On an epic 3,000-mile journey through the most pristine backcountry of the American West, four friends rode horseback across an almost contiguous stretch of unspoiled public lands, border to border, from Mexico to Canada.
For their trail horses, they adopted wild mustangs from the US Bureau of Land Management, which were perfectly adapted to the rocky terrain and harsh conditions of desert and mountain travel. Chosen to inspire more adoptions from the 50,000 mustangs and burros in holding facilities across the United States and to call attention to the necessity of properly managing horse populations on the range, these animals became their riders' transport, nemeses, and eventual trusted companions as men and mustangs traversed the immense landscapes of Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.
A meticulously planned but sometimes unpredictable route brought them face to face with snowpack, downpours, and wildfire; unrelenting heat, raging rivers, and sheer cliffs; jumping cactus, rattlesnakes, and charging bull moose; sickness, injury, and death. But they also experienced a special camaraderie with each other and with the mustangs, the magnificent natural scenery of the nation's ensuring wilderness, and some of the best fly-fishing in the world.
Through it all, they had a constant traveling companion, a cameraman. With the help of mustang and "camera horse" Luke, a film crew shared and captured the adventure from beginning to end, good times and bad, while shooting for the documentary film Unbranded. The trip's inspiration and architect is joined here by several of his companions, including the other three riders, Ben Thamer, Thomas Glover, and Jonny Fitzsimons; two memorable teachers and horse trainers; and the film's producers and intrepid cameramen in the telling of this improbable story of adventure and self-discovery.
Hardcover, 188 pages
Interested in adopting a mustang? Visit our friends at the Mustang Heritage Foundation.
Learn more about the journey to save and adopt mustangs starting with 2008 Hall of Fame Honoree Velma B. Johnston here.