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...
In Encino, New Mexico
Right now I am eating Broccoli Cheese soup that Walter made.
Walter just said, "I could go for a beer...just something flavorful."
We only have water. I really want some cran/cherry juice. This soup is really good though.
We rode 34.5 miles yesterday and 16 today. We are in an extremely run down town. No one lives here. I think we've gone 1,000 miles now. If not today then tomorrow for sure.
I am not in the absolute best of health. I put a lot of sun screen on, but we are at such high elevation and apparently I didn't put enough on because my nose blistered. So that's kind of uncomfortable and I am on a quest to find out how to make riding more tolerable for the regions down under. Not fun....NOT not not fun. My mom is sending me some bike pants and cream though. Hopefully that helps.
I just feel pretty tired, too...a bit worn and headachey...
we took a short day today so I am just going to drink a lot of water (since this is going to be the last of it for a while-riding into 60 miles of nothingness) and rest.
It's pretty windy and higher winds are coming...(gusts of 50 mph tomorrow I'm hearing) and we have to go nearly 30 miles.
So....this is a cheery blog!!!! Ha ha ha!
Everything really is great and I love this all as much as when it started...it's just a little tough with winds and my body is a little beat is all.
Most people on the road are very respectful of Soj and I, but yesterday a couple of young guys came at us really fast, I guess to scare us (which it didn't, it just made me want to put Soj into turbo speed and go get them), but anyway-we really are out in the middle of nowhere and it was toward the end of the day so Walter had already parked the truck at our stop for the night and was running to us.
So...I started to imagine all of these awful scenarios (I think because I'm a little tired) and was worried about these bored nutty guys in their big old truck whizzing by him and doing something stupid so I asked Soj to canter and he happily did but then we took a nose dive into a gopher hole. This was not a little fall. That poor horse went deep in and my face was over his neck and almost touched the dirt as well. He got out of it though and I slowed him and dismounted to make sure he was okay. Well, my legs were so beat that when I hit the ground they buckled under me and I fell flat down!! Into pricker bushes! Or some sort of cactus, I guess.
Neither of us were hurt though. Soj wasn't too bothered at all. He's right next to me now, the angel. We have him on a high-line. We're behind an old dilapidated school. Walter went in and took pictures of the basketball court which is totally demolished. It's hard to believe there was once life here and kids running around playing ball. They were called the Wildcats.
I am not writing this entry only to whine and vent to you, it has a point. :) Walter had gone in to take those pictures and I plopped down on the ground propped up by the truck wheel next to Sojourner's feet. I looked at him standing there with his ears pinned forward watching the gazelle like animals in the distance and I looked around at this sad, dead town and I thought about the fact that my nether regions would like to disown me and hop onto another woman who was not riding her horse across the country, and I kind of sighed and thought, "but they're here" and it was all okay.
Then I thought about how this is the whole point of this ride...having someone when you're not feeling 100 percent. There Soj is, standing strong next to me, and Walter is just around the corner, and I had just talked to my mama who was going all over trying to find remedies for me and it made me really happy.
There's always someone who can fix things for you....and it goes for anything...love lost: best friend, love gained: everyone, dream to ride: horse, just gotta get outta here: stranger with an open hand. Someone's somewhere everywhere and that is what I think makes this world go round.