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...

Here comes the sun!!


This is Timothy.

I was able to get some leather work done yesterday. I just got some belts cut and edge coated. Today I’ll try to finish one since we will be busier Tues, Wed, and Thurs with the clinic.

Here are a couple things I've made from the trail so far...

Custom "Magnolia" Latigo Leather Cuff

Custom "Vermont Scene" leather book cover

Custom "Arizona Wildflower" Latigo Leather Mandolin Strap

the beginnings....

The sun is shining today. There is still a decent amount of snow on the ground, but it’s a beautiful day…dry and clear.

I can't believe we've gone from this:

To this:

Walter and I just made some French toast and in about an hour we’ll head over to the pie shop for their last day open this week. We learned yesterday that they have wireless as well so I can post this there. It was kind of nice not knowing they had wireless because I am sure I would have had my computer every day had I known and would have missed out on some great conversation.

I don’t think I’ll keep it out long today either so I can just enjoy my surroundings. Oh man! If you could smell inside the Pie Shop! It’s like Thanksgiving every day you go in. The coffee is so good too and they serve cream, not milk. The way it should be.

Sojourner looks beautiful this morning. He looks full and strong and especially white against the snow.

Walter and I are talking about roads. We’ll head out on Friday on 60 and go through Socorro, Clovis, jump on 70 and head to Amarillo, TX, Little Rock, AR, and then off to Memphis and then Nashville, TN. We might try to take another good break in Nashville to give Soj a good rest. We could be in Nashville by mid-June if we stay on track, which is still on schedule even with the two one-week breaks we’ve taken (9 day breaks actually).

What a place this Horse Haven’s Retreat is. If anyone ever gets the urge to learn more about their horse and ways to communicate with them, this place is worth traveling to.

Oh NH, I am dreaming about you. Walter said yesterday as the snow was falling that it felt like we had made it home already and we were in NH in the winter. One of the loveliest of lovely women and a dear friend of mine is having a baby and she just told me the baby is due in December. My brain got confused for a minute and as the snow fell I thought “Oh my Gosh! She’s going to have the baby in a month!”


I've now moved from our bedroom to the Pie cafe. We met a wonderful older couple who said, "I'm getting old so hurry up and write that book and I'll read it!"

It's funny she would say this because Walter and I were talking about this last night. It's not a very uplifting conversation and I don't know that I'm in the mood to write about it in detail right now because it kind of knocked the wind out of me last night, but sometimes it's hard for me to grasp the fact that we die. Is that crazy? Or would it be crazy if it didn't knock the wind out of you every once in a while? Would you be avoiding a pretty monstrous emotion and part of life if you just shrugged it off, or is that healthier?

I don't dwell on death, I really don't. And I know...."cherish every moment"....but, sometimes it just doesn't feel like enough. Sometimes when I look at Walter I feel like there's not enough time. I don't want there to ever be a period at the end of us. Maybe this..... ..... ....., but no single period.

How do you get to a point when you're older that you can actually say "write the book soon!"
I wish I could have talked to them about this. I mean, I understand it and I know it's part of life and let's hope there's something after...but, I would still be interested in talking about the feelings and the mind set that comes with getting older. Maybe my Grandma will talk to me about it. I know some of you are reading over there at Grandma's house....talk to me about this!

Anyway, it's kind of funny that I have this big conversation about this kind of stuff with Walter last night and then this beautiful older couple full of life and smiles and energy come in today and share a minute with us here at the table.

We met some other cool people in here today, too. There was a young couple from Colorado who are biking the Continental Divide Trail which starts here and ends in Glacier National Park in Montana, and another young guy who came here by himself from Germany and is hiking the trail. I said to the guy from Germany, "You came here alone and you're hiking by yourself?" He said, "Well, kinda" and gestured to the bikers next to me and myself as to say he is, in a way, with us. I liked that. It's so true. You can pack up and go anywhere and it won't take long at all before you are no longer alone. You're never alone. Just like Stephen Sondheim says.

I have consumed more coffee this morning than I should have in a whole week. I never used to drink coffee like this! It will change once we're riding again though...this is spoil time!

So, let me tell you....let me thicken this blog plot a bit...

I met Walter when he was 17 and I was 18 in the first days of our freshman year of college...nearly 11 years ago. I was a Music/Voice Performance Major and Walter was a Meteorology Major. We were in the same dorm and became wonderful friends right away. We have always had a totally platonic relationship since we met. He is my closest boy friend, friend who is a boy...you know...

We sort of lost touch for about 5 years and one day he found me again. We both ended up going out to CA (apart from each other) and he came out to see my sister and I in Mendocino. It was like we had never been apart. My sister loved him as I do right away, too. She had met him while I was in college but she was just a wee one then and didn't really remember.

I talked to Cait about going to Ireland to play a little music, saw that tickets weren't that much, and went ahead and bought us a couple. I was visiting Boston or New York at the time, I can't remember, but Cait wasn't with me so I called her and said "I just bought us tickets to Ireland". She said "cool" and we began to plan our trip a little. We didn't know anyone in Ireland, but we were headed there soon. I called Walter and told him we were going and he basically said "oh, cool, I'll meet you there", and met us in the airport in Dublin the same day we flew in.

We met the most amazing friends there and just had the time of our lives. We were there a little over 2 months. After returning home, I called Walter one day and told him I really was going to ride my horse across the country and we started lightly playing with the idea of him helping me by driving a truck for support.

At this point he was working in Yosemite and I was living in the Bay Area. I didn't know if it was really going to happen. Walter said he was going to go but it was all kind of up in the air and it was such a wild idea that hadn't really come together yet. I didn't even have a horse when I told him I was going to do this.

Well, anyway, it all worked out and off we went. Two best friends off on another adventure together. And then...after 10 years of travel and laughs and craziness and incredible closeness...

I had woken up before the sun to feed Sojourner. We were in the desert and Walter was in his sleeping bag up on top of the ambulance. He was inside it like a little cocoon. I couldn't see his head or anything. I walked down the road a little after throwing Soj some hay to just enjoy the morning and then headed back to camp. I started making some coffee out of the back of the truck and I looked up at where he was sleeping. He was now on his side with his head resting on his arm and he was just looking at me. His expression didn't change when I caught him looking. He just kept looking. I looked back and eventually looked back down at the coffee. Something happened there....crazy....crazy after such a deep, long friendship, but something happened....

That was March 30th around 6:45am.

In fact, Walter made up a list of our contacts so I could put thank you's up on my website (which I really need to update again) and in that list of our day to day stops he had written this:

March 30 - camped highway 72 in McVay, AZ. Slept on ambulance. Looked at you the right way apparently.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Oops. I didn't know that I would leave a note behind when I deleted my comment. I originally posted my comment before reading the blog entry (my comment was related to the title, but otherwise completely unrelated to the blog).

    After reading the blog entry, I wanted to honor it by deleting my unrelated comment, which I can easily post another day. This is a blog entry that will mean a lot to your family and closest friends, so I wanted to see if I could just step aside here for a day. :)

  3. I have been CRAVING pie since you posted about Pie-O-Neer. URG!


  4. Hey Tom! You can post anything at any time! No need to step aside!!! :)

  5. Hey Candace! Why can't my sign be the horse, by the way? I think I'm a chicken or something. May 18, 1981. What is that? Pretty sure it's a chicken....
    You know, I pied myself out! Now I'm just craving vegetables. We are so incredibly vegetable deprived out here....

  6. Thanks, Linny. I just found this to be a particularly touching blog entry. I sent Walter a FB message about it.

    I wish I had a "pied out" gene!!!! It takes all of my discipline to maintain a reasonable weight. :)

    I have many musings related to the fact that we are mortal beings since you asked us for our thoughts on the subject. I've considered that topic a lot over the years and have reached a state of a peaceful, still mind about it, so I'm looking forward to sharing and hearing from others. But I'll wait a little while on that is that's OK.

    Can't wait to hear about the clinic. Hopefully, you'll get to meet Buster someday and we can show off the things we've learned. We're very proud of our progress. :)

  7. Great entry. Very brave of you to share that too. And I hope I don't cheapen it but gleefully writing: glad you chose to thicken the plot, I have been dying of curiosity! ;)
    Glad your crew is getting some rest and lots of pie. You never got to try my mom's pie while you were in Fort Bragg but when you make it back, you should call me and order a pie fresh from my mom's kitchen! She loves to share.
    It is so funny to me sometimes reading your blog and seeing Soj, since I remember him as Rebbe. I'm sure I must have told you this, maybe when I ordered our leather gifts...anyway here is the image again, I bet it makes you smile. I walked out of the Ricochet barn and Rebbe/Soj was at the front of the paddock, down on one knee, the other front leg stretched straight out, head completely sideways under the gate as he reached for a few blades of grass..never seen a horse do that before or since.
    Enough rambling, wishing you well!

  8. The only thing that I could think of as a response/comment and I wanted to add my two cents here for what it's worth: this famous e.e.cummings poem seems to sum it up so beautifully for all that has been written because language fails me here...so forgive my borrowing this poem, " somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond" --- some of you may know this already.

    "somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond any experience,your eyes have their silence: in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me, or which i cannot touch because they are too near your slightest look will easily unclose me though i have closed myself as fingers, you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose or if your wish be to close me, i and my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly, as when the heart of this flower imagines the snow carefully everywhere descending; nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
    compels me with the color of its countries,
    rendering death and forever with each breathing
    (i do not know what it is about you that closes
    and opens;only something in me understands
    the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses) nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands.

  9. Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
    Kahlil Gibran

  10. Love Happens....
    As I told your mom, I'm not the least surprised that you and Walter's friendship has shifted a bit. You are experiencing life at it's fullest and it's only natural to share a bond. The best part is that you are deeply devoted friends to each other first and the rest can develop on it's own. Kinda like you and Soj. Tell Walter he snuggled into my heart back in L.A. when he came back searching for you along the highway and then drove behind you with his lights flashing. I knew then that he had your back!
    Now about those dreams.......
    On Main St. in Mendocino, located between the Hotel and the Bay View cafe is a vacant cottage. This quaint house has a small front lawn, white picket fence and a view of the headlands and bay. There is a glassed in front porch that is perfect for small cafe tables. Inside are 3 rooms, the largest with a fireplace. Wooden floors thru out. Not sure about the acoustics but you can't have it all. Then again, why not!
    There is not a decent pie to be had within 25 miles. (Boonville would be your closest competition.) Or maybe Elk.
    In case you've forgotten, my orchard has 36 varieties of apples. There are endless huckleberry bushes that turn into pies all by themselves. Blackberries are abundant. Lots of space for raspberries to grow. Strawberries pop up in my garden, uninvited. Chocolate, you'd have to get from Boonville. Lemons from Anderson Valley.
    If you don't express your dreams, the universe doesn't know what you want. It's good to be specific. The more details, the better.
    You won't see much snow in Mendo but then again, every couple years that white stuff does make a showing.
    From my perspective, I'd say, New Hampshire 1, Mendocino 247, even beating out Elk, although I could live with that. Close enough.
    I'll get busy cleaning out the barn for Soj...........
    Love ya!

  11. Nancy,
    I think we saw that little cottage on Main
    street about two years ago, it was a forclosure, needed some fixing up, but Linny, Caiti and I loved it. We walked around looking in the windows.What a dream!!!I
    am putting it out to the universe!!
    Had a great time with you in the city.Still working on a time that we can rendezvous with Linny, Walter and Soj.

  12. Catching up on the blog tonight and just want to say that I love this story! How lucky that you get to spend this time together exploring what it all means...

  13. Oh guys! I love these comments. Thank you for the poem, Megan. I just loved reading it!
    Aurora-thanks for that image and I will most definitely get your mamas pie!!!! Oh yeah!
    Tom, you are right...Nancy, I WANT IT!!!!! Oh man how I want it! Come onnnnn universe!!!
    Pops, thank you for that beautiful saying. Love you.