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...


Kentucky is beautiful. Last night Walter and I sat out in the field with Soj and talked for a while.

"Crickets", he said.

"Oh yeah!", I said as I too became aware of the change in the evening's sounds.

There were crickets chirping. Walter called the other loud crickets we had become accustomed to hearing "heat bugs". I think they were some sort of cricket as well (Cicadas maybe?), but they made a constant abrasive buzzing sound that was really loud. These crickets were sweetly chirping. We have ventured back into the land of chirping crickets!

I hadn't noticed that the buzzing had been replaced with chirping. Sometimes things just slip away and you don't even notice it's left. People often ask us, "don't you get bored doing this all day?" Our typical response in no, but lately the days have felt a little long. We had to hop on 60 for a day and I don't really like being on 60. Neither does Walter. It's a busy road with a lot of cars and it's kind of just the same scene over and over again. Walter said we need to pay more attention to little things to keep it interesting. Like the chirp of the crickets or the changing trees. There is always something new, but if you let your eyes glaze over then it can all seem the same.

It was so lovely to sit in the field last night with Sojourner. The air was perfect and the land here is so peaceful. We are now in Henderson, Kentucky, at the Rolling Hills Equestrian Center. I'll go more into detail about this Equestrian Center in the next blog, but if I had to put the people we've met, the beauty of this place, and all they have done for us into one word I would just say "Wow".

Walter and I are missing camping. Now that it's cooler I think we are going to look for some camping places. I just have to mix it up a little because camping allows me the time I need to unwind a bit. It can become our "home" for the evening without asking anything of anyone.

The people we meet are so incredible and I have such a huge desire to share them through this blog, but I don't feel like I'm offering enough of myself anymore. I feel a little tired and a little reclusive. Not altogether tired or altogether reclusive by any means, but I feel...I don't know...a little thin (figuratively). I have always been a person who needs a little time on my own. I love the relationships I have and make and I am so amazed by people and have such a desire to see them and learn from them, but if I don't take a little time up in the woods by a camp fire then I wear down a bit.

It has been a big challenge to talk about this ride over and over for both Walter and I. Both of us are often asked a question and then the next question is asked before we've even finished giving the answer to the first one. "It's like a little shot to the heart", as Walter put it.

There are so many reasons that this ride came to be that I can't sum it up fast enough to hold the attention of the listener. I talk so fast every time I'm interviewed trying to get it all out, but it's never fast enough. Sometimes I'll read an article in the paper and it doesn't quite portray what is happening. Sometimes it's altogether wrong, but there it is in print and what can I do?

Should I write about this here? Does this even interest you? There is so much positivity around us that I could so easily focus solely on that and keep all of these other words to my journal. This is just a little blip in time and just a tiny little piece of this ride, but at this very moment this is how I'm feeling.

I wrote in my last entry that this entry was going to be for my Grandma and this is why...


Look at that pot, Grandma!!!

Unfortunately, I don't have my Grandma's luck (who always wins) and didn't win a thing. Hershey, the woman sitting across from us, won one of the pots for $40 (although she had to split it with another and only got $20). She handed it over to us and insisted Walter and I have dinner later on the Bingo ladies. We didn't want to take it. It was our tables only win and we were proud of her! She represented the table and we wanted her to do great things with that 20! She insisted though.

Bingo with these fine women is going down as one of the highlights of this trip. We laughed and joked and were surrounded by kind, smiling people. Earlier that day after we put Soj up we had lunch with Paul and Becky from the Chamber of Commerce. That's when we learned about Bingo which was happening later that night. Both Paul and Becky would be there and would save us a seat. We were greeted by both of them when we got there, introduced to their friends, and were able to borrow their dobbers (Dobbers? Maybe that's not what they're called-little ink markers).

I told the ladies at the table that I wasn't going to be any good without my Grandma because she keeps an eye on my Bingo card and points out the numbers I've missed. Later on as we played the joking, laughing, sweet woman next to Hershey pointed to my card at a number I missed and said, "Just call me Grandma!"

Walter kept an eye on my cards as well and added a few dots with his ink pen when he caught previous numbers I had missed. Boy, I'm not so good at Bingo.

It was so wonderful because we didn't really talk about the ride or why we're doing it or any of that. We just plain old talked. And plain old laughed. We didn't even really tell stories. We all just kind of teased each other and listened to the numbers called from the Bingo guy.
Walter concentrating on his uncalled numbers. Neither of us had much luck!

Hershey met up with us the next morning so we could see her beautiful filly who was also at the Gumz Farm. Hershey gave me the silver necklace I am wearing in this picture below. I love it and am still wearing it now. It has a horse head on the front and reads "good luck" on the back. She asked me if I would be offended if she gave me something before she gave it to me. I am quite the opposite. I'm in love with it and all it stands for and will have it with me always.

Walter and I have been feeling a little conflicted. We had felt like something was missing that was there before and we've decided that we need to camp more and take the time we need to really feel for ourselves what it is we're doing. Not because I don't want to meet more people because I absolutely do, but because I want to make sure that I can offer all I can to them when I do meet them.

It's hard to see stories written that don't quite nail on the head what's actually happening. I find myself saying, "That's not what I'm feeling, that's not what I meant." Things like that. I need time to formulate my words and that is usually not an option during these interviews. I have to think fast and respond fast and I find myself thinking, "No, that's not it. Oh well, let's just get on with it." Or sometimes the reporter will paint their own picture that actually isn't the picture at all. It's not all the time and it's not anyone's fault, but it is hard sometimes.

This ride is about slowing down. It's about the land and the people and animals living on it, not interviews and fast words. I think I feel like I'm doing something that is unnatural to me. I want to get the story out simply because I want to share it. It's a dream, it's my love, it's something that I feel so thoroughly, but I don't want it to turn into something that isn't what it is anymore. I am not out for fame or for anything other than little moments with incredible people and time with this magnificent horse.

I don't want this to sound gloomy. Like I said before, it's just a little piece of this all and it's really not that big of a deal. I guess it is just another learning experience. It shows me that it's not about the adventure or recognition or anything that I think we all sometimes long for at times. It really is just about the little moments.

We have ridden over 2,400 miles and Bingo is one of the best experiences because it was natural and real and it reminded me of my Grandma, of my family, of the little things that are the biggest things. I know it's been said time and time again, "enjoy the little moments", but sometimes it slaps you so hard it hurts. You really feel it and one little moment can take your breath away. It's a big, "Oh yeah, it really isn't about money or fame or glam or anything else." It's a simple quiet that holds almost all of our happiness. Maybe it takes a big adventure like this to really realize that. I mean, for me to really realize that.


  1. I think Grandma might have a Bingo game waiting for you guys when you get home. I just can not believe how much you three have done.I remember before the ride Caiti, you and me standing in the corral at Henry's looking at Soj, he was so skinny then with little muscle and you were worried about his kidneys. You had thought about another horse, but said I just want it to be Soj, it wouldn't be same without him. When the vet came out and said she thought he would be fine for the ride you were so happy.
    You have met so many people along the way Kelly and James, Althea, the folks at Horseman Havens -Larry and Jeni, the list goes on and on. They all gave great help, advice, and support to keeping you and Soj healthy.
    To see Soj now in the pictures, him crossing the Missisippi, swimming in rivers, and resting his head on your lap is incredible! It is like seeing another horse, he just looks so beautiful. The horse that was afraid to cross a puddle... swimming in a river, afraid to get in a trailer... crossing rivers on barges, and giant bridges. What an incredible transformation, that has been born, I am sure from the love and trust the three of you have built through your journey,and the wonderful support of all the friends you have met along the way.

  2. >Should I write about this here? Does this even interest you?<

    Yes, please write from your heart and from what inspires you.

    Kathy Baker
    Follow Your Bliss Farm
    Midway TN

  3. That was a particularly interesting blog post, Linny! Thanks for the glimpse into what you are thinking.

    As I mentioned separately, the reporters almost always get something wrong. It's not their fault as you mentioned, it's just how it goes. They are seeing just the tiniest snapshot of the journey and are also pressed for time to get their story done and published.

    But I think it's important to also consider the fact that almost all of us are living in a completely different "world" than you three right now. We're zipping here and there at 55 mph, trying to keep up with demands from our employers, getting kids enrolled in school and sports (for those who have children), etc. It's understandable that the questions are coming at you so fast, but I can see where it would be mildly frustrating.

    Boy I sure understand what Walter is saying about “…a little shot to the heart.” Those of us who are sensitive totally get that. You share a precious little anecdote that is a “gift” and a look inside your heart and an instant later are thinking “That didn’t mean a thing to you, did it?” I especially feel this way for musicians when they are performing and people are just talking over their song. You’ve probably had this happen before. I’m sure all performing artists have. It makes me feel so bad for the artist. But the best ones find a way to still give it their all for even that one person who is moved by their music/performance. Very admirable.

    The need to have more time to yourself is sure understandable. Your hosts are undoubtedly so gracious, but they naturally feel compelled to "entertain" you and celebrate your journey. And ask a lot of questions that are fresh to them, but that you've been getting every day for 6 months now. More camping sounds like just the thing!!!

    Oh, and we absolutely want you to "write about it here"! We're very interested. There are many instances when I find myself trying to read between the lines a bit and thinking that I'll have to wait for the book someday to get the full story. You're a super-positive person and this journey is affirming so many wonderful things about people, our relationship with the animals and the earth, pursuing dreams, and more. Sharing a bit more of the challenges is important too.

    Ride On!