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...

What a difference a day makes!


The sun insists that we are in the heart of summer, pounding and beating on us as we finish our last miles of the day, but ah....the tall, rustling stalks of corn promise otherwise.

I remember when I was a little girl in NH and although I thought the tall corn was beautiful, I would sigh because I knew school was around the corner. Fall was coming. Yesterday Sojourner and I rode by tall stalks bursting with corn. A breeze blew making them rustle and it made me smile. After 2 solid months of the most incredible heat I have ever had to endure day after day after day it was as if they were saying, "You're through the worst of it now".

I reached over and gave Soj a little pat who has so strongly charged through this weather and brought him over to have a bite of corn which he gladly took, throwing his head up and down and up and down to loosen the dirt at the end.

We have ridden 66.5 miles in two days, crossing into Missouri and landing now in a town called Monett. On our last night in Oklahoma, Walter and I got out some of Bob's sage, burnt it, smudged ourselves in it, and decided we were going to move forward a little stronger.

I had been feeling a little dried up. I was missing home, thinking about money, thinking about miles ahead....thinking. Too much thinking. We decided we needed to make sure we were eating well and really holding on to the forward, positive energy we had started with. Sometimes you have to stop and make a change if things aren't feeling exactly right anymore and that's just what we did.

We set the alarm for 3am, snoozed a bit, and were up and going at 3:25. I don't know if it was my readiness or if this is what Soj wanted as well, but he was so light in his step. His little ears were forward and he felt as strong as an Ox under me. We rode a strong 24 miles before stopping at a river and having a swim. At this point is was around 11am and the sun was getting hot, but with only 9.3 miles left it felt totally doable.

Walter and I went down the river a little to skip rocks and explore and Soj had a little nap in the shallow water.

We have been keeping the saddle off for the hotter part of the day and just leading Soj or riding bareback. This has been working well. Walter is back to his routine of rock workouts and running to us at the end of the day. Then the three of us walk the last 3 or so miles together to end the day.

Soj and I are making the same face.
"Lin, do this. Do this."
That's what he kept saying. So, I obliged.

It's funny to feel Soj pick up his step when he sees Walter running toward us in the distance. I think he knows then that it's only another hour or so until a bath and food.

On the first long day we ended pretty early so when we rode in we were extremely hot, but yesterday we happened to cross over the most beautiful river and so we spent a good part of the middle of the day there. This meant we were riding in the later afternoon for the last part of the ride and I forgot how much I absolutely love to ride later on in the day.

The animals are so alert and alive just before dusk. Soj and I rode by the cutest cows I have seen yet on this trip. They were full grown, but acted like young calves (I like people that way too. ;) ) and they were so excited to see us! They ran and bucked and threw their heads just like a kitten does when something gets into it all of a sudden and it has a little spaz.

They ran along the side of the fence with us with their big, adorable ears as curious as ever and then would all of a sudden jump into a merry little celebration and then come back to us again. Soj didn't mind them at all either!

Right now we are in a great coffee house called Mocha Joes in the historic downtown part of Monett. The food and coffee here is so good and so well priced!! Oh, how I have missed coffee houses! This is our first in a long while. I really should just open a coffee shop one day. I love the laughter and the smell and the community of them. There's a piano in here, too....hmmmm.....too bad my sister isn't here so we could play a couple tunes!

I talked to Caiti today. She said she went to the Bath house and planted herbs for us in the garden. I can't wait to put them to use. I have been thinking about all of the recipes I want to try and things I want to bake when we have a full working oven again. Oh my sweet sister, how I miss you.

Another cool thing happened the other day. We had just passed into Missouri and I was starting to feel better. We were in a new state and as the sun came up we had already accomplished a lot of miles and were all feeling pretty positive and then I came to this street!

My Poppy had been in my head that whole morning so it was especially strange. I was just thinking about how he would tell me to keep my head up and then there he was, popping his fist in the air. It's incredible, the power our families give us. And a sign, whether it be coincidence or a "sign" can fill your eyes with tears and make you smile because the spirit of someone you love is behind it. Always there. They're just always there one way or another.

I thought about my Grandma today, too, as Walter and I went for a little swim in Cindy's pool. She would love that pool. What I would have given to magically blink her and every single other member of my family there. I think I am a little homesick for them all. I've been thinking about everyone a lot lately and how much I cherish them.

Cindy is the lovely woman we are staying with who has been very kind to us and went out of her way to get us some fresh veggie salads and a good night's rest. She has a little Arab much like Sojourner who was his neighbor last night. Today Soj is in a great big field getting his fill of grass.

Tomorrow we ride to Marionville, MO which is only about 20 miles, but this way we'll get in nice and early so I can work a bit tomorrow. The leather hides have to come out manana.

Speaking of manana, Walter and I are slowly but surely still working on our Spanish. I would like to have a bit of a grasp on it by the time we get home and then I think I am going to take classes until I'm fluent. I really want to know Spanish now! This way I can surprise Henry when we fly back to CA to visit after the ride. Henry had taught me "Donde esta mi bote negro?" because I was always losing my bucket to feed Soj with.

So I took off in the Mexican saddle Henry gave me back on March 1st speaking only those words. But not for long, Henry! Soon I will know what all those words spoken at the ranch followed by little giggles mean....maybe I won't let on right away that I know Spanish! That will be fun...

This was just a little pony, but it looked like a little black Unicorn. It was the most amazing looking little pony I had ever seen!

Our first stop in Missouri was with a father and daughter who raise show goats, calves, chickens, and lots of other little critters. This is Abby pictured here. She just turned 14 and helps her father with everything around the ranch with a smile. Walter and I wanted so badly to spend more time with Abby and her father, Jerry. They were pretty special people.

Abby's dad, Jerry, and Walter looking over at the calves.


  1. Hey Caiti-doesn't Jerry look like an older Jonah?

  2. You will love the sites and sounds of going the general direction of US60..and it gets more beautiful and cool as you travel west.

    It's funny how those spiritual things happen when we least expect them (like Poppy Rd). It's as though they are "right there" with us comforting and quietly giving us reassurance from the other side.

    Oh..a comment from yesterdays blog..

    I definitely can't dispute you going with your gut feeling, that's for sure ... Going with your gut is what matters. But that won't keep us from worrying about you three, though...LOL!

  3. Your entry today was very beautiful, could feel the coolness of the river, the sounds of the birds and the smells of nature, and add to that Soj playing with you in the water, pretty special.
    Yes spiritual things do seem to happen just when you need them. I think that was Poppy just letting you he is riding along with you.
    Love you guys, Mom

  4. That would be just like Poppy, wouldn't it... a sign. Literally. Man, I had better get busy on that paddock! Seems like you will be here before I can blink twice. Are you still stopping in Nashville?

  5. Awesome post today! I could feel the "coolness" coming through. Part of the reason for that is because I was literally able to feel it riding tonight. It was still a bit hot and sweaty, but nothing like what Buster and I have been riding in the past few weeks. We have both been soaked at the end of our workouts and I hose him off for a long time. Tonight, it was cool and I didn't hose him down.

    I like grown ups who act like "young calves", too. That was one of the things that drew me to you and Caiti initially. Those hilarious videos, especially "Apple Tree".

    "Hey, Walter!" and then here comes Linny looking like a flying squirrel launching off the deck. :) Sort of an unknown metaphor for the future, I think. :)

    Well, I'm having a lot more fun than you three - NOT. I'm about halfway through my massive data entry project. Ugh. It's the same project (essentially) replicated 33 times. Three more weeks and it should be done. Yippee!!!

    Rock on! At the end of a marathon night of working a few nights ago, I came across Keith Richards singing "Happy" on Youtube. Long live Keith!!!!

    Well, I'm rambling. :) Better get to work. Thanks as always for the terrific update.

  6. it's amazing the way you just know he is still here. there are days he is all i think about and i have recently asked for some help and there he was showing me the way.
    we have family and friends in frankfut kentucky we very much want you guys to meet. they are looking forward to you coming thru and have places for you guys and soj and are looking forward to your visit. much love aunt val & geary.

  7. Val and Geary! Yeah! That would be awesome! We would love to stay with them.
    Yeah, Pop didn't go far, I don't think. :)

    Tom-good luck with those papers!!! Eek.

    Daddy-no, we are heading North after all instead of going to Nashville. It's just too hot. It's too bad because it sounds like we could have had a pretty big gig there, but we'll have a nice show at the house when we get home. A little different than down on Broadway with those amazing Nashville players, but it's okay....