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...

Puffing on...


Sojourner was like a train today with puffs of frosty white air coming out of his nostrils with every exhalation. I snuggled my head into my coat so the hot air I exhaled would warm my cold face.

We found some trails through the woods that were absolutely beautiful, but I had to put on my "please don't shoot me" hat.

Back in Magdalena, NM, a man named Bill brought me some hand warmers. It was so cold then, too, but I wanted to save them knowing we would hit possibly colder weather on this end. I used them today. They were wonderful.

Walter just made me laugh. He stopped what he was doing (he's on the computer next to me) and said, "I'm going to have to go and get the fingernail clippers out of the truck. My fingernails are making me crazy."

His fingernails have grown just a tiny little bit (the tiniest of little bits) past the fleshy part of his finger. There is a very thin line of white nail.

"This is too long for me. I can feel them."

The thing is, his toiletry bag is buried somewhere in the great dark abyss which is the back of our truck.

"Can't you just bite them off then?", I asked.

"No", he shook his head definitively, "No, I can't do that."

We are in a cozy room at The Stone Hearth Inn in Chester, Vermont. Sojourner is right next store in a massive stall that he can roll and frolic in. We were even able to give him a warm water bath when we got in today which he desperately needed. He likes to spread out when he sleeps and his body was a wee bit poo-stained all the way up to his eye balls. Now he is a big white ball of fluff with his new winter coat growing in.

I have a red wine recommendation for you. It's called Chemin des Papes from Cotes du Rhone in France. The year is 2008. Sheldon, who owns this Inn, gifted us this bottle of wine and Walter and I have been enjoying it slowly throughout the evening. It's delicious.

I was able to buy some sushi rice at a health food store today. Sushi is so expensive but oh so delicious so I've decided I'm just going to learn how to make it myself. Now that we are getting closer to home I can start thinking about things like this! Anyway, I have to recommend this organic store/cafe/artist gallery as well. It's called Moon Dog Cafe and it's here in Chester.

Tomorrow we ride to Weathersfield, Vermont. I've heard it is supposed to get a bit warmer as the week moves on. I'm thrilled about this because I've been pretty frigid. We took a rest day yesterday because we woke up to freezing rain which later turned to snow.

We only have 5 riding days left. I remember day dreaming about these days so long ago and now here we are in it. Sojourner is the strongest he's ever been, we're the strongest we've ever been (although I could eat better...back to being a vegetarian soon), and we all feel great, but also so ready to have our own home again. There is no question that we all need about 5 days of solid sleep. I can't wait to let Soj free in his huge pasture behind our house. We can sit out on the back porch and watch him gallop around as he loves to do.

The question is....

What can we get him for a buddy that isn't another horse?? I want something out there with him, but I don't know what. We're just not in a position to get another horse just yet. Soon, I hope, but not yet. We don't even know if we are staying on the East Coast or heading back West yet. In the meantime...he needs a fuzzy friend that is a wee bit smaller. Suggestions?

I want a fuzzy creature that makes paw prints like this, but Soj could care less about these...


  1. How about a goat? They are social and will eat just about anything. Just make sure it's not a billy. Too stinky. Additional benefit is the milk and all the cheese you could make. Milking is easy and you have to get up early to feed Soj anyway. We had milking goats when Paul and I first married and I can still recall burrowing my face into the goat's side as I milked her; warm, soft and fragrant. They have incredible personalities and love to be around other animals. If you get a white one, Soj might think it's a small pony to play with.

    You are getting sooooo close. Won't be long and it looks like fairly good weather for the next few days. Stay warm anyway you can.... hot water bottles, extra hats, scarves, anything that brings comfort and warmth.

    Love you

  2. Linny, Wow!5 riding days! I've been worried about you with the weather. A goat makes a wonderful companion for a horse; they bond well, especially a milk goat; then you could have milk, cheese and yogurt. Great! I had suspected you were a vegetarian, and we stuffed you full of good TX beef and you never said a thing! Ha! Roberta is struggling some with her lupus. I'm ok. I'm 18 chapters into book #6! Have either of you had time to look at the two I gave you? I rather suspect not. They are lost somewhere in the truck! LOL. Think of you and Walter often, check blog daily.
    Love to All,
    Steve "Doc" Turner

  3. I'm with Doc and Nancy... a goat is perfect and rather easily rehomed if you decide to relocate in a hurry. They eat everything and are great horse company. 5 riding days and that's it? What are we all going to do without you being on your blog sweetie. This is a bittersweet end for all of us.. but not like it is for you though. WOW.. those dreams of warm bed and New Hampshire are within site over the unattainable horizon. You have kept the fire burning... Love you three... still an inspiration to the end my friends.. XOX.. Mark and I both send our love!

  4. I immediately thought of suggesting a goat and see that three others did already! It looks like a goat is going to be the choice. They're so cool, too.

    Wow, just five days left. It must seem a bit surreal to you.

    I love that hat!!!! :)

  5. I would vote goat too. The only down fall is that they can be escape artists! Goats also prefer scrub brush and weeds to grass. For these reasons a sheep might be a better choice.

  6. By the way I have seen many of listings for free ponies/horses in the VT Craigslist! Even a few goats from time to time. The VT listings seem to be better than the NH listings for animals.

  7. I may be able to loan you a pony for a while if you check with my step-daughter. I bet there are a lot of critters around here you could "borrow" for a while until you figure things out.

    It's a beautiful day out there today, I can almost hear you coming!

  8. Another vote for a goat. Fainting goats are really easy to keep in. They don't jump or climb. LaManchas are the most fun and are a dairy breed, but like most goats, they are escape artists. LaManchas will even go for walks with you and cross some water. They are very compatible with horses. Goats do prefer weeds, thorny stuff, trees, and anything other than what you want them to eat.

    I can't believe you are almost home. I met you almost at your halfway point and thought you had come further than I could imagine and now you have doubled that distance. I am going to miss your blog so much!

    You, Soj, and Walter are all amazing individuals and an even more amazing team.

  9. How about a mini donkey? We are thinking of getting one. They are completely adorable and don't have that goat odor...sorry goat lovers!

    5 days left until the next chapter in your lives. 5 days! Love to you!

  10. Hmmm...I was thinking about a female goat, too, but I also really want chickens at some point and mini-donkeys are supposed to be good for keeping predators away. Plus, they are pretty cute!! Goats are too, though...I love goats (the lady version).

    I will look in the Vermont listings then!!

    Thank you!!!

  11. Hmmm... goats and sheep and donkeys... Well, guess I better put several strands of wire on that fence...

    I will miss the blog, too.

  12. Linny,from the time I heard about you til the the time I laid eyes on you riding up Rte 5 near East Thetford, I felt this surge of emotion...the moment was real when you came into view. I will never ever forget the feeling, your hair bouncing with every trot Soj took and the emotion that carried me away. I ride a lot of miles competing in distance riding so I understand the bond. I'm a little drained from reading this chapter's final phase. I know you'll go on to others but you have touched my heart. From the minute I met the three of you, I felt a knowing, a familiar feeling, I guess horses do that to me. You are a very incredible woman as well as the talent of your other two companions hold. Your stepdad, Stephen was there every step of the way and I think I, too, got a message from him almost every day for the past week and a half while you were in my area. Words just are had to come by right now for me as well. Incredible journey. Every day is an adventure...remember that. Build on those happy memories. Hope to see you on the 20th. A book and a movie are in order!