Man plans to travel from Austin to Seattle on horseback

A man is traveling from Austin to Seattle on horseback. He plans to do it in 100 days and plans to spend no money on lodging.

Cyril Bertheau had a sendoff Sunday afternoon at Zilker Park. He quit his six-figure tech job to prepare for the journey and bought his horse, Shiok, on Craiglist.

This kind of journey goes back generations.

"In my family, the Bertheau, there's a tradition that the eldest son of each generation does a great big adventure," Bertheau said. "It's kind of my turn."

He will be going through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho to get to Seattle, a place he likes.

He says the goal is to ride full days for five days a week, one half day, and then one full day of rest.

"I really wanted to go out west, kind of the cowboys and the old days," he said.

Cyril has been riding horses since he was little, and recently did a months-long road trip.

"What I've learned about the American people is that people are very, very generous and very friendly, and they want to help," he said.

He says one of his goals is to meet a variety of people. 

"Getting in touch with the American people, getting in touch with the random people that you don't see every single day," Bertheau said. "West Texas, people in rural parts of New Mexico, Native American people, in the mountains."

Cyril will use a special kind of GPS to see terrain and avoid highways. Shiok will drink water and graze whenever he can, and Cyril will buy horse feed and hay whenever he is able to.

Cyril's father, Eric, who is from Holland, embarked on his own journey around the world in 1984.

Eric says his own father traveled all over the world, and his exotic postcards inspired him to travel.

"I took a backpack and asked my mother to bring me to a certain point, not far from home on the way to a job," Eric said. "She put me there, and I put up my thumb, and that's how my trip started."

A three-year journey took him across Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australia, and the United States, all by bus, boat, and train.

"I wanted to see a lot, I wanted to encounter a lot of people and learn about a lot of religions and the way people behave and act, but I didn't want to do it too fast either, so that's why I never took an airplane," he said.

Now, as his son embarks on his own journey, Eric fondly reflects on his adventure.

"The trip that I did for three years around the world, I still carry that with me. It's still part of me, still almost on a daily basis when interact with people, it's part of me," Eric said.

"I'm feeling pumped, I'm extremely excited," Cyril said. "I'm looking forward to all the challenges I'm going to face, I'm looking forward to everything that's going to be thrown my way."

"I think it's a great idea, in a way I have to, because I did it myself," Eric said. "This is the right moment in his life to do something extraordinary."

Eric says he and his wife are confident, though there's always a bit of hesitation.

"I think it's a great thing what he does, that is to say, my wife and I, we are a little bit nervous because he is by himself on a horse, he's going to be in all sorts of situations... but that's part of the adventure. We trust him, we're very proud of him, because you have to risk it, you have to dare it, and he does it. He dares to do it," Eric said. "Almost, I wish I was him, I wish I could do it again."

Cyril says he plans to stay about a week in Seattle and then make the journey back.

If you want to follow his journey, Cyril can be found at @2raw2ride on Instagram and TikTok.