The Long Walk: Cross-Country with Her Horse
As the economic turmoil has played out in the lives of ordinary Americans, many face a long, difficult road ahead.
Few, though, face a journey quite like Ann Byrns of Pelham, Massachusetts. She’s walking across the country with her horse.
Ann’s small shipping business fell victim to the recession and took her life savings with it. After bankruptcy, she was left with a small pension and her three-year-old Mustang, Winnie.
With no home, no job and doubts about her prospects for employment, Ann accepted an offer from her grown children to stay at their home in California. It left her with a difficult choice. Ann couldn’t afford to transport Winnie cross-country by truck and couldn’t bear to leave her behind. She decided she and Winnie would walk.
The pair set out at the beginning of June and planned to reach California in about a year. We caught up with them in New Jersey, just before they crossed into Pennsylvania. In this story, Ann explains how she came to undertake the epic trip and why she couldn’t bear to leave Winnie behind.
Update: Just as we posted this story, we learned Winnie may have developed an injury that threatens to delay the trip. Ann is still in the process of determining what’s wrong, but we hope Winnie will be OK and able to press on when she feels better. However the two arrive in California, their endeavor is inspiring. You can follow their updates on their website, WalkingWithWinnie.com.
Update 2: Winnie’s difficulties continued though July. She and Ann began hitching rides with generous horse trailer owners to make their way to Ohio, where Winnie was evaluated by specialists. They’ll see another vet at Ohio state, but their trip across America will likely not continue on foot. Friends have raised money to help Ann and Winnie travel to their family’s home in California by trailer. We’ll keep following them at WalkingWithWinnie.com, keep wishing them a safe and happy journey and continue to be inspired by their story.