‘Land of plenty’: Why Kentucky woman came to Sacramento by horse to raise awareness

A woman raising awareness for childhood hunger while traveling thousands of miles by horse, a winding path from Kentucky to California, passed through Sacramento this week at the tail end of her 14-month journey.

Angela Wood, 51, crossed the Tower Bridge atop Star-Buck before the two spent some time in Old Sacramento on Wednesday. A white sign with an American flag and the words, “Childhood hunger ... one mile is not enough” hung over Star-Buck’s hind end.

Wood says she was inspired by her work as a truck driver.

“Going into the big towns and even the small towns early in the morning, lots of times you’ll see people sleeping on the streets – children on the streets. And I just hate the thought that children are going hungry in America. We shouldn’t. We’re the land of plenty.”

Wood’s long trek started Aug. 2, 2018, in Liberty, Kentucky; headed east to Sunset Beach, North Carolina; and finally headed west toward California. Wood says she hopes to conclude the journey in Bodega Bay by early October.

Wood actually started with two horses plus her 8-year-old chihuahua, Schatzi, traveling in a covered wagon.

But plans changed when Renegade, Wood’s 17-year-old American Paint Horse, got injured after slipping on pavement near Placerville. Renegade injured a muscle, but is expected to recover, she said.

Wood found a farmer who agreed to board Renegade as she finishes out the journey with Star-Buck. Then, she made arrangements to trade her wagon for a ride home to Kentucky for herself, the two horses and the dog in the coming weeks.

Wood said Thursday in a phone interview with The Bee that she also had to take Star-Buck to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine early Wednesday afternoon after the horse “pulled up a little bit lame,” which turned out to be because of sores.

Wood took Thursday off from riding for Star-Buck to recover, but said she plans to leave from the UC Davis large animal clinic about 8 a.m. Friday.

The plan is to take one last trek to finish the journey, riding Star-Buck to Bodega Bay.

Despite the injuries, Wood says she considers her awareness campaign a success.

“I think that what I did and am doing – people see the signs and of just walking by with a blind eye, maybe they’ll think about their local neighborhood ... You just don’t hear about (hunger) in America, so I decided I’d tried to raise awareness and try to get people to think about that in their communities.”

Bee photographer Lezlie Sterling contributed to this story.

Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.