock said that he uses his Social Security paycheck to buy his own food and the horses grain, but accepts checks in the mail to Philips Scholarships for the childrens scholarships.
They are brought to Florida for an education but are required to go back and give service to their own country, Glascock said.
I do this by the grace of God, he said. I feel like I am the luckiest person in the world.
While he loves the horses and their impact on people like the time the nuzzle of a horse brought a child out of a 13-month coma, or when his offer to let an 8-year-old ride his horse brought tears to the grandmothers eyes its his students who are most important to him.
My heart is with the kids in Paraguay, he said. I guess the Lord has given them to me to love.
Donations for their education can be sent to Pensacola Christian College, 250 Brent Lane, Pensacola, Fla.