This is the story of an old friend of mine.
I haven’t seen him in many years, but this guy has a heart as big as the moon.
I know people along his path will fall in love with him.
Easy travels Mark!
Brooklyn native Mark Weissenberg is on a quest across the state with a homemade, horse-drawn wagon and a Chihuahua to show how welcoming and generous Americans can be.
“We’re going to prove America is alive and well,” said Weissenberg.
The 66-year-old resident of Cleveland, Tenn., set out from his home on May 11 and is pointing his two-horse team toward Ocala, Fla., which he expects to reach in two months. Tired of people complaining about how bankrupt and corrupt the nation has become, he’s focused to show how truly rich Americans are, both in character and spirit.
On Wednesday he parked his wagon at a gas station at the intersection of Old Dalton Road and U.S. 27 to rest the horses and recharge his electronics before police offered a courtesy safety escort down the highway.
With no previous driving or horse-handling experience, he has pioneered his team through small towns and has befriended a wide variety of people along the way who have offered him farms to stay at, food to share and an open ear to trade stories. With the outpouring of support along his journey, he has spent $40 so far on traveling expenses.
He built his wagon in six months out of lightweight luan wood, Styrofoam and 2-by-4 planks, which he said add a “rustic look.” The entire rig weighs 3,500 pounds, cost $13,000 to construct and houses a small bed, a bookshelf and storage space.
He refers to his two black Percheron horses, named Susie and Clara-Jo, as “the girls” and purchased them for $7,000. The leather tack came with the deal.
A self-professed lover of cowboy films, Weissenberg smiled as he patted the “security” member of his team, a Chihuahua named Taco. The little dog was a gift from an old farmer he met along the way who told him the animal would keep him safe.
One of his goals is to show others how wondrous the U.S. can be and that thrill-seeking adventurers don’t have to travel to Europe to find captivating destinations. Captivating people and places can be found even one town over from where people live.
“It’s silly to travel to other countries because we have it here,” said Weissenberg.
Weissenberg has plans to catalog his travels through a website and is currently updating people through email. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.