Filipe Masetti Leite stops for a break from one other lengthy day within the saddle on his year-long trek encountering bugs, bears, buffalo and dangerous climate.
The Brazilian cowboy, 33, who grew up in Canada and desires to turn into a Canadian citizen, is to complete his 3,400-kilometre journey by horse from Alaska to Calgary on Friday. The 2020 Calgary Stampede, set to begin the identical day, was cancelled as a result of COVID-19.
Despite the cancellation, Masetti Leite was named the occasion’s official parade marshal. He is to be greeted by an escort of Stampede officers and Mounties on horseback, who will then journey with him to a small ceremony on the metropolis’s Stampede grounds.
“I’m sad to say goodbye to my ponies, but other than that I’m looking forward to getting to Calgary and having a beer,” Masetti Leite says with fun whereas stopped this week on a desolate highway largely utilized by campers and logging vans about 120 kilometres northwest of Calgary.
Light rain drips from the brim of his white cowboy hat as darkish clouds transfer overhead.
Masetti Leite says he has prevented travelling on main highways since he set out from Anchorage in May 2019, switching between his two horses named Smoky and Mack.
It’s not his first journey as a protracted rider, a time period used for an equestrian who has gone greater than 1,600 steady kilometres in a single journey.
He lined about 16,000 kilometres driving from Calgary to his mother and father’ house of Espirito Santo do Pinhal, Sao Paulo between 2012 and 2014. In 2016, he rode 7,350 kilometres from Brazil to Patagonia.
Masetti Leite, who moved together with his household to Calgary when he was 9, later grew up in Toronto. He says he was impressed to turn into a protracted rider by Aime Tschiffely, a Swiss faculty trainer who rode 16,000 kilometres alone from Buenos Aires to New York City in 1925 and wrote about his experiences.
Masetti Leite has additionally documented his travels and written the guide “Long Ride Home: Guts and Guns and Grizzlies, 800 Days Through the Americas in a Saddle.”
Proudly sporting a Canadian flag on the appropriate arm of his black bomber jacket, Masetti Leite says most individuals do not realize he is not a Canadian citizen. He says his household utilized years in the past for citizenship for humanitarian causes however had been denied.
“It’s the hardest part of my life,” he says, wiping away tears. “It was like a punch to the gut.”
Won’t be his final journey
He says he feels Canadian.
“I love this country so much. I’ve been a man without a country for years sir. It’s a total identity crisis.”
Masetti Leite says this lengthy journey into Calgary will likely be his final.
“I started doing this because I didn’t want to do the mundane and now this has become mundane,” he says.
“I crossed a grizzly bear the other day and I wasn’t even scared. And you know what? I’ve got to call it quits. This is not normal.”