Couple's month-long cowboy road trip for a cause

PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - By Morgan Chesky - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

PALESTINE, TX (KLTV) - It is a month-long road trip across the state of Texas, and an East Texas couple is doing it all from the back of a horse. We caught up with the riders on day two of their trek.

The Jacksonville husband and wife say it's not about the sightseeing, but spreading a message. Now, they are sitting light in the saddle and heading more than 700 miles west on an endless asphalt trail.

"After the first three days, if you're not a real avid rider, you won't know you have a back end there," said Sharon Slayden.

You can call them crusaders, but Sharon and Bob Slayden prefer Cowboys Against Cancer.

"We're western people, we're Texas people and we've both had parents affected by cancer and other family members," said Sharon.

Sharon rides for the pancreatic cancer that killed her mother. Bob rides for the illness that took both his parents. Now, both have sights set on reaching the edge of Texas in just 30 days.

"We could have gone to the valley or we could have gone to Amarillo but it just sounded good to go to El Paso," said Bob.

Every passing car along the 764 miles is a chance to turn strangers into friends.

"We've coupled this cause with the like to just visit you on the road with the horses and then we have a chance to talk to them then we find out stories of cancer in their families," said Sharon.

They are stories lasting much longer than the couple's ride.

"She was ridin' [and] I was driving the truck," said Bob. "He gave us a $100 bill and we asked him what his name was and he said you just need to call me Mr. AARP so we did that."

A bold yellow sign informs passing drivers of the brave riders, traveling for a cause in all conditions.

"It's just an awareness that us or anybody else that runs for the cancer society itself wants to have people know that your relative can be helped today," said Sharon.

Twenty-five miles down, only 739 to go.

The Slayden's are giving themselves a few extra days to make this years trip to El Paso. They covered last year's 764 mile journey in just 25 days.

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