On March 1st, 2010, my friend Walter and I set off on an adventure with my Arabian horse, Sojourner. I rode Soj across America and Walter drove our little truck (with no trailer). The trip began in Los Angeles, California and successfully ended in Bath, New Hampshire 8 months and 14 days later. It was a 3,700 mile ride.
We rode in celebration of family and as an outreach to those dealing with divorce-related depression.
This ride tells a tale of love in many forms - through the people we meet along the way, our connection with the horse, with the land, and with each other.
As this blog goes on it gets more and more in depth with tons of photos and experiences. Snuggle in with a cup of tea and read this like a book. I have switched the blog around so it reads start to finish so you don't have to read backward (except the first entry).
Here is our story...
Joshua Trees. Photo by Walter.
Yesterday Sojourner was aligned by a chiropractor. Now he’s all popped back into place and stands much more solidly under himself. The chiropractor drove an hour and a half just for Soj.
Today James and I are going to work Sojourner a bit on the ground and work on getting him in the trailer. Sojourner is pretty scared of trailers and I never really had time or the place to work on this before the ride. Sometimes he goes in and sometimes he doesn’t. It’s pretty lucky that I am spending this week with a man and woman who train horses for a living so we should be able to work it all out. James is going to help me train Soj and I am going to show James some guitar chords.
Today I need to look at maps with the boys and figure out our route for after the desert. I originally had it mapped so we head pretty much straight East once we hit Parker, AZ, but it’s looking like it is going to be too cold and snowy going that way. Now we are thinking about heading South down to Blythe after Parker and then travel closer to Phoenix, AZ. Then we will gradually head North as we travel later into the Spring. I wanted to be up a little further North because it’s so beautiful, but I think this route is going to be less trying. I can’t wait to see my aunt and uncle who live in Phoenix.
(There is a boy bopping away on his headphones next to me here in the café. Oh, drum solo. Here we go!) ☺
I might take Sojourner out for a little ride today. After a week of being alone with the horse day after day for such long hours it’s kind of hard to just stop. Even after just 8 or 9 days of riding! I took him out for a little ride the day before yesterday to get him moving a bit. He was full of energy! I was on him bareback so we took it easy because I could feel some bucks in him, but if I asked him we could have galloped to the moon. He was ready to go. Yesterday we didn’t ride because he needed to rest after getting adjusted by the chiropractor. Today maybe I will just stick to the groundwork after all and just hang out with him for a while in the corral while I look at maps.
A woman named Pat who is originally from England came by yesterday with a gift of high quality grain for Sojourner. On the bag it said “from Wayne xoxoxo”. Wayne is the name of her horse. Her horse is 28 years old and she says he will be her last. He is the sweetest horse. Sojourner was living next to him for a couple of days-two very gentle souls side by side.
Last night we had a bon fire outside at James and Kelly’s place. It was my first fire at night in the desert with incredible stars overhead. Kelly loves fire and was making us laugh as she put long branches that James deemed too long into the fire. The fire was inside a barrel James had placed into a hole he dug into the ground.
Pat, who is vegan, had a vegan burger with cheese on it (ha!) and I had the same. Oh Grandma!!!! That reminds me! Pat said she could hardly move her hands from her arthritis and she went vegan and her hands are totally, completely better. I think you should at least try it! Just stay away from anything dairy. She said it only took three months for her arthritis to go away. The idea of it seems hard at first, but it’s super easy to be vegetarian and it really wouldn’t be all that hard to go vegan, especially just for a little while to try it out and see if it helps. Pat was blown away by how much it helped her hands. Do it, Grandma!
Well, it’s a beautiful day so I think I should head over to Soj and see what the boys are feeling like doing today. This is a great café, by the way for anyone who is in the Joshua Tree area. It’s called the Park Rock Café. I highly recommend it.