Visitors pass through Morehouse Parish everyday, but few, like Tuscan native Katie Cooper, have sold all of their possessions to fund the trip, and even fewer, if any, have done atop mule.
Fifty-six year old Cooper is riding cross country on her mule, Sir Walter, to fulfill one of the two items on her bucket list.
"The only other thing I want to do is drive a wagon cross country, and I'll do that next," she said.
Cooper began her trip solo on April 2 in Port Gibson. Her final destination is her hometown, Tuscan, which she estimates to be arriving in October.
After a failed attempt from New Mexico to West Texas last year on a different mule, Butch, which she saved for five years to fund, Cooper is trying another trip to a different destination on a different mule. But having spent all her savings on the unsuccessful trip, Cooper sold all her possessions to fund this one.
“This is definitely a leap of faith,” she said. “But if your desire is stronger than your fear, you can do anything. That 's something I told my art students who I taught. That was profession for many years.”
Cooper said so far the trip has been a success.
“In the five weeks I've been traveling, I haven't met one unkind person,” she said. “I just travel from town to town about four hours a day and go anywhere from 12 to 18 miles, depending on if Sir Walter is wearing his pack. I'm still conditioning him.”
When Cooper came into Bastrop, she knew no one and didn't' know where she was going to stay.
“I stopped off at a Baptist church because there was water in the ditch and Sir Walter was thirsty,” she said. “People began coming up to me and talking to me and that's how I met Marlowe Barham. I'm staying tonight at her farm, called Oakmott Farm. It has a beautiful barn that was designed and built by her late mother, Amanda Mott. I'll be staying Monday night at Buddy Savages. I've met so many beautiful people here through this chain of events.”
For more information on Cooper and Sir Walter, follow her blog at muletriptalk.blogspot.com, or visit her website at muleartist.com.