The 70-year-old native of Silver City, N.M., had retired to "Old Mexico," but when drug-trade violence south of the border was too much for the former Texas utility company heavy equipment operator, he moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, and stayed with a friend long enough to build himself a wagon and acquire a good horse and a traveling companion dog named "Buster Brown."
His part-Belgium mare named "Friday" has taken Newton through eight states, primarily in the Southeast, since he began his never-ending journey in February 2009. Along the way he has met some very hospitable people.
An artist, whose name he can't quite recall, offered to paint his wagon while visiting McRae and camping in a pecan orchard. They aptly named it "Living My Dream." Another, in Savannah, gave him a tour of the town and nearby Tybee Island, where city fathers wouldn't let him travel by himself with "Friday" without a diaper, which Newton was having nothing of. Sunday, Newton and his animals were the guest of the Bartow County Saddle Club.
While camping in a park behind Kingston City Hall, Newton received visitors offering him overnight accommodations and a history lesson on the town and region.
Oddly enough, the strangest thing that has happened to Newton in his travels occurred just west of Canton on Ga. Highway 20 when he was stopped by two Canton police officers. It appears someone had called 911 and reported that a driverless horse and carriage were traveling down the busy highway. He said he and the officers got a big laugh out of that.
Newton said he sees "no end to it -- just gets better and better," of his travels, with his next destination being Rome.
"I'm just enjoying life, my senior years," he said.