By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
A Long Ride - Horseman Making Way Across The U.S.A.
Luke Nowlin and his horse "Geno" probably got more than a few glances as they rode through this area on Wednesday, Nov. 16. They have traveled a long way to get to the Central Valley; the pair started out in Emerald Isle, North Carolina about five months ago. Nowlin has traveled across the country on horseback, and is nearing his end destination of Eureka and made quite an impression locally, looking like something out of a Western movie.

"I want to encounter American people where they are in their lives," Nowlin said.

Geno and Nowlin rode through Riverbank and Escalon on their way to stay the night in Ripon. Nowlin stayed in Denair the day before, where he visited Gratton School. He has visited several schools in California to talk about his adventures across America and the people he meets. Nowlin stayed with Tim Holveck in Denair, who he met at a draft horse auction in Tulare. Holveck owns Rolling H Carriage Company in Denair, and offered to let Nowlin and his horse stay if they were ever in the area.

The 20-something from the East coast said his trip is really about the people he meets. Nowlin keeps all of his contacts in a journal and makes an effort to keep communicating with the strangers who opened their homes to him. He said that riding a horse cross-country is a great way to meet people.

"You can't meet people or see the things I've seen going 75 miles per hour. And if you pulled up to someone's house in a car and asked 'can I stay the night' what would they say? I do that all the time on horseback," Nowlin said.

Nowlin stayed in Ripon with Charley Evans before heading north again for Eureka. People have been opening their homes to Nowlin, a virtual stranger, all across America. His travels have taken him across the United States on a roundabout route. He roughly followed Interstate 40 from North Carolina to Barstow, where he turned north for Bakersfield. Nowlin's father met him in the desert with a horse trailer and two other horses to relieve Geno for the journey across the Mojave desert. Other than that short stretch, Nowlin has been riding mostly alone on his trip.

"I started out with a friend but he went home early. I've had a few people ride with me for a few hours or a day," he explained. "I've met a lot of people."

Nowlin described his journey across the country as "150 days of 150 people's lives." His goal is to meet the people who make the United States what it is. His trip is chronicled on his Facebook page, where new friends post photos of Nowlin and his horse as they travel through town.

To follow Nowlin and Geno's adventures, visit