The Almanac - 1998_04_08.cowboy.html

Issue date: April 08, 1998

Cross-country cowboy makes it to coast

New friends accompany Ray Piecuch and Bo on trip to Baker Beach

By SUSAN DITZ

Last Sunday afternoon, a cowboy from Epping, New Hampshire, proved that dreams can come true if you put in the hours. Escorted by members of the Woodside Mounted Patrol, the San Francisco Horseman's Association, the San Francisco Mounted Police, and his new best friend Keith Simon of Woodside, Ray Piecuch and his horse Bo finally reached the Pacific ocean at Baker Beach and saw the Golden Gate Bridge.

It was the culmination of a cross-country trip for Mr. Piecuch and Bo that began 352 days and more than 3,500 sometimes arduous miles ago.

"There wasn't a dry eye in the saddle when Ray rode onto Baker Beach," said Mr. Simon, who met Mr. Piecuch two weeks ago on El Camino Real, and invited him and Bo to rest in Woodside before the final leg of the cross-country journey.

On Sunday, nearly 100 people from the Peninsula and San Francisco gathered to greet the pair. Mr. Piecuch covered the remaining 37 miles of his journey, from Woodside to San Francisco, in two legs. He set out Saturday morning with about 25 riders from Woodside, including Anne Dickey Schobel and Cathy Quist-Brisbane. Anne's brother Mark and wife Pam Roberts have been stabling Bo since he arrived in Woodside. Before leaving from Buck's restaurant, Mr. Piecuch was greeted by Town Councilman Bill McSherry and former mayor Jeanne Dickey.

The second leg began early Sunday morning in Pacifica with Mr. Simon and Mounted Patrol members Don Pugh, Lex Hobson, Archie Coley and Scott Heatley. They were joined by communications consultant Lori Evans of San Carlos, a friend of Mr. Simon's who helped coordinate the cellular phone interviews Mr. Piecuch did with the media as he rode along Skyline toward San Francisco.

The riders were inspired by the experience. They loudly cheered his accomplishment and tipped their hats to his courage.

"He just had this faith that everything would work out on this trip," Mr. Pugh said. "I guess it did."

They also found considerable amusement in the irony that Mr. Piecuch had a brush with the law when he first arrived in Woodside and it resulted (with a little help from Mr. Simon) in being honored with a police escort to his final destination.

As the champagne flowed and Bo munched on a special cake of rolled oats, Mr. Piecuch recited one of his cowboy poems, thanked all the people who had helped make the last few weeks so gratifying, and then told the crowd, "Take your dreams out of the closet and go live them."




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