How HTCAA Members helped Members in Need

By Sonya Morrissett
(Shared from our November 2017 Issue)


The leaves begin to change their colors; a chill is carried on the breeze as this causes us all to think of upcoming holidays and reflect on what we have to be thankful for. Let me tell you a story, our story...

October 1, 2015, we started on an epic journey that continues today... Our household items were carefully packed and in storage. We loaded two horses into the trailer and pulled away, never looking back.


By October 10, 2015, the baby of the family got married and we survived all while living in the Horse Trailer! Yes!  Our first major success as full time campers.

The Holidays came and went, then we rolled those wheels down the pavement to officially become snowbirds in Arizona. Apache Junction, home of the Superstition Mountains to be exact. What fun! Riding horses in the desert during the day, eating delicious southwestern food and dancing at night...


Sounds fabulous, right? Don’t judge to quick.

On January 19th, 2016, the winter turned unexpectedly harsh. My husband, James, rushed me to the local emergency room where I was diagnosed with Diverticulitis. Four days later, I was back at camp, feeling well and thankful that was behind me.


But, not so quick....


This diagnosis led to multiple hospital stays with the last admission on April 4th, 2016, resulting in a surgery to remove my entire Sigmoid Colon. That’s about 12 inches more or less.


On April the 11th, once again, I returned to camp only to find that most all our winter neighbors had returned home for the spring. So, James and I waited it out alone, gearing up for the trip east as soon as I was well enough to travel. 


Because we had traveled west with friends from Tennessee, they ultimately had to return home without us. Which meant we had to make new plans for the trip back to Tennessee...  

On April 19, 2015, the surgeon released me to safely travel and with that, my husband loaded the trailer and hooked up the truck. I climbed into the bed (yes, I rode in the bed of our home on wheels, as I could only sit upright 30 minutes to an hour without too much discomfort). 



You may be asking at this point “what does this have to do with being thankful?”  It has everything thing to do with YOU! The Facebook Members of HTCAA and now subscribers of the Trail Journal…


After a couple hours, with no definite destination in mind, we decided to look for a place to overnight. I IMMEDIATELY took to Facebook and the HTCAA group (Horse Trails & Camping Across America) asking this specific question, “Ok guys, we are on the road, going to try and travel 350-400 miles which puts us at this city and state, what ya got??”


Help and suggestions poured in like a flood! Daily, I asked this question and daily YOU answered our needs. 


From the beautiful, steep, curvy White Mountains of Arizona, across New Mexico, where we stayed with Indians at a quaint little place on the side of the road, thru the wide open plains of Texas where we witnessed fire rainbows dancing across the prairie…


And where James nearly left me on the side of the road. Literally!

It’s a comical side story!  He called me on my cell phone, (I was in the bed, remember?) and told me I must take pictures of the rainbows. Within a few seconds later the truck rolled to a stop.

I guessed he was going to let me get up front and watch the storms a while... so after gathering up my pillow, camera, phone and such, I was stepping out of the trailer. It’s a long step down, especially after major abdominal surgery, when suddenly…


The dadgum truck started moving!!! Mylanta!!!


I flung myself backwards onto the floor of the trailer, took some time to decide I wasn’t going to die and called James...  threatening to kill him if he ever let me out of the back!!


James didn’t seem very concerned, stating “A trucker would have eventually stopped and given you a ride!” He did, however hesitantly stop and let me ride up in the truck a ways...


It was awful painful but hilarious now!


We journeyed on down the horrific interstate of Arkansas, overnighting at a magnificent Quarter Horse breeding farm, that led us straight into the Volunteer state of our home, Tennessee. 

All credit, again to YOU! You will never know the significant impact you made on our lives. Forever, we will be thankful!  Life the last 2 years has been full, with blessings and hardships at times. But together we have survived! 


Until our trails cross, be blessed y’all! -Sonya

Sonya says “My husband and I are blessed to be full time horse campers. On the road since October 1, 2015.” They have served as camp hosts in Tennessee and South Dakota. And they’ve wintered in Arizona twice. Sonya said “We met the most amazing people largely in part to HTCAA. We love God, each other, our families, friends, our country and our horses! We give thanks daily and pray to be a blessing to others!”


James & Sonya Morrissett are now the camphosts of French Creek Horse Camp in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota, surrounded by Custer State Park. It's a "Water Trough" must for sure! (*Bucket Lists aren't big enough for HTCAA Members!)


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