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...

somewhere between here and there...


I just had a nice rest in Phoenix with my aunt and uncle, but I am really tired still tonight for some reason. We had an easy day too-we only went 18 miles. I'm not exactly sure where we are though.

Phoenix was great. Last night we went out with my cousin and played a bunch of games of pool. Then we danced. The night before I met up with my good friends, Rushad and Graham, who happened to be passing through Phoenix because they are on tour right now (their band is Tornado Rider-electric cello, bass, and drums-amazing musicians). Rushad is the cellist you hear on our tracks "Wind-Up Boy" and "My Sleeping Prince". It was great to see them. We talked about love and life and relationships as we often do and played pool.

We were talking about how people today have broken the mold of old traditions and have turned towards sexual freedom and exploration. I was telling them how it seems to be a recurring theme that older people believe that marriages were more successful in the past because the wife stayed home and there was more time for family. I can see the beauty of tradition and I can even see the beauty of having mom at home all the time, but of course, I am a woman who wants to live my life the way I want to live it and would not fit into the traditional mold of older times. Still, I agree that time spent together is crucial and maybe there is some sort of balance that is yet to be created in most households...a new mold.

All of us agreed that we make a ridiculously big deal over sex and sex appeal. So many of us are always trying to look sexy. Ads are sexy and t.v. is sexy and everything is sexy. It's too much. I mean, a woman or man should dress so they feel confident and I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy a sassy outfit now and then, but like I said, it's just too much...and I don't know how or what it hurts exactly, but I think it does hurts us. It's just all gone overboard.

I'm not preaching here though...I'm just writing as I think and to be honest I think I'm too tired to analyze this kind of stuff right now. These are just some of the things I talked about over the last couple of days.

Right now I am in a tent with a candle burning...probably not the smartest thing in the world to do, but I want the candle for light and it's too buggy to be outside.

Nancy, I have wanted to write to you and tell you that I love your comments-I love that you tell stories and philosophize along with me. To all of you who read and especially those of you who comment, I read the comments and I think about them while I'm riding. They help me formulate new thoughts. I only have so much battery usually though on this computer and I am usually pretty tired so it's sometimes hard to comment back...but I definitely think about them.

I do want this blog to be a place where we bounce ideas off of each other though and I really, really enjoy the feedback.

Walter made 25 CD's today. It's our new album. I am going to sign them from me and Soj and they are available for $10 plus $5 for shipping. They don't have a fancy case yet, but the recordings are the same and although they might not be as fancy as the future album might be, they are unique in that they're from the trail and will be signed from me and Soj. The album does look nice too-Walter put the image of my eye with Soj's eye on it. He did a great job. It looks cool.

Tomorrow we have a short ride again. I have to finish some leather orders in the morning and then I'll start riding around noon or so. We are only going about 15 miles. I'm not exactly sure where I'm going tomorrow. East...always East.

I can hear Soj eating outside my tent and Jordan is out there smoking his snake skin. Walter is looking at the map and listening to Manchester Orchestra. My skin feels itchy which is annoying me. I think getting scratched by things I ride by during the day and sweat and Soj's sweat and hair and these darn bugs all makes for itchy skin.

We had a good dinner tonight though. I'm not vegetarian anymore. Not for this ride anyway. We had an onion so I caramelized it and added cashews and chicken and a tomato. Walter made Parmesan couscous. It was delicious. We ate by the fire and a little baby snake that Jordan caught accompanied us in an empty water bottle. He's free now though. He just joined us for dinner and then Jordan let him go again.

Oh too bad, a moth died in my candle.

We are very close to the Rio Verde River, but we can't camp next to it because it's running through the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation so we are by the road. It's a bummer because it looks so beautiful down by the river. Maybe we should have chanced it and gone down, but those federal regulation signs are deterring. We are in a decent little spot anyway-it's just that we hear cars instead of running water.

This is camp tonight. That's my candle lighting up the tent. Jordan just took the picture and said "Hey! You want a picture for the blog tonight??"

I am talking to my brother, Danny, on the phone in this shot. Soj and I were waiting for Walter to see where we were supposed to turn next and Jordan was down in the trees taking this picture and gathering walnuts which we later happily ate.

Alright then...I'm going to beg Walter for a back/leg/arm/head rub now. :)


  1. OK, here are a few thoughts to share with others. So glad it's OK with you to post these comments, Linny. I didn't want to clutter up your blog and am grateful to hear you say that you welcome them.

    So much of what causes our discontent, breaks up relationships, and makes us physically ill, is our inability to distinguish what we need from what we want. This isn't a new idea at all, but I am convinced through my own life experience and observing others that addressing this problem would make a great cornerstone for the "new mold" you suggest to bring balance into our lives.

    The demanding careers/lifestyles that many of us choose for ourselves leave so little time for quiet contemplation and simply enjoying the company of another person or a beloved animal companion. It's just push, push, push. Always trying to cram more into the day. Rushing from here to there seeking to acquire that next "thing". We're sure that a bigger house will make us happier even though we live in one three times the size of the home that our parents or grandparents raised large families in. We think we need a new car even though ours has 100,000 miles of life left in it. New clothes, furniture, jewelry, a cruise, private school for our kids because we don't have time to help them with their homework, every new piece of technology designed to speed up our connection to the hectic world. And more money. Always more money.

    So after some years of chasing these things around, we see that we have no alternative but to earn a high income each year just to barely pay the bills. The big bonus check, promotion, overtime pay, isn't something that would be nice, but something we need because the credit card debt is piling up, the mortgage is $2,000 a month, the car payment is another $500, and insurance, property taxes.... And still we don't see or accept that it's our own choices that create this environment for most of us (not all, of course). The financial and emotional stress makes it nearly impossible to relax and think straight and before we know it we're blaming the people we love most in our lives and falling prey to the notion that the grass simply must be greener on the other side.

    Here are a few phrases that have helped me a lot from about age 35 to my current age of 49 in finding peace in my life. I was a much, much slower learner than you, Linny. You appear to be a sage at a young age. I suffered about as much as most repeating the same mistakes over and over before discovering what was real, true, and important.

    "So often times times it happens that we live our lives in chains. And we never even know we have the key." - The Eagles from "Already Gone"

    "Desire is the root of all suffering" - The Buddha

    "The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run." - Henry David Thoreau

    "The grass is rarely greener on the other side of the fence" - Modified myself from the famous phrase

    And a brief book - "Your Money or Your Life" by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin

    Thanks for reading. I'm looking forward to comments from others.

  2. Thank you, Tom. This is all so true. How do you step away from it all though? How when you're already in so deep do you get out? I'm lucky because I have always been so supported by my family and I feel sort of unbreakable because I come from them. But what if you don't have that? I wouldn't be the same person if my mom wasn't my mom and my dad wasn't my dad. I have more to say and I think about all of this kind of stuff so much, but I only have a bit of time left here and I want to write a little about the next couple of days.
    Love, Linny

  3. Well, you certainly identified the problem, Linny. Words of wisdom that will help free us from a great deal of suffering (dissatisfaction) are all around us. We receive phrase books filled with wisdom, hold stuff to our refrigerator with words of wisdom (inspirational magnets), hear people on TV who survive plane crashes utter them, and so on. But for some reason, most of us don't decide to make changes in our lives that will free up more time for our families and ourselves, reduce our financial burdens, allow us to pursue our dreams, and so on. I do have a few thoughts regarding how I approach this issue:

    Adopt a Long-Term Perspective
    My main area of volunteer interest is animal welfare, mostly helping homeless and abused dogs, cats, and horses. I was able to find some peace of mind by accepting that I could make a difference in the lives of these animals and the people who care for them, but that the problems I’m working on won't be completely resolved in my lifetime. I'll make a difference, and animal welfare will improve a bit because of my efforts, but I'll long since have returned to dust by the time my dream of every animal having a loving home is realized.

    Keep Expectations Modest
    The biggest challenges facing the human condition such as unhappiness and war are naturally going to be the slowest to change. So, I keep my sights on reasonable, incremental improvements. For example, you have just under 400 followers on this blog and the Facebook page for the journey. If just four or five of these people are profoundly impacted by your journey and have more love in their hearts, more courage to pursue their dreams, and laugh a little more freely, you should feel very satisfied. When I help an animal, I don't focus on the millions around the country that I haven't helped. That would overwhelm and discourage me. I just see that sparkle in the eye and the tail wagging as a dog hops into a car heading home with a loving family and my heart swells with happiness.

    I was watching a documentary on The Buddha last week. He said something that is as current today as it was almost 2,500 years ago when he said it. The Buddha said that he can describe the path to enlightenment in detail, or succinctly. That's not the hard part. The hard part is finding people who are willing to listen. Even he had to deal with people who thought "Well that's kind of dumb, riding a horse from CA to NH. Just get a horse trailer and you could be there in three days..." HA!

    Be Compassionate and Understanding
    You made an excellent point when you acknowledged that the support you received growing up has made an enormous difference in your ability to pursue your dreams. Many times, those who love us hold us back, albeit with good intentions. I remind myself to be compassionate of others who don't understand that they are suffering because of prior experiences, or are just too afraid to break out of it.

    Live Your Life in a Way....
    You seem to have this one down already and that's to simply live your life in a way that sets an example for others. Not that you're trying to present yourself as a great teacher to us, but when people like you pursue their dreams, exude happiness and kindness, speak out against things that aren't true such as the absurd emphasis on sex appeal that you discussed, etc., others notice. And maybe down the road, a few of those people will say to themselves "I'm tired of putting on a tie every day and heading into an office to argue about stuff that I don't even think is important. I'm going to order the book from that woman who rode across the country a few years ago…" That's how I started to get a lot happier, beginning in my mid-30's. My wife always encouraged, which made a huge difference, but then I started paying more attention to the great philosophers/poets/musicians and also to less famous people who were living simpler lives than I was, but were obviously much happier.

    Thanks as always.

  4. Marian Wright Edelman, the first black woman to be admitted to the Mississippi Bar Association (and much more; look her up) credits her father with this: "Just follow the needs and you will never lack for a purpose in life."