Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Long Ride

Ever ridden a bike for a really long time? Even if you're a serious cyclist, your butt probably still gets sore. For most of us, it's hard to walk after. That feeling is multiplied on a horse, as, unlike a bike, a horse has a mind of its own, and controlling it takes a lot more work. Now imagine riding a horse across the United States.

Late 1980s, and Rainforest Crunch (a Ben and Jerry's ice cream flavor for you youngsters out there) was emblematic of people's attention to and concern about the environmental degradation that was happening around the world. People were grasping at straws, unsure what could be done.

The Long Ride

Lucian Spataro Jr. decided to do something about it. He saddled up 3 Arabian horses, and set out on a coast-to-coast horseback ride to set a record and direct peoples' attention to the plight of the rainforest. Riding through small towns and small cities, Spataro and his team met and talked to people from all walks of life, answering their questions and working to bring awareness of the destruction of nature that was happening (and continues still).

Starting in Huntington Beach (my hometown!), across the country to Chesapeake Beach, the statistics on this journey are staggering. 150 days, 2,963 miles, across 13 states and the District of Columbia. Three horses, 67 permits, 1 rider. What a feat of endurance!

With missionary zeal and humor as well, Spataro recounts the journey, some 20 year later now, to remind us of what happened then and is still happening now. His love of horses, as well as the environment, shine through both the writing and the numerous photos. The Long Ride (Scottsdale, AZ: Green Rider, 2011) is a book about an effort that I did not know about and one that deserves to be shared.

More information can be found on The Long Ride website.

(Disclaimer: I was sent this book for free to review on my blog.  I did not pay for the item, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)

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