WILBRAHAM The traffic jam on Boston Road on July 16 wasn't your normal commuter cluster or fender bender but a horse drawn covered wagon with a bearded man and two wolf-sized dogs trotting down the road. The sign on the back read, "Leehorselogger.com Montana to Boston."
When the wagon finally made his way to the Wilbraham Fire House on Boston Road a group of people were already gathering waiting to greet the wayward traveler. After parking under some shade on the lawn Lee the Horse Logger jumped out of the wagon and said hello to Wilbraham.
Lee set out on Aug. 9, 2006 traveling east in a covered wagon pulled by two pure bred Suffolk Punch horses named Tom and Max, with two Great Pyrenees dogs Katie and Kerr-mutt as company, $75 in his pocket, and two weeks worth of food; Lee has lasted the last 11 months off of his charm and people's generosity.
New friends and well-wishers have supplied Lee with everything from bottles of water and cookies to dinner and donations toward a new covered wagon and two horses. For this is only the first leg in Lee's great adventure. After resting for a few months in Boston, he will set south for Alabama, west to California and eventually north up to Alaska.
Lee's journey began when he lost his ranch in Montana due to a misunderstanding with his family. At the same time he was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. Upon losing everything he worked for, Lee built a wagon and began his long expedition.
Lee has no time table and enjoys the slow pace of life set by his trusted horses. People who meet Lee tend to ask the same questions he has answered a hundred times before, but he has no problem enlightening all of his new friends about life on the road.
He sleeps in a makeshift bed of plywood and eats out unless food is donated to him. The horses wear easy boots, which offers hoof protection and traction, instead of horse shoes.
Lee has received two moving violations one of which was in Beckett, Mass. and was immediately dismissed, and of course, as Lee would say, "Ye-haw."
A short statement from Lee's Web site sums up everything you could say about a man who just simply wants to live simple.
"My earliest memories include cutting firewood with my family in upstate New York, riding critters, driving ponies, being in the woods, running chainsaws (dad bought me my first saw when I was 13), cutting firewood by myself, planting trees, gardening, wandering in the woods, cross country skiing, learning to run heavy equipment, high school, then college.
"Along the college route, I learned a couple of things ... The main thing being that life can either be lived or it will live you until you learn your lessons. College introduced me to a large conglomeration of clowns, tenured faculty. I left degreeless, but educated, and began the process of undoing the damage of the first 22 years of my life's formal education, and began my true learning in real education ... poverty ... which I call a blessing ... backbreaking labor, working horses, running sawmills, caring for the ranch in Montana, living without electricity, running water, or a vehicle half the time. Living life as an adventure day to day."
Lee wishes only to be known by his first name and his work title, horse logger. Fans and friends of Lee the Horse Logger can buy t-shirts or make donations to his wagon fund for the second and third legs of his trip at his Web site www.leehorselogger.com.