A Big Adventure: 800 Mile Trek by Horse and Wagon
May 31, 2024
BY : Kenzie Pennington

North Dakota Bound. [Photo: submitted]


What started as an idea 8 years ago is now an epic journey: Scott and Chad Bryant, a determined father and son duo from St. John, North Dakota, along with their adventurous friend Matt Post, are embarking on an 800-mile trek. This isn’t a motorized journey, rather an ‘old-school’ mission by horse and wagon from Iowa to the Peace Garden State, ND.

Rip and Haze, 4-year-old Belgian Quarter Horses making memories. [Photo: submitted]

Setting off from Post’s home near Walker, Iowa on May 7th with their two, trusty 4-year-old Belgian Quarter Horses, Rip and Haze, this isn’t just a trip; it’s a quest to honor their close family members battling cancer.

Each day they start their journey around 8 am, traveling close to 25 miles a day, which is roughly seven hours. Along the way, a break around noon allows Rip and Haze to be unhooked and graze, ensuring the horses are well-rested and cared for.

If these two could talk. [Photo: submitted]

With no definite travel plan, Chad Bryant speeds ahead with a pickup and trailer carrying hay and water each day to find their next campsite. The generosity of strangers has shined brightly. People have opened their homes and hearts to the crew, offering them a place to stay for the night and warm meals to fuel their journey. One day a week is taken off to rest, recharge and visit with their new friends. A trip to a farrier is also needed on their journeys halfway mark to ensure their horses’ hooves are in good condition.

Springtime in the Midwest has also presented its challenges. Wind and rain have both slowed down their progress, but they continue to press on, with hopes of reaching Scott Bryant’s home near St. John, North Dakota by June 15.

Behind the wheel. [Photo: submitted]

Their wagon, equipped with a fridge, stove, microwave and bed has served as their mobile home. They have taken mostly gravel roads across the vast countryside. While it may not be the quickest, it provides a safer route for their horses and themselves.

With a lifetime of experience under his belt, Bryant’s connection to horses runs deep. He has been in a wagon behind horses for over 30 years. Bryant knew horses like Rip and Haze don’t come around very often. He took a chance on them, buying them from a friend in Canada, thinking they’d be the perfect pair for this trip. Both horses possess a strong, but gentle spirit.

Bryant and Post have stayed behind the reins of Rip and Haze, except for a short hiatus back to Iowa that Post made for his son’s graduation. Friends and family have also joined the wagon for short periods of time to experience the adventure and fun.

As they approach the end of their trip, all three teamsters reflect on the incredible experiences they’ve shared and the friendships they’ve made along the way that will last a lifetime. The generous donations they have received along the way will greatly benefit their aunt and cousin’s cancer fights.

Iowa to North Dakota. [Photo: submitted]

Completing an 800-mile trek by horse and wagon is no small feat-it’s a testament to the resilience, determination, and passion these men and their horses have. An accomplishment very few can say they’ve done.

Happy Trails! Follow their journey on Facebook: Scott & Matt’s big adventure.

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