Read: The Last Ride of the Pony Express

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Everyone seems to think I read a lot, but in my estimation I’m not that uncommon. I just choose to read while others choose to watch TV, surf the web or sit around doing terrible things to their dog with a fork. But even after reading what I do, it’s rare that I read a book written by someone I actually know, but in the case of Will Grant, I do know him. He’s our neighbor, and “The Last Ride of the Pony Express,” is the day-by-day detailing of his epic 2,000 mile horseback journey across the Old West.

Spending much of my year in a van, I can say with authority that traveling the Old West can be your best day or your worst.

But when in doubt, the gas pedal is there to extricate you from the dangers of a roadside bathroom or campground crackhead. These are equally dangerous experiences but having the safety of a metallic, gas-powered room means you can typically get away. Travel by horse and you best be ready to endure. And Grant does just that. Weather, animals, snakes and even an encounter with a blizzard of ticks.

The frontier was closed long ago but trace elements of the Old West remain. The residue of what once was, clung to like rock face as the eddy creeps up your calves. Handling a horse requires care, luck, and a sense that develops when you bond with an animal. From Missouri to California, Grant makes his way across at 3mph. With the help and assistance of ranchers, farmers and random strangers, Grant proves the world is a small place, unless you are on horseback.

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