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...

Familiar Grounds....


This is Kim. She owns Shaylee Stables in Chester, VT. Sojourner had a warm bath and a huge stall there. Kim also donated two blankets to Soj and took us out to a great breakfast at the diner in town. Kim made us a "Welcome" sign that I forgot at the stable!! If you're reading Kim, I loved it and wish I had it with me! All of us left there refreshed, well fed, and clean!

Walter and I had a room here at The Stone Hearth Inn which is next door to the stable. We had such a wonderful night there. The owner of the Stone Hearth Inn, Sheldon, is full of energy and smiles.

I made Walter laugh...

...by doing this. Very pretty picture-I kind of can't believe I'm posting it here. That's not my face. This is all a joke. That's not my face.

But then Walter did this...and I laughed. That's his face.

Right now we are in a little coffee shop called Tucker Box in White River Junction. I've been here before. I think this is the first time on this whole trip that I've been in a little shop I've visited in the past. Unless my memory is failing me...which it could be...it often does.

"Add a half mile today to mostly stay off of Route 5?", Walter is asking me right now.

He's looking at the route and scouting out back roads. This is the same thing we have been doing now for 8 months and 13 days. How does it feel? How does it feel? I can't really say yet...I don't really know. I have lots of mixed feelings.

I am very ready to be home and I have not mentioned this yet but I decided to ride a little harder a couple of nights ago after clearing my head with my best friend, Bri. The decision made was that we're going home. This means today we ride to Thetford, Vt. and tomorrow....after 3,699 miles, we ride down our driveway. Home. Maybe I'll ride around in a circle to make it 3,700 exactly, but as is, believe it or not, it's 3,699.

I was so torn about going home early or trying to hold off and ride in on the 20th.

"The fact of the matter is", Bri said to me, "you got home early. Whether Soj is hanging out 10 miles away or not, you're home. You got home early so just get home and enjoy it."

I was worried it wouldn't be as cool for anyone who comes out to see us on Nov. 20th because we would have gotten home a few days before. Everyone I've talked to says this is crazy (and Walter has known we need to just get home all along). So my plan was to keep Soj 10 miles away from home from the 14th to the 20th. We would go back and forth and feed him and on the 18th when friends and family started flying in, we would head out to Bri's and then come back on the 19th and sleep with Soj and then ride in on the 20th.

"No, it's just too contrived and anti-climatic", Cait said to me. I didn't really think of it that way, but we would have ridden all of this way and then wouldn't even get home with Soj! We would hold him off and then ride him home later after we had already been home. It's just pure torture to try and hold off when we are so close. It was bringing me down and I just feel so much better to know that we are just going to go home at our natural pace.

My dad has been working so hard on getting a huge pasture made for Soj. He will drive 40 minutes to go work on the pasture for an hour while he has a break from work and then he will drive 40 minutes back to go back to work. That is my father. That is how he has always been for our entire lives. And Daddy-I don't think you'll ever truly know how proud I am to have you as my father, but I'm the proudest. The absolute proudest.

So I want Soj to have the lovely pasture my dad has made for him. And oh, you should see it. It's perfect. There are mountains all around it and the sun always warms it with a beautiful golden light. We have the most wonderful neighbors, The Wymans on one side and The Solnits on the other. It's like we're nestled in beauty-with the land and the people that surround us.

I just can't wait to be there and tomorrow we will be! Thank you, Bri, for sometimes understanding me better than I understand myself. I was starting to fade a little. I am pretty tired and I was just, I don't know, after this whole huge ride something didn't feel right and it was just that I needed to get home! Naturally and peacefully and really feel all of this.

Yesterday we rode 27 miles. Sojourner was strong and full of energy. We took a pretty good spill on the side of the road because that's how Soj is and unlike any other horse, sometimes we fall down. He caught the tip of his front boot on something and we went down to his knees. I mean all the way down. I thought we were going to somersault together and we were right on the side of the road. Two cars were driving by at the time. We probably scared them.

"You goof", I said as he fumbled up onto his feet again. He has always been this way. It's kind of funny because I'm that way, too. It comes from my mom. Once we were in the grocery store and my mom ran into one of those racks that stands in the middle of the aisle with books or something all over it. She gasped and turned with her arms out apologizing profusely to it until she realized it wasn't a person. That went down in the books as one of the truest and hardest bouts of laughter I have ever had.

I just asked Walter if he wants the other half of my bagel. I can't eat it. I never used to eat before a big performance either. I think all of this talk about getting home has got my stomach twisted up a little. Or it's this cappuccino. Cappuccino's suppress my appetite, too.

We should get back to 7th Heaven Ranch where Sojourner is now and tack him up. Today we have a 19 mile ride and then another 24.8 miles tomorrow will take us home. Sojourner is pulling in so strong. He looks as fit as a fiddle and as bright eyed as ever. What a ride. Thank you to you all for supporting it.

The next time I write we will have landed and I'm sure I will have many words and thoughts after, but for now all I can say is: Do what you love. Do what you dream. Nothing will make you happier.


  1. I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!!!! Walt, lose the sweater; they'll take away your membership card in the man club! LOL

  2. Almost there! I can't believe how long you have been journeying..gosh I feel like I have been reading this blog forever and also for just a day or two. Congratulations on an amazing journey and you are so right, just get on home and revel in the love and comfort!

  3. "There's No place like Home!"
    Make sure Soj clicks those Ruby Brown(?) slippers really thoughtfully...
    You can Uncross your eyes Now... or not;>
    Welcome Home ...& "YaY!" from Parker,Arizona.
    We'll all be floating around in our Hot-air balloons waiting for that Book to come out!

  4. I had to check in today just to see what you might post. The weather is unusually sunny and mild for November (a normally cool and cloudy month). So, I was thinking you would have an excellent day to not just ride, but reflect on how rewarded you must feel as you three saunter down Vermont roads nearing your goal.
    Thank you for your heartfelt comments. I always feel like I come up a bit short as I look at what I do (Poppy and I had that in common; a level of imprecision that few can match) but you are (and always have been) so completely honest in all you say and do that when I read compliments from you, I feel very strong, strong indeed.
    I took today off but will be at it again in the morning, finishing it all up. I am wondering where I might find you later in the day so that I might ride out to meet you for the last few miles.

  5. I should add that Cait and Sim have given invaluable assistance to getting the place ready for Soj. It would not have been completed without them.

  6. Loving the holiday sweater :) First picture of Walter is fantastic!

  7. This is the greatest news!!! My heart leaped when I read that you will be home tomorrow. I feel overwhelmed by your accomplishments so I can only imagine how your family feels, as well as Walters.

    It will be sad to have your blog end not only because of the joy I get from reading of your adventures but all the blog family will be saying good-bye as well. You have quite a circle of characters following and commenting on your journey. I'm sad to think that I won't be reading the insights and dialogue from Tom, Megan, Doc, Bird, Jeni, Dan and all the others that have contributed their voice. I'm one of the fortunate to have the opportunity to come out and celebrate with you. I know all the others will be there in spirit, as well as some I will get to meet; Jeni, Dan, Steven, WALTER AND SOJ!! You might as well know ahead of time that I have a bit of a crush on your young man. He has been one the most amazingly supportive men I have ever seen. It is so heartwarming to have witnessed the relationship you two have developed. We have had the rare privilege of watching you open your heart and soul to each other.

    Can't wait to come out for the celebration. You will be settled and rested and won't feel so overwhelmed by all the commotion.

    Maybe Walter should ditch the sweater.... assuming one of your dumpster diving expeditions??? Goodness, maybe someone made it for him! Better leave it alone.

    See you in just a few days!!!

    Much, much love

  8. Mon 1 Mar to Sun 14 Nov -- 259 days or
    8 months 14 days. What a trip. I'm sorry I did not get to meet you as you rode.

    You even stopped in my home town of Duncan, Oklahoma, half way across the country, to look for a dog.

    I was thinking that IF I had seen you back in July, riding down the road on a horse in Oklahoma, it would not have been so strange or unusual of an occurrence that I would have given a second thought about why you were doing it. I would have just thought you were going to or returning from town or a friend's place.

    Today is my Dad's 80th birthday - I'm glad
    I looked at the page and saw the date. I didn't realize it was the 13th already. Got to
    go and make a phone call. Thanks...

    Way to ride!

  9. Hello to our Long Riders and Blog Family

    Nancy...I like that...and yes, we have become quite a blog family haven't we????

    I have Michael Buble's song "home" going through my head right now...

    Not really sure what to say...because there are alot of goodbyes and so longs going on. If I had the money -- I'd come to NH..

    You were here on the 19th of June...and I watched you walk that last 1.6 mile to our driveway and was full of joy when you three, Hand in Hand walked into our drive (adding another .2 miles for you...so you have done an additional .5 miles just in our driveway if you don't want to make it an even 3700! LOL)

    Have you told Andi Mills where you are and that you are almost home. She would be tickled to hear from you. I love the post you put up about her journey. I'd like everyone to re-read it (posted in Feb. 2009). She finished her ride before she went into total blindness. Right not, she is planning on riding her new horse...and perhaps on another long ride as an unsighted person. Anyway...

    Two years ago I heard about you standing the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.. I said..."WOW, that's cool..with her sister and a bicycle". I watched one postponement and a few changes and then launched on March 1st...we rode through military installments together in two different states (remember that).

    It takes me and has taken me weeks to process and understand the impact shorter stretches on a long ride (500). Yours is 8 times as large. Nancy you remember how long it took on the Camino? It took me a year to really get 'over it'... not like I ever want to..but you know what I mean. Anyway.. I'm rambling.

    Just sad to see any long rider disappear into the fabric of America after something like this and we hope you at least update us every once in awhile on your blog here... :)

    I guess we all hope that you three CONTINUE to do what you love and continue the adventure you are on in some way or another. I hope that you have more questions than answers than when you left...because truly ...life is about the questions more than anything else. And oh yah,,,,and someone to share it with too!

    Mucho affection to everyone...

    And WELCOME HOME tomorrow... Mark and I will be getting shoes this week for Sophie...and will be in Greenwood Louisiana before too long.. only 1100 miles to go to be "home" myself at my mom's house in Largo, Florida... :)

  10. Tetelestai!!!! Tetelestai!!!!

    I celebrate in jubilance with you, Sojourner, Walter and Linny! "Home" is where you hang your heart; I do believe you have hung your hearts all across this great nation and carried pieces of others along with you as you have arrived today.

    ~Donna Herto & Family

  11. Linny and Walter! Thank you so much for riding, for laughing, for writing and for shooting those breathtaking photos! I can't even wrap my mind around this trip you've made, it's too much right now. Hope to see you on the trails and behind the bar of the most beautiful cafe ever! Love ya! Juli Hooks

  12. By now you and Soj have found your way home. It was very emotional for me to have seen you flying up the road on Rte 5 near East Thetford. With the weather turning, I'm really glad you decided to push on and reach home with a sound horse and a longing to be there now rather than hold off. It will be just as exciting on the 20th...actually, it will give you time to digest and meet folks with maybe a little more comfort and rest. You're home and that's what counts. Soj and Walther played a huge part in accomplishing your adventure...I hope to see you on the 20th. Deb, just another long distance rider that appreciates what you've done for yourself.

  13. Home! I love it and I can't help the tears that are streaming down. Pure happiness for the three of you! We're so excited to see you on Saturday.

    Lots of love,
    Jamie, Marshall, Alex and Haley

  14. Linny, Walter, & Soj Have Arrived!!
    They made it home just before dark on Sunday. There is no internet service there at the house in Bath, but lots of pictures were taken, and Linny will post before long.Wendy was there to see Linny ride down the driveway, with Walter at her side, and her Dad manned the video camera.
    3700 miles in 8-1/2 months. Very few have, or could ever do what they have done..... and I am sure no one has ever done it quite like they have, with this amazing Blog the whole way, and with such an amazing group of followers too.
    Congratulations to Linny, Walter, and Sojourner for a job well done, and to all of You folks who helped and supported us along the way.
    Thanks for everything!!


  15. So glad to hear you are home! Congratulations Linny, Walter and Soj!! You three will always be an inspiration to me. Looking forward to pictures and videos. Wish we could be there! Hope you are staying warm and resting for now.

  16. Congratulations!!!! What an epic adventure. Amazing.

  17. Yay!!!! Congratulations on the most incredible journey. Thank you so much for your enlightening, entertaining, and wise words(and phenomenal photos) along the way. I can't wait to meet you all on Saturday!