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No gas needed; friends travel in wagon train

No gas needed; friends travel in wagon train

Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 9:08 pm

No gas needed; friends travel in wagon train | wagon train
By JOHN BRANNON Messenger Staff Reporter Gas at any price is of no concern to graybeards Jackie Pemberton and his pals during their current trip from Milan to Reelfoot Lake and back. About 4 p.m. Tuesday, they and their motorcade of another kind — covered wagons and rebuilt campers — arrived in Union City en route to Hickman, Ky. At first glance, they seemed very out of place in the afternoon traffic. Cars and trucks whizzed by, each equipped with internal combustion engines that guzzle fossil fuels. By comparison, the little wagon train moved at a snail’s pace, powered by magnificent mules and horses with names such as Henry, Ricky, Jake, Maude, Mike and Mert. In this scenario, fossil fuels with their infamous pain at the pump aren’t in the picture at all. If not gasoline or diesel, what? Hay and grain and water. And there is no need to keep score of how many miles you get to the bale of hay. Good ol’ boys “We’re just a bunch of old guys getting together and riding. We like to work horses and mules,” said Pemberton. The travelers consist of Pemberton and Gary Prince, both of Milan; Jesse Aldridge of Springfield; and Doug Askew of Idlewild. Pemberton, Aldridge and Askew are retired. Prince is a building contractor. “We’ve been doing this about 20 years,” Pemberton said. “We let it lag several years and then it picked up again. We’ve been hard at it the last three years. Made three trips last year. We go to different places — Nashville and Chickasaw State Park and Paris Landing and Reelfoot Lake.” They left Milan Monday and made it to Union City by Tuesday afternoon to stay overnight at the Obion County Fairgrounds. Today they are resuming their trip to Reelfoot Lake via Hickman, where their little group will be joined by two more rigs. Round trip “It’s a seven-day, six night trip from Milan to Reelfoot Lake and back,” Pemberton said. “We have sleeping quarters and food and water for ourselves and our animals and a few tools in case we need them. We try to stay on the back roads, stay out of the way. A wagon train doesn’t work very well on interstate highways.” And what is the public reaction they’ve encountered on their trips? “No problems, for the most part. Every once in a while, a little something comes up,” he said. “Overall, people are nice and courteous.”

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