Witten continues trek on horseback

Tom Witten

Tom Witten

A journey on horseback that began on Mother’s Day is continuing toward Colorado for a Garrison man.
Tom Witten’s goal is to raise awareness for the Wounded Warrior Project and leukemia during the 1,800 mile journey.
His trek began on May 8 when he headed toward Tennessee to get on the Trans-America Trail. He rode on Blaze, a 15-year-old mare, for more than 20 miles on Saturday and spent the day Sunday near Dexter, Missouri, where the team got a little rest.
“It’s a 5,200-mile trail,” Witten said. “it’s for off-road vehicles, horses, hikers, motorcycles, and four-wheelers. It’s all pretty rough terrain.”
Witten regularly posts video updates of his trek on You Tube and has established a GoFundMe account to raise money for his expenses and his causes.
He hopes to reach his destination in Durango, Colorado, in September.
Witten had planned for the trip for many years and had planned to make it riding alongside his son, Jack Witten, who had leukemia.
His son perished as the result of a four-wheeler accident last year in Wyoming.
“He was wanting to go do this trip with me and got killed last year, Witten said of his son. “That’s why I’m doing it in honor of him.”
Witten’s girlfriend, Willa Green, is traveling along in an auto and is carrying his needed supplies with her. He had started with a pack horse, Coco, but earlier in the trip the horse was having some problems with traveling.
“I know a lot of people who are vets,” he said. “I also know a lot who have leukemia. I am riding for them.”
Witten said he rode Blaze about 100 miles a week in preparation for the trip.
“I needed to get Blaze used to it and me used to it,” he said. “I wanted us both to build up stamina and be ready. I knew it wouldn’t be easy.”
He has encountered plenty of nice and hospitable folks along the way and has seen some great beauty.
“I’ve seen some of the most beautiful sights you’d ever want to see,” he said.
“There have been a lot of nice people, too. They’ve helped me get supplies for my horse and helped me with money,” he added.
He said one of those generous people gave him a bag of feed, some hay and some cash.
He determines how far he’ll go each day depending on several variables, including the weather.
“I thought about this a long time,” Witten said before starting the trip.
“These were the two causes that resonated most with me. I have a friend who visits the Veteran’s Hospital, and he’s told me stories. You wouldn’t believe how veterans are treated. So I thought this was something I could talk to people about. And, I thought about the leukemia because of how much suffering it causes in people, especially children.”
“This has been on my mind for a long time. There was a lot of doubt at times, people didn’t think I’d get to do it, but I’m going.”
To make a contribution toward Witten’s $40,000 goal for his causes, or to help with his expenses on the trek, go to www.gofundme.com/26g3vpg4.
To follow along with updates from the trail, search “Tom Witten” on YouTube.

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