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By Keith Moore
River Pilot passed through the Ava area Tuesday, and he was neither swimming nor flying. He was on horseback.
With a name like River Pilot one could not hold just any run-of-the-mill, mundane job title.
River is a tour guide and a software developer for Garmin GPS systems, and what better place to test global positioning systems than the rural hills of southern Missouri.
When he passed through Ava he had left Halltown five days earlier, riding one horse and leading another. Every couple of days he switches off to give each of the Paint mares a break.
We got word that River was making his way through the area, and when we caught up with him on West Highway 14 he was enjoying a turkey and cheese sandwich that Kay Johnson made for him.
He had stopped off at the Johnson place to water his horses before moving on to Ava where he would take a break at Wal-Mart.
The stop at Harlin and Kay Johnson’s was not a scheduled stop, and he didn’t expect to get a sandwich there. But he said that is what makes traveling in the Ozarks so special.
The trek through the Ozarks is one leg of an 800 mile journey that will take him to Atlanta where he will meet up with friends, then will continue on to Florida. Once they reach Florida, he will trade the horses for a motorcycle and will ride to San Diego.
This ride is no new venture for River. In 2009 he rode across Australia for charity.