and I were back together again sooner than planned. I was traveling in Tennessee
when a car drove by with DC in the passenger seat! I was quite surprised!
In North Carolina there were lots of homemade wagons. DC thought it would
be great to get one for Louise to pull. I agreed. Shortly thereafter they
returned with a horsetrailer and brought Dawn and I over to North Carolina.
We bought a wagon and continued on to Georgia. We didn't know if Louise had
ever pulled a wagon before or if she had ever been harnessed. When we hooked
her up she was a natural. Clearly this was old hat for her. I had my choice
of riding in the wagon or riding Dawn. It was pretty nice. Skidder and Myles
loved the wagon because the back third of it was for them. It was nice to
be able to carry all our gear on the wagon, and ride in it as an alternative
to walking or riding on a horse.
We got the wagon just in time because the mares were starting to show signs of pregnancy, and they were getting a little thin. We began buying grain for them, and soon we were feeding 30 lbs. per day between the two of them. Eventually we had to re-bend the wagon shafts into maternity shafts to fit around Louise's belly!
stayed tied to the side of the wagon as we traveled. When we stopped for a
break, I had to tie her well away from it because she knew how to flip open
the grain bin and then gorge herself!
Louise in harness, San Antonio background.
With the wagon, we took up more road space than before. Sometimes we would unavoidably hold up traffic. In Florida there was a very long stretch of narrow road over swampland which we had to traverse. There was a long line of traffic behind us. Most everyone was patient. When we got to the other side of the swamp, we found a turnout and pulled over to let all the cars go by. Some honked and waved or yelled obscenities. Toward the end of the line objects were being thrown at us, hitting us and landing inside the wagon - before we could get mad, we realized that it was money! A bus full of school kids were trying to throw their coins into the wagon as they went by. That was great because at the time we only had only 13¢ to our names!
Another time we were traveling along a wide, hilly road with two lanes in both directions. I was riding Dawn and DC was in the wagon. All of a sudden there was a loud screeching sound. I turned to look and saw an 18-wheeler surrounded in blue smoke coming at us sideways! The horses both lunged into a full gallop. As Dawn ran I looked back and saw the cab of the truck flinging mailboxes into the air as it raced toward us out of control. After it stopped I went back to see if the driver was all right. He stepped out of the cab with his pants down around his ankles. Obviously, he wasn't paying attention and panicked when he saw us. There were two lanes of road and plenty of room to go around us. At least no one got hurt.
Although we traveled at a pace of 3 - 3½ miles per hour, the tires on the wagon wore down quickly. We were constantly replacing them. In Florida we gave the wagon an 'overhaul'. We abandoned it in Ledbetter, Texas after the horses had their foals, and then continued the journey on horseback once again.