I was like you are crazy.
We aren't doing that.
We leave in less than three weeks.
The 2016 Gobi Gallop is the 4th Annual running of the longest charity horseback ride in the world. We will ride over 400 miles in 10 days time.
Now, I ride quite a bit. 10 or 12 or 14 hours in a day is really no big deal. We do it all the time. However, I'm pretty sure we don't do 40 miles in a day. The word is you go at a high trot all pretty much all day. I am essentially going to become a long distance endurance rider overnight.
The beautiful thing about this ride is that it's all for the Children of the Peak Sanctuary. The Peak is a project created by the Veloo Foundation to "alleviate the suffering and neglect of the most vulnerable and marginalized children in an Ulaanbaatar neighborhood whose residents make a living and feed and clothe their families with items scavenged from the rubbish dump."
Over 120 children currently benefit from this program where they are fed, cared for, and educated five days a week. Most of the families who are helped by this program were previously nomadic herders who were forced to move into the city after a very harsh winter saw ALL of their animals freeze to death. As nomadic peoples they are undocumented and lack the many skills that might help get them a job in the city.
Besides helping care for and educate the small children of such families the foundation also strives to provide employment opportunities for many members of the community as well as providing training and educational opportunities for young adults so that they may gain the necessary skills to enter the job force.
50 percent of the fee for each of the 10 rider's selected to participate in this years Gobi Gallop will go directly to the Sanctuary. I have been raising money through calendar sales and photo book sales as well as on my registered Gobi Gallop Raise-A-Thon site.
There is still time to donate or purchase a photo book!
I can't wait to be a part of this wonderful journey. It's not often you get the opportunity to go somewhere amazing and challenging with your best friend while simultaneously helping other people in the world.
I am so thankful to live where I do and have all the essentials of life readily available to me. Sometimes we forget that the rest of the world isn't like our own great homes, that some people in this world can't even get safe food or clean water or a warm place to sleep.
For this reason I look forward to going to Mongolia, not just because the ride is going to be amazing and the experience unforgettable but also because I hope to get a face to face reminder of the state of the world and of the privilege it is to be an American where opportunities and relative safety and comfort abound.
I can't wait to meet the beautiful people of Mongolia and experience a culture where the horse is held in such high regard. I can't wait to see a new part of the world that most people only read about. I can't wait to meet the children that our trek will raise money to help.
I also can't wait to go and do it so I can return and tell you guys all about it!
If you are interested in donating please visit http://www.veloofoundation.com/ and click on the one time donation button for American Residents. Put "Gobi Gallop Alix Crittenden" in the notes box and donate as little or as much as you would like. Every bit is helpful!
If you are interested in purchasing a photo book that I created with my own images to help raise money for this trip you may purchase the 7x7 book HERE or the 12x12 book HERE.
And thanks so much for your support!