June 12, 2011
I used to trust my GPS
But my faith is waning I must confess
The lady in the box now says with glee
“Don’t you dare disagree with me”
I can program the language and accent, it’s true
But when I ask for English, she says “Parlez vous?”
Whether she’ll help me or not I haven’t a clue
When I try to be nice she says “Merci beaucoup”
So I program in my watering spot
The coordinates are in, I’m worrying not
Then I find myself lost in a field of hay
She says “Didn’t I tell you not to go that way?!”
Trying again I end up in Timbuktu
I yell at her till my face is blue
As I hope for clarity just this once
She says “Get it together. You’re such a dunce”
So I go down a road then have to turn back
I hear “You dope, I said left at the yak”
The direction was wrong, but who’s counting now?
She says “Sorry, I meant go right at the cow”
I finally had it with this voice from a box
I threatened to give her electric shocks
“Get it right this time, honey, I’m awaiting”
She finally says “Recalculating”

Aussie Riders

Aussie Riders

or Tie me Kangaroo down, mate


There’s a land down under where the kangaroos roam

A few riders here proudly call it their home

From the bottom of the world come these folks of renown

Does that mean they actually ride upside down?


Vivacious Lee-Anne is the wife of Charlie

Pretty Carmen’s got Pete, a man so gnarly

Then there’s Joe from Big Mo, the honorary Aussie

He loves to ride and take care of his hossie


Do they now and then put shrimp on the bar-bee?

Have they ever met a man named Crocodile Dundee?

Is this the country of success and great feats

Or the land that was settled by thieves, crooks and cheats?


Charlie and Joe are the Austro-Missourian team

When riding they get up a head of steam

Why do they ride so fast yet so humbly?

It’s because they trained on an ornery brumby


There’s one major problem when these two you meet

Which one’s Charlie and which one’s Pete?

One is bald but so is the other

To find who’s who must we ask their mother?


They say they’re twins born two years apart

One needed more time to get out of the cart

To tell which is which you need not throw a dart

The determining factor is the smell of their fart


These Aussies are cool, they’re really great folks

But all day we must listen to their terrible jokes

They can be patriotic as one of them brags

Bout his country, Australia, but enough of those flags


When asking for help they will say, “G’day, mate,

Is this Kansas or Utah, can you tell me which state?

They get quite confused ‘bout their XP location

Cause their GPS’s are programmed for an alien nation




They have their slang, as when we say “no longer”

In Australian, it’s “dry as a dead dingo’s donger”

When we say “crew” they say “strappers”

When drunk they turn into Karaoke rappers


Where do you look for an Australian bruiser?

Seek not far, they’re down at the boozer

Why did they come to this XP ride?

To drink lots of booze and really get fried

How many Aussies does it take to screw

a light bulb into a socket or two?

You might think the answer is found in these four

But they can’t even find the bathroom door


They’re a delightful gang full of vinegar and piss

Goose them a little and they’ll give you a kiss

They asked for a poem and now a poem they got

They can rest satisfied and go smoke their pot


At the XP ride’s end they’re the ones we will talk about

As they return home from this very long walk about

Yes, putting up with storms, heat, thunder and hail

You know they had fun on the XP trail










May 23, 2011


Hello riders, are you ready to wail

On your fired up ponies down the XP trail?

Have you sufficiently bribed your reluctant crew

With beer, a TV and a little nookie too?


You’ve trained up now for over a year

And once or twice maybe shed a tear

Now the big day has come and you’re hoping for luck

Given that you have to deal with the Duck


But you needn’t fear cause Annie is here

To bring you a smile and all her good cheer

So goodbye to St. Jo and all our cares so shitty

Let’s get on our way to Virginia City



July 18, 2011

Here we are in Virginia City

The ride’s all over, it’s such a pity

Over the last eight weeks we’ve crossed 2,000 miles

Let’s recount some highlights that brought us such big smiles


It all started out with a Patee House dinner

For XP vets and many a beginner

We went through Kansas to the state of Nebraska

So many miles from Dave’s home in Alaska


Remember the downpours that soaked us good

When the waterlogged heavens dumped all that they could

Some riders thought riding in rain was shoddy

So they bailed and said, “Crew, please pour me a hot toddy”


Next was the threat of a huge storm in Oak

In the shelter we huddled hoping we wouldn’t croak

The lightning was loud, was God playing a game?

But we were spared from a tornado that never came


Momentum was stymied when the trail was blocked

By too many gates, especially when locked

How many gates does it take to make us go crazy?

Only a few when we ride with a partner that’s lazy


The Aussies bought Arabs at Rush Creek Ranch

Of course, buying a horse means taking a chance

Charlie spotted one, saying, “I’ve got dibs”

Which unfortunately led to his two broken ribs


We thought jokes by Peter would never stop

Some were funny; none were a flop

To match his wit would be quit a feat

There’s one thing we learned – don’t mess with Pete


Yes, the Aussies made this an international contingent

They took our taunts without getting indignant

Without them the ride wouldn’t have been the same

When anything went wrong we had them to blame





Ride meetings were held at the end of each day

We wondered at night what vague things Dave would say

Like “Ride far then turn at the llama that’s dead”

Becky asked Marcie, “What was that that he said?”


In Melbeeta we found the All Around Store

They had ice cream and truck parts and so much more

We tasted the bull fries and ate candy and toffee

It was great till they put engine oil in our coffee


Joe’s trailer had photos of his horse and his face

Who else could boast with so much grace?

Steve Bosco strummed, was that tune Tom Dooley?

And did you like the poems by, ahem, yours truly?


At Esterbrook meadow the flowers stretched far

Indian paintbrush, wild iris and pink shooting star

Places like this are extremely sublime

May their beauty remain for a long, long time


At Sweetwater bog brave Jeff waded in

But the water was high; it was up to his chin

The crossing was blocked, the ride once again cheated

Dave blew his top and shouted “expletive deleted”


Suddenly the ride was like Pamplona, Spain

All was calm till like a freight train

Something tore through camp with horns afull

The horses freaked out at the running of the bull


When we got to Fort Bridger we were led to weep

It was flooded with water that was three feet deep

This was the ride’s theme, as the waters would flow

We were surrounded by way too much H2O


At Ibapah some had nothing to do

They needed some action to not feel blue

So Steve, Tom and others said, “Lets stop our gabbin’’

And they went and built a sexy log cabin


At Shellbourne we rode loops and after doing our duty

We could appreciate this of the valley’s stark beauty:

Afternoon showers and sunsets of red

And a blanket of stars when we went to bed



There were certainly hassles along the way

Power washing our rigs and needing weed free hay

Though we did our best, some things must stay mute

Following rules is a royal pain in the petoot


Near Austin the Freightliner high sided and blocked

Highway 50 for hours as everyone gawked

Gary said, “Chris, I’m so sorry it broke

But gee, my good friend, can’t you take a joke?”


At Cold Springs nirvana the Duck finally found

Lots of liquor, a pool table and steaks by the pound

Cricket said at the bar ‘’’ made of fine wooden stock

“Just for you here’s a hickory daiquiri, Doc”


Rumors flew daily about riders and crew

But we never quite knew which ones were true

And did people gossip? It don’t take a genie

Do bears shit in the woods; does the Pope wear a beanie?


There were times when we felt we were riders of old

Those young skinning orphans, so wild and bold

But all you XPer’s are hot riders too

This group could have taught them a thing or two


Eventually we came to the Chinaman’s Trail

We were now so close to the ride’s Holy Grail

The price of the adventure, we many times paid it

And now we’ve arrived; we finally made it


We had the wedding of Janis and Gary the Pegg

Did he bend a knee to propose or did he just beg?

And Dave was the minister, who would’ve thunk?

Did he get ordained in a church when totally drunk?


Now, on every ride someone performs many wonders

Assisting us all through our many blunders

This man banged up his rig and endured so much pain

Can we now all say thanks to dear cowboy Duane?


In this town we have reached the final gate

Thanks, Dave and Annie for a ride so great

And there’s one thing we know that we cannot hide

Making friends was by far the best part of the ride







July 15 , 2011


A long night at the bar drinking beer and whiskey

Left me feeling quite beat and not very frisky

The evening was over as I put down my glass

And off to bed I dragged my sorry old ass


I closed my eyes and had quite a dream

Our country had a new political team

Anne Nicholson was President of the USA

The XP party was ruling the day


The Interior Secretary was a man named Duck

The Sierra Club said, “Oh my God, what bad luck!”

To improve the enjoyment of everyone’s vacations

He eliminated all prior wilderness designations


At this news the Enviro’s were totally dismayed

When he reintroduced grizzlies their nerves totally frayed

When Morgan obtained her environmental degree

Dave said, “Sorry my lass, you’ll have to put up with ME!”


For a break Dave returned to Klawock, Alaska

He’d spent too much time in the state of Nebraska

He picked up his old friend, the weird Sarah Palin

She tried to seduce him when he took her sailin’


As I lay in REM sleep the dream got stranger

O ld style politics came into great danger

Bob Dylan had said that the times were a-changin’

Well, the country was in for some quick rearrangin’


Annie moved the capitol from Washington, D.C.

To a sagebrush outpost in Cold Springs, NV

Congressional members were [John, Barbara, Tammy, Kim and Cricket]

Who could imagine a better ticket?


Kathy left Middlegate to become Senate lead

The blood bath was messy when she trounced Harry Reid

Nancy Pelosi was in trouble, flaming liberal, she

All hailed the change to House Speaker Dee Dee


Not to be left out came Rachel and Emma

Republicans now had a real dilemma

The conservatives were soon put over a barrel

When Cold Springs took over the party with Michone, Jerry and Cheryl


Now the country was reborn with a hope anew

Here in the land of the Red, White and Blue

We had a lot more freedom and a lot more fun

And friends, that’s the story of how the West was won

Dueling Anthems

Dueling Anthems

July 10, 2011


We were stopped as we drove into Robert’s Creek

By a half-naked Aussie, my God it was Pete!

He was waving a flag like a crazy mad hatter

We rolled down the window and asked, “What’s the matter?”


He said, “Show me your passports, this is foreign territory

If you’re not Australian, what is your story?”

We said, “Forget it, mate,” as we gave him a stare

“Put your thumb up your nose and your flag you know where”


Pete then took his flag and scrambled up the hill

And held it up, it gave us a chill

So Dave Rabe and Tom Jenkins climbed up next

And planted Old Glory; Pete was vexed


Hanging out at camp were Charlie and Lee-Anne

Along with Carmen, the whole damn clan

Then out of nowhere came quite a sound

Their national anthem they had found


Advance Australia Fair is such a strange name

But in their country it’s the name of the game

You’d think they’d pick a tune much more keen

Like Waltzing Matilda or God Save the Queen


Not to be undone and in a skillful manner

Dave and Annie downloaded the Star Spangled Banner

It was like Dueling Banjos in the Deliverance flick

Which one is better, you take your pick


The next morning found Pete slithering back up the hill

This guy won’t quit; he loves a thrill

He placed and left the Australian flag

Above Old Glory on the highest crag


Now that it’s over we can be friends again

Americans and Aussies, women and men

In the heat of battle neither side did cave

In the land of the free and the home of the brave





(A poem for the vet who treated our horse at the CSU Ft. Collins Veterinary School)


June 22, 2011


We came to Ft. Collins with our endurance horse

There we found a great clinic, CSU of course

We took in Bella who was fit but lame

And were assigned a vet, Dr. Amend by name


She has a way with a horse that’s second to none

She can make them believe that a needle is fun

Bella said, “Fine, you can do me two

But if you try three, you will feel my shoe”


With her equine knowledge and healing hands

She did so much for her client, Anne Sands

Dr. Katie Amend is the best one yet

Here’s a horseshoe of gold for a golden vet

2011 XP Tribute

2011 XP Tribute

July 4, 2011


The XP Ride has been quite a blast

It’s a shame that soon it will be in the past

Let’s thank all those who helped with the ride

They’ve done it so well and they’ve done it with pride


Karen Chaton’s Ride Manager and webmaster too

Without her what would the poor Duck do?

Dave Rabe helps Karen, they’re quite a pair

But only one of them rides in their underwear


Duane Fredrickson must be the ultimate crew

He’ll give you a tow and even fuel too

And then there’s Rick, the master mechanic

He’ll fix your sick diesel when you’re in a panic


Chris shod your horse when it had a flat

Testing a crossing he almost drowned in the Platte

And what can we say about Gary Rexrode?

For so many years he’s helped Dave with the load


Tom Jenkins dared to ride in Dave’s Jeep

They scouted trails that were nasty and steep

After drinking a case of Alaskan Amber

They drank too much rum and lost their camber


Lynne Rigney’s hands are soothing and healing

She left us and our horses with a wonderful feeling

And at Virginia City thank Steve and Heidi

They arranged for your meals, it’s all set up and tidy


For any I left out, I did the best I could

Everyone has made this ride so good

Last but not least is the Duck family

Dave, Annie and Dwight are kind as can be


Dave started these rides many years ago

To find the trail he searched high and low

And now we have the pony trail back

In spite of all the government flack


He has worked harder than we’ll ever know

All for us, he’s the endurance pro

His wife Annie he better keep hold

Without her Dave would be out in the cold


Dave gets a bit grouchy when he’s freezing wet

But she’ll be there for him, on that you can bet

For all she does we should place her name

In the AERC Hall of Fame


The Nicholson’s are the heart and soul of this ride

They’ve been our leaders, they’ve been our guide

We love them so and wherever they tread

May their trail be happy in the years ahead








The Strapper

The Strapper

(Australian for Crew)

June 14, 2011


I’m not a warlock or a witch

But I can tie a bowline on a hitch


Give me a ball and I can pitch

If you’ve got bites, I’ll scratch your itch


My jokes are good I am a stitch

If you don’t like them, go jump in a ditch


I never, ever get caught in a glitch

I think I finally found my niche


Though I know that I will never get rich

Just call me Strapper, the XP Camp Bitch





Aussie Horseman

Aussie Horseman

July 14, 2011


Judy Hobson

Putty, New South Wales, Australia


A Plucky Aussie horseman

Rides the trail of the Pony Express

This year of 2011

Crossing the mighty US


Through mud and hail and tornadoes

Over plains and mountains high

He takes his US ponies

On a ride of do or die


He tames his plucky chargers

Through mishaps along the way

And together they conquer the challenge

And win to the others’ dismay


For horses understand courage

And rise to the rider’s request

Racing the wind as their master

The thrill is simply the best


So good on ya, Aussie Rider

Take your deserved accolade

Ride on with your grand US ponies

Fortune favors the brave