Thursday, April 10, 2014

There and Back Again...

We spent my spring break making a circuitous route through parts of Oregon and Washington, visiting Jessi and Josh, working in her classroom and then venturing on to Milton-Freewater, OR, to participate in the send-off of Josh's Dad, Sam.  Sam is embarking on a 4-months+ long journey on horseback to the Atlantic Ocean, carrying both the American flag and his message about the Declaration of Independence and its implications for the future of America.  He's been preparing for this for over a year, and last Saturday was the departure date.  He's been training the two horses which he is using, one to ride, one to carry the special pack that he and a master saddle maker designed which is carrying his laptop, other electronic equipment and the solar panel which will power it all and, of course, his shelter, food, etc.  

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,  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!

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