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Horse-and-wagon trek raising awareness of childhood hunger

Late on Saturday afternoon, Angela Wood steered her horses and wagon off Pisgah Covered Bridge Road just west of Denton. When she ended her 81st day of travel and totaled 813 miles, Wood took time to talk about how she ended up on the road with her horses, Buck and Renegade, and her dog, Schatzie, with a giant adventure in front of her. Wood has been on the road since Aug. 2, starting in Liberty, Kentucky, and heading east. After a visit to Sunset Beach in North Carolina, she is now headed west. Wood said, “If all goes right, I will end up in Washington. It’s up to God.”

A truck driver for 30 years, Wood is from Idaho and lived 20 years in Georgia and three in Kentucky. She had thought about a cross-country trek since she was 11, old but kept putting it off. As an adult, a repetitive dream kept coming, one that showed a wagon with a reference to hungry children on it. Wood said, “When I would let the idea cool off or start doubting for a while, the dream would come back again. Finally, God told me to trust Him. I said I would, so I quit my job and started three years of planning.”

Hungry children mean a lot to Wood. Her daughter-in-law is disabled and doesn’t have enough money for her treatment and daily expenses that include food for her kids. Wood said, “She can’t work and there is just not enough money to go around. I remember seeing a young mother with three kids holding a sign that said, ‘Please feed my kids but don’t worry about me.’ I have seen lots of kids begging in the streets of the big cities. I want to do something. I’ve got to.”

Wood had horses, but she didn’t have a wagon. Wagons of the type that she wanted cost between $6,000 and $35,000, way too much for Wood’s budget. Wood remembers a day in Liberty when a man that she didn’t know told her to go talk to a certain wagon builder. Wood approached Noah Slabough, told him that she only had $3,000 for the wagon and asked if he would build it. Wood said, “I needed a 4 foot by 8 foot wagon, pullable by one horse. Slabough talked to her about specifics and then agreed to build the wagon. God has done this over and over. When I needed something, He was there and He continues to be.”

The wagon is special. It has safety lights powered by a marine battery that has to be recharged about once a week. Wood hauls her own supplies, feed for the horses and her Chihuahua Schatzie, plus she has room to sleep. Two sleeping bags have kept Wood comfortable so far and the battery has proven adequate to also power her phone and provide nighttime light for reading. Wood loves to read, especially anything about history. She said, “I am a real history buff and have planned a few cities on my must-see list. Dodge City is one. Imagine riding through the town in this.”

While not soliciting donations, Wood encourages anyone interested to contact www.nokidhungry.org . People stop to visit and offer money or supplies. Wood asks, “For the kids or for the horses? Renegade, a 16-year-old American Paint Horse, and Buck, a 9-year-old American Quarter Horse and hunger survivor himself, eat about 20 pounds of feed a day and they need dental work. I send a weekly donation to nokidhungry.org. I am not raising money, I am raising awareness. No kids in our country should go hungry.”

Wood plans to head west into the winter months but will largely stay south of Interstate 40 where the weather will tend to be more moderate. She said, “People ask me all the time if I am afraid. I am not. People out here are good. If my horses and dog are fine, I will be too. I’ve seen 48 states by truck, but now I am really seeing America.”

Look for Wood and the “Childhood Hunger American Trek” wagon Monday on Bringle Ferry Road, Goodman Lake and Union Church roads.

Follow her trek at https://challenge-america-equine-trek.com .   

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