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...
home in the woods...
I've created a little home in the woods complete with a carpet, coffee table, computer, phone, stove top, and fireplace.
No one is here. Walter is off with his friend, Jordan, at the grocery store so it's just me and the river, a fire, and lots of bug noises...and mosquitoes. I have water boiling for pasta on the fire and a red sauce sauteing next to it.
To tell the truth, Walter and Jordan created this little home before they headed out. I just kind of watched. They've been gone a little while now, but as I type this I can hear the truck coming. The poor truck suffered through it's third flat tire today. We ran over a railroad stake.
Hm, I guess I was mistaken...that wasn't the truck, some car off in the distance, I guess. They better get here soon though! I'm getting eaten alive and the bug spray is in the truck!! Also, I can't get the water off of the fire because I let the pot sink too far into the flames and so I can't touch the handle. The water is about to boil away.
We are camped out right by the Ohio River. Kirk said it was a place we had to see and he was right. It's just gorgeous down here. We camped out at Kirk's place last night and it was wonderful, but Sojourner was a little pest. He decided he wanted to eat around 4am because that's when the first roosters started to crow. He moseyed over to our tent and got a hold of the very top of it with his teeth and lifted.
Walter and I kept slapping the tent, but it didn't really deter him. From 4am until we finally got up around 8:45, he pawed and chewed at the tent trying to get us out...or get himself in. It was actually pretty cute, but I was so exhausted for the entire first part of today because of it.
So tonight Sojourner is still at Kirk's, but we are camping down here by the river. I do wish we could go get Soj and high-line him here, though. It would be a 4 mile ride though and he would probably prefer to have the solid day off.
Kirk is one of the founders of an Organization called The Rough Riders. It's a pretty fantastic group for the community. They meet down on a plot of land near where I am now and people from town who love horses but can't afford them or don't have the place to keep them can come out and ride.
Kirk is one of those people who greets every single person like they were just the one he was waiting to see. Everyone is greeted with an exuberant amount of energy and enthusiasm. He says that he wants to teach the ways of the horse to young people so they can continue to keep the human/horse relationship alive.
People of all ages were there with their horses to share. Some worked out in the round pen, others ran down the roads and all through the fields. It was a great event that brought a lot of smiles and laughter.
Well, that does it...it's like I'm in a little fairy land right now. Walter and Jordan just got back and then Kirk pulled down the little dirt road as well. We were all running around fixing dinner and making the fire bigger when two horse drawn carriages pull down the road. One is pulled by two little ponies and the other by one bigger pony. The men driving each carriage were in beautiful old buggies.
I have everything all set up here at this little table in the woods. The camera is out and I was going to edit the photos that go along with this entry...I even ran over 2 minutes ago and got a couple shots of the carriages. The bugs are biting though so I think I might head over to that fire over there to get away from them. I'll put up the photos that go with this entry at the beginning of the next one. I don't think my internet would be strong enough to load them anyway. Kirk is headed toward me with a map, too, so I should look over that for tomorrow's ride...
"Is Linny going to be disappointed with our choices?"
That's what Jordan asked Walter as they left the grocery store with a "reduced price for quick sale" cheesecake and a bottle of sweet twist-top wine.
I'm not disappointed, of course. I thought it was very sweet when they placed this entire cheesecake down in front of me. Walter had made Jordan take the "quick sale" sticker off so I would be none the wiser, but eventually they slipped and let the cat out of the bag.
Another one of Walter's friends, Jake, happened to be in this tiny little town today as well (all the way from Chicago!) for a wedding.
So they are sitting around the coffee table drinking cheap sweet wine out of tiny, empty water bottles talking about their travels (Walter met Jake in China and Jordan in Alaska), and I am sipping on mint tea, dipping my spoon into an entire pie, and about to go sit by the fire to take this all in.
I do, I have to say, miss my little horse right now though. I have a feeling I'll be camping with him many nights in the back field in NH...for old times sake.