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...

5 cent Valentine...


"The radar shows rain, rain, and more rain", Julie just said into the phone.

Gordon and Julie invited us to stay here for the morning until the big red blotch on the radar goes by us. We were about to head out anyway and then Walter said, "ah, let's wait it out."
I'm glad we did because it is POURING! A "frog strangler", as Gordon would say.

Sojourner is in a nice 8 acre pasture across the street. He can get cover there if he wants it, but have you noticed how often horses stand out in the rain anyway? He's probably out in the rain. And guess what furry animal is in there with him...!!! Cows!

He's in with a mama cow and her baby and behind the fence right next to him are two show cows. He actually didn't seem to mind one bit last night. I hope this is good for him and he learns that cows are very sweet.

I left the wrap off Soj's leg last night to let it breathe for a little while. I'm glad I did. Now it's getting a little hydro therapy from the cool rain. His leg looks good. The swelling goes down nearly completely during the day and will stay down if I wrap it again at night, but it will swell up a bit if I don't. This could be the way it is for a while, I suppose.

Walter and I are still walking. We're putting in pretty long days and actually making better mileage than we do when I ride. We walked 131 miles over the week. Soj looks so good now, too. I think it's definitely good for him to have the saddle and the shoes off for a little while.

Here's a little something that almost happened but didn't happen but still could happen...
This is the little something...

Now Stephen, you see that we are in Stephens county at Stephens county Humane Society. What better place for us to get a puppy? Do we have your approval?

We have now since left the Queener's place and are out on the road again. In the rain. It had let up when we started walking, but now we're drenched. I am a little drier because I'm waiting on the side of the road in the truck now, but just from opening the door for a minute or two at a time to search for things I've become very wet.

Poor Walter and Soj. I just drove back to take over for Walter for a bit, but he said he's kind of enjoying the rain. I think he's just being nice. This is no light rain. So here I sit typing away listening to A.A. Bondy as rain pounds all around the truck.

Now, the last time I left off we were at Bob and Sue Clemmer's place. When we first got to the Clemmer's place they invited us in for a drink and we chatted for a bit around the kitchen table. Bob called some camp sites when we said we wanted to camp by a river to see what was available. We were hoping we could swim the next day. That didn't actually work out, but it was okay because the next day was dedicated to emptying out the entire truck, cleaning it, and re-organizing it.

Oh my goodness, this rain. We really shouldn't be walking today.

Anyway, the Clemmers were very kind to us. Soj had a nice corral to stay in with all the hay and grain he wanted and we were able to do a few loads of laundry which was dreadfully needed and clean out the truck which was also seriously needed.

That night we stayed in another field but I was reminded of a movie that kept me awake again. Have you ever seen "The Lady and the Tramp"? There is a point in the movie where Lady (or Tramp, I can't remember) is captured by a dog catcher and the dogs send a message that spreads all the way back to the home town of Lady and Tramp. They do this by barking. One barks and the other passes it along. Well, the dog across the street was talking to the dog 1/2 a mile away who spoke to the one another half a mile away and so on and so so very forth.

Oklahoma is the land of the barking dogs, but we will escape them yet.

We said goodbye to the Clemmers the next morning and they left us with a very generous donation and well wishes.

The next day we walked 24 miles to Mr. Jack and Mrs. Betty Graves' house.
Jack and Betty went to Elementary school together. When Betty was in 4th grade and Jack was in 6th back in 1936, Betty held a 5 cent Valentine in her hand and wondered who she would give it to. Everyone had penny Valentines, but 5 cents was a lot of money for a little kid back then and a 5 cent Valentine was not very common and not to be given to just anyone.

Betty remembered the boy she would see out on the playground at recess playing around with all the girls. She thought he was cute and decided she would give him the 5 cent Valentine. So she snuck into the 6th grade classroom, found his desk, and left it in there for him.

When Jack got in and saw the expensive Valentine he went searching for the girl who gave it. Since then they became friends and sort of sweethearts, but it wasn't until Jack stepped out of the station after serving in the air force when her heart "did a flip flop".

Jack and Betty tell the story the same way. Jack had told me earlier that he had grown a slick little mustache and was tanned and when he walked up to his mom's car with Betty in it, she just couldn't resist him. Betty says he walked up all tan and handsome and, she says, "I knew then. There was no one else."

They have been together something like 64 years and still express their love for each other all the time. Walter and I were sitting on the couch after Jack had served us pizza and a homemade milk shake. Betty made her way over to the arm chair from the kitchen and leaned her weight on it.

"These days it's a couple steps and then a couple pants. I've gotta stop and catch my breath".

She was breathing sort of loud and then something caught her eye.

"Now, I see my husband's dirty hand print on the curtain over there where he spreads it to look out the winda in the mornin'!"

A pause and a turn of the head...

"I don't care, I love 'em."

Walter and I both looked at each other and laughed at her after thought and the sincerity of it.

Soon after we arrived at Jack and Betty's they went out to go to Bible study and Walter and I stayed back at the house. As I cleaned the dishes from our pizza I thought about how wild it was to be now in someone's home all alone with millions of their little memories and treasures all around us.

So many of the memories stretch to long before I was even born. There are so many stories running around that old house from the pictures to the plates to the stains on the carpet. And now we are there to stand in the middle of it many years later, searching for where they keep their soap and sponges.
Jack ran a Pharmacy for many, many years that he took over from his father. As soon as Walter and I got to Jack's kitchen we got to see a glimpse of what it would have been like to sit in the Pharmacy/soda fountain that sat 40 at the bar.

An old time ice cream mixer sat on Jack and Betty's counter which he quickly went to and whipped up some shakes with. They were amazing. He uses chocolate syrup and milk with vanilla ice cream to make the shake and then adds a dollop of vanilla ice cream at the end which floats in the center of the glass; just like he used to make them and just like his Daddy did before that.

Jack asked if we have seen rainbows and I told him we have seen some of the most beautiful rainbows ever on this trip. He said that means good things are coming. Little does Jack know, he was probably one of those rainbows, one of those good things comin'.

Everyone on this trip has been a good thing coming. It keeps you going to think about how many people there are still to meet and things still to see ahead. People can do amazing things for each other. There are so many of us and there is always someone out there who will teach you something you never knew, make you laugh, make you feel. Even when you think no one's left for you in this world...someone's out there.

So many of the people we meet, pretty much everyone, has experienced loss or has a sadness they covet, but someone was there for them as someone is there for everyone. I was talking with my mom about this ride and how it's really not about divorce so much anymore, but more just about people and our lives and how a common thread can bind us.

The twists and the turns and the falls make us think and they open us up to other people who have had the same twists and turns and falls...people we didn't really see before because they knew something we didn't. They knew loss when we only saw it. Some pains help us to forgive easier, help more, give freer, and slow down for someone who needs to talk. The "good that always comes out of tragedy" is almost always a connection to another person you wouldn't have connected to otherwise.

Walter, Sojourner, and I left Jack and Betty's a little later than planned and made it 21 miles to Gordon, Julie, and Garret's. We were in a great bed last night and begrudgingly headed out this morning. We are going to camp somewhere tonight if we can find an old building that we can stick the tent under and a tree for Soj.

I can see Walter and Soj now off in the distance walking toward me. I should shut this down and get ready to walk.
Now it's a bit later and Stephen has since found a place for us to stay tonight. It makes today a short day of only 18 miles, but that's okay.

Walter and I stopped a minute ago to give Soj his lunch and I told Walter I was hungry. We started talking about the Olive Garden. While we were in Lawton we ate at the Olive Garden and it was delicious! We were going to go to Meers which is a historical landmark and is supposed to have amazing food. We drove all the way out to the Wildlife Reserve to check this place out. It was a lovely Tuesday evening. And then....

So we decided we would just go to The Olive Garden. We ended up meeting the sweetest guy called John who served us. John told his manager about the ride and the Manager, Richard, covered our bill! So, if you are ever in Lawton, Oklahoma, I recommend you go to that Olive Garden!

Here's to a happy 4th of July!! Cheers!

Rolling Buffalo.


  1. Did someone turn off the little opener-thingy to enlarge the pictures? I have a hard time reading what all the animals are saying in miniscule voices.

    As soon as I finish decorating David's birthday cake, I'm heading into town for the crazy 4th of July parade. I don't think you have experienced a Mendocino parade, yet. When David was 4 years old he was the Grand Marshal, driving his pony cart and shetland dressed as Uncle Sam. When we got to the judge's stand, they all stood up and sang Happy Birthday, he turned to me and asked, "Mom, how come all these people come to my birthday and I don't even invite them?" Now you know why he has such confidence. Until he was 7 or 8, he thought the parade and all the fireworks were for him.

    Chris bought one of the old Mendocino Transit buses and he and David have been converting it into a roving disco lounge. Black lights, rotating disco ball, leather couch, sound system, etc.... I'm sure it will be a highlight of the parade today. I think there is even a martini bar in there somewhere. Makes a mother proud. Don't be surprised if he shows up somewhere on the trail and offers you guys a little entertainment. He claims he is heading south to L.A. to set up his place for school but I hear thru the Facebook grapevine that he might head cross country first. What do I know, I'm just the mom.

    Anyway, have a great 4th and celebrate the freedom we are blest to have.


  2. Glad to read an update and hear you all are being well cared for as usual. Ahh, memories..I wish I was in Mendocino for the parade..been in that parade on various floats...dressed as the blues brothers, playing in bands, all sorts of things. Couldn't make it this year but we are going up to our mountain view property for a private killer view of the fireworks over the lake tonight..happy fourth to you, Walter, and Soj from all of us here in hot old Oroville!

  3. Those captions crack me up!!!!! It's amazing that you can get tortoises and grasshoppers to open up to you that way. It's an amazing gift.

    The puppy is too cute! Bless you for considering a shelter animal. As I think I mentioned before, I've been walking the dogs at our shelter every Saturday for 10 years now.

    Glad to hear that Soj is doing well. My vet friend that I wrote you about mentioned the exact things you described as good symptoms for such a situation.

    Sounds like maybe everyone got SOME SLEEP! Lots of energy coming through this post. Or it seems that way to me, anyway.

    The Graves sound like such wonderful people. And those shakes sound terrific!

    Thanks for the update!

  4. Those milkshakes look fantastic!!!!!!!

    Get the puppy ;)

    Hey Linney, do you use the "glove" boot on Soj.?
    I'm really thinking of buying some for my Nate.
    He's getting super chipped up when it is dry. Do you suppose
    I can leave them on overnight if he is turned out?

  5. Hey Darcy! Soj uses the G2 Old Mac boots. They are awesome. I just love them. You can leave them on over night. I mean, some people leave them on for days and days if they are soaking the hoof in something, but I don't know much about that. It's a really gentle boot though. You have to get gaiters with them which keeps them from rubbing. They're super easy to put on and take off which I am just thrilled about because I used to really wrestle with the Epics and actually had some issues with rubbing with the Epics as well, but I don't think a better boot could be designed than these Old Macs. Have you seen Easy boots site on facebook? They have tons of information on there and they are on their a lot so if you posted a question about the glove, they would get back to you. If you scroll down to old comments I remember seeing something on there about the glove, too.

    I get limited time on the computer and sometimes I have to wait a million years to get the pictures to upload and the blog to post due to slow internet so I don't always get to answer comments, but I remember you mentioning that you may be driving down at some point. We would love to meet you if you'll be nearby!

    Tom-I tried to get some noodling stories. All I've really heard is that there is a big contest here. If you google ESPN outdoors and search for fearless fish freaks, you can read about the tournament here and see pictures.

    A couple of the guys I've met have done it and they said their wives said they would come back with big gashes up their arms. I think most of the people do it in fairly shallow water though so they can't get dragged under. Crazy. You know, I remember seeing a sign at a lake once that read "no noodling" and I thought it meant necking or something!! That's canoodling though, isn't it? Maybe not. I don't know. ;)

    And Bird and Nancy-that parade. Oh goodness. I have been to one actually. One of the things to see was a naked person running around! Chris was in it that year, too. He was in a truck with a bunch of girls in the back. ;) Oh, that boy.

  6. Noodling in Lawton.. here's one for all of you.


  7. Thanks for the info Linny! I just NOW saw this post! Good thing I get the occasional insomnia :P

    I am SO going to try the boots! I've heard GREAT things about both companies!

    I would still love to meet you all! Let me know what, where is appropriate ;) Hugs