An Oregon rancher who set off on a cross-country horseback ride seven months ago in search of what's good in America dismounted Sunday, feeling encouraged by the spirit and stories of the people he met.
Bill Inman began his journey June 2 because he felt distress over how the country was being portrayed in news coverage and on TV shows. He rode his 16-year-old thoroughbred-quarter horse Blackie.
His wife, Brenda, and a four-person support crew joined him on the trip through eight states.
Among the people he met was a Wyoming deputy sheriff who drove 25 miles through a thunderstorm to bring dinner to him and his wife, and all 17 people of a Colorado town who came out to see him ride off.
An Idaho state trooper paid him $20 for the chance to sit on Blackie, he said.
"Sometimes, I was more intrigued by the stories they were telling than the stories I was telling," Inman said.
Inman finished his trip riding into the southwestern North Carolina town under overcast skies. A crowd of more than 100 people greeted Inman at a motorcycle dealership as he ended the journey.
"I don't know if that's really sunk in yet. It may take me two or three days to think it's over," Inman said in a telephone interview.