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It's not every day that you see a cowboy on horseback in the middle of New York City. But it is something Johnny Warnshuis dreamed of for a long time on the open trail.
"It's taken me a year and a half to get to New York," Warnshuis said.
That's because he traveled all 44,000 miles on horseback. He saddled up in California March of 2011 and rode into the Big Apple on November 15th, 2012. He did it all to raise awareness for Guillain Barre, a disease that affects the nervous system that left his own mother temporarily paralyzed.
"It's pretty expensive treatment," Warnshuis said. "The therapy to get [her] to walk again took a year and a half and we spent all our money. I decided to ride across country and raise awareness for it."
And that chilly day in November, he didn't just reach his destination, he also took his mom along for the ride.
"I cried," Sally Warnshuis said as she stood next to her soon in downtown Nashville. "All the time I was paralyzed he kept promising me he'd get me back on a horse and he did. So that was just awesome."
But the journey wasn't just long, it was also dangerous. While riding through Harrisburg, Pennsylvania one of his horses reared back, and landed on top of him, shattering his ankle.
"After he rolled off of my leg I could see the bottom of my shoe," Warnshuis said. "I knew that wasn't normal."
It took 15 screws to put his ankle back together. The injury kept him off the horse for six weeks.
"It was devastating to think 'I'm so close yet so far away,'" Warnshuis said.
But with the help of strangers along the way, he eventually made it to New York, with a healthy mom, and new outlook on life.
"I learned more about humanity on this trip than I did about just riding a horse," Warnshuis said. "It brought back my faith in humanity for sure."
Along the way, Warnshuis stopped at St. Jude Children's Hospital and worked with several non-profits organizations. He hopes to pursue a future in charity work and plans write a book about his journey, to be released in the spring of 2013.
Thursday, December 6 2012, 10:16 PM CST
Houston brother will be his own attorney in court
June 18, 2013 13:02 GMT
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Roane County man will face federal gun violation charges next month without an attorney.
The Knoxville News Sentinel (http://bit.ly/17VlXpM ) reported Rocky Joe Houston will represent himself on a charge of possession of a gun by a felon.
The charge came after Houston earlier represented himself in state court on charges stemming from a police chase. He was convicted of evading arrest and reckless endangerment.
Houston and his brother, Leon Houston, were tried, but not convicted, in the 2006 shooting deaths of a Roane County deputy and his ride-along companion.
In federal court, Rocky Joe Houston is claiming the officer who charged him with the felony had no legal authority.
Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, http://www.knoxnews.com
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