All of Sam's family had gathered from all parts of the country to join with local friends to give Sam a great send-off. The pastor from the Cowboy Church provided the blessing
and then Sam began packing up, and attaching the horses "hiking boots", in lieu of horseshoes
These will give the horses better protection on gravel and such. The packs went on next:
Then it was time to head out! He had a police escort and many friends who accompanied him to a local park and then he headed out solo from there
Sam anticipates that his horses can travel about 5 mph, so he's hoping to finish this trip by late August, but so far it's taking him a little longer than he thought. If you want to follow Sam's journey you can do so on his Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/onenationride He's already met some great folks who have extended hospitality to him and he hopes to really experience the heartbeat of the melting pot of our country through its people.
I was so impressed with the warmth, big-heartedness and generosity of Sam's friends in Milton-Freewater. Rural America often gets a bad rap, being characterized as backwards and small-minded. What I experienced were people who love each other, love their country, love God and are a little less distracted by pursuing the almighty dollar than their city-bred counterparts! I'm so glad we made the effort to be a part of this adventure! There's more to come, so stay tuned!