Craig Day, News On 6
GROVE, Oklahoma -- After some much needed rest at home, an Oklahoman traveling across the country on horseback will resume his journey Thursday.
Luke Nowlin is going through Vinita, Nowata, Bartlesville and Pawhuska over the next few days.
He's riding a horse nearly 4,000 miles, from sea to shining sea, to rediscover what makes America great.
Nowlin and his horse Pirate are winding their way through the Ozarks in Missouri, 1,400 miles in the saddle so far.
His journey began June 8th in Emerald Isle, North Carolina. He's almost halfway to the Pacific, where he'll end his adventure.
"I'm not looking for a vacation, I'm looking for an encounter," he said.
His mission is to encounter all different kinds of people, from all walks of life.
"Good people, good qualities, excellent cooks," Nowlin said.
He calls it "in Search of America."
"In today's society it's easy to lose hope and lose faith in people, in our neighbors and really in our country," he said.
So Nowlin is searching to find what's great about America. To meet people one on one.
"We never have the opportunities to meet the people, or to witness them, or build relationships with them, if we don't ever get out of our own home, if we don't get out of our comfort zone," he said.
Hour after hour on the back of a horse has a way of taking you out of any comfort zone. Nowlin says every day isn't easy, but every day is different and every day is an opportunity to connect.
"I spent the night in people's homes, and I eat at their dinner table, so I'm meeting them where they are," Nowlin said.
There's a lot of great scenery along the way, but there isn't an agenda, no set schedule, and no guarantee of what the day will bring.
"Someone would just drive up and say you're not from around here, do you need a place to stay, just like that. Who says that kind of thing right? I think that was a God thing," he said.
Nowlin shares his faith with the people he meets and spreads the gospel of friendliness.
"A lifestyle where we look for opportunities where we can give to other people," he said.
He found many people are tired of things like political bickering and violence, but he also learned things aren't as bad as they sometimes seem.
"People say well there are still some good people out there. That's not true. There are still mostly good people out there. It's not some," said Luke Nowlin, who is going cross country on horseback.
With 2,000 more miles in the saddle yet to go, he'll meet more of those good people. But first, the 24-year-old Oklahoman is almost home. After a few days of rest, he'll be in search of America once again.