The Long Riders' Guild

Riding with Tarzan

In 1954, at the age of 63, Messanie Wilkins had plenty to worry about. A destitute spinster in ill health, Wilkins had been told she had less than two years left to live, provided she spent them quietly. With no family ties, no money, and no future in her native Maine, Wilkins decided to take a daring step. Using the money she had made from selling homemade pickles, Wilkins bought a summer camp horse named Tarzan and made preparations to ride from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific Ocean.

Wilkins suffered through a host of obstacles including blistering deserts and freezing snow storms, yet never lost faith that she would complete her 11,500 kilometres (7,000 mile) ride across 17 states. Her book, Last of the Saddle Tramps is the warm and humorous story of a humble American heroine bound for adventure and the Pacific Ocean.

Back to Long Rider Routes

Back to Home page