West Virginia

n September 19th, I rode 27 miles in the rain and crossed the Ohio River at Parkersburg, West Virginia.

Fall had descended upon the Appalachian Mountains and the trees were beginning to change color. The sassafras, apple, and paw paw, the cool clear air and cool clean water stimulated all my senses–touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. Everything was in razor- sharp focus.

On October 5th I rode through Grafton and actually completed my ride that day just beyond the Four Corners restaurant. Two months before, a young lady named Claudia Von Ostwalden and her horse, Max, were traveling west along this same stretch when they were struck by a truck. Claudia was uninjured, but the horse could not go on. This horse and rider team was attempting to set a record by crossing the United States on horseback.

I found out later that the young lady was, in fact, trying to race us across the United States. From what I understand, she had left the East Coast soon after we left the West Coast. I estimated by her pace that she rode 350 miles during the same time period we covered 1100 miles.