Let me introduce my book, it is in French and sadly has not been translated...
Faithful to my childhood dreams, I left my family and my beloved Brittany with the goal of becoming a wandering adventure. Having traveled to Canada, I needed a project that would match my dreams, an initiation journey that would forever propel me into the world of adventurers and would give me the courage to continue along my chosen path : traveling. At 20, I knew I had to forge my character, strengthen my will, conquer my fears, learn courage.
Meeting Chantal was a sign of destiny. And an exceptional destiny calls for an exceptional project : we decided to travel in a tradional horse-drawn wagon. This is a way of recreating some of America's history, but it would also put us to the test, since neither of us knew a thing about horses...
Everything seemed to conspire against us, however. We didn't know the country, barely spoke English, were completely ignorant about horses, and did not have any money ! The ten months we spent preparing for the journey proved a good school, mercilessly toughening the young women we were and developing our combativeness without taking away the innocence of those who dream greatly. In the process, an iron-clad friendship would be born as two naive girls, city-dwellers and foreigners, became two fierce wills that overcame every obstacles.
We both discovered America with all its diversity while learning to love, care for, and treat a magnificent Percheron mare name Hija, who would become our pride and joy. We ignored the sarcasm of stable owners who made fun of the two little French urbanites... Driving a dozen miles a day, we covered more than 2000 miles of roads, and trails between Montreal and Dallas. We also risked catastrophes, struggled with cars and trucks, and literally fought a one-ton horse who was much too young and willful for the trip.
In exchange, we would generate an extraordinary chain of friendship, earn the admiration of the wildest of horsemen, and would be literally ''adopted'' by many number of families along the way. We discovered America mile by mile, in depth. And we learned to back each other up in overcoming daily obstacles, wether in the form of a bridge, a train, a ferry, or just a piece of paper unexpectedly flying in front of the horse's eyes. People were astonished at our apparent fragility, our youth and our European background, all of which seemed in contradiction to our adventure. We learned a great deal about the USA, but also left an unforgettable mark in many households in the American countryside.
For me, this trip was the Open Sesame that permanently launched me through a doorway to adventure, which would lead me to Brazil for another horseback journey, then onto the Ocean at the helm of a sailboat. Chantal would choose a quieter path and returned to France.