I started this trip in Deerfield, New Hampshire and have met some incredible people and traveled through some amazing country, all while listening to the musical clip clop of hooves hitting the pavement. Come and share the journey with me.
I drove a team of three large draft horses. Bill and Bob are sorrel Belgians and Doc is gray Percheron. My wagon is configured as a complete camper and contains all of the minor conveniences that are in normal RV. In addition to the wagon, I have a supply trailer that is towed behind the wagon. All together, the horses pull a total of 7000 to 9000 pounds.
I normally travel with two horses pulling the wagon while the third horse walks behind the trailer with a day off. However, when I encounter steep hills I bring the third horse into the hitch, driving them in a Unicorn configuration.
Here is a brief outline of my 9,000 miles of travel to date The table on the right contains links to the various adventures,
Trip #1: 8/08 to 2/09- New Hampshire to Mississippi (1800 miles)
Accident - On 2/10/09 we were rear-ended by tanker truck traveling at 71 mph. The first wagon, pulled by four Percheron horses (3 mares and a gelding) was completely destroyed and Dolly and Deedee were killed. This required construction of a new wagon and purchase of a new team. I spent 4 months recovering before setting off on a new adventure, with a new wagon and a pair of Belgians to pull it.
Trip #2: 6/09 to 9/09 - Southern Indiana to Horse Progress Days, then to Michigan (1100 miles) This trip was in two parts and started in mid-state Indiana. When I started this journey, I still had a lot of broken bones moving around, so it acted as sort of a post-accident trial run. My team consisted of the Belgian Draft Horses, Bob and Bill. The wagon was sold to me by Bernie Harberts for the price of one Biscuit. With some help, I converted it into an RV.
Trip #3: 11/09 to 10/10 The trip started in Indiana, going to Texas, New Mexico, then up the west side of the Rockies. (3200 miles) I was initially going to return to Indiana through southern Wyoming, but changed my mind. For this journey, IĒm driving the Belgians, and Doc, the Percheron that was in the front-right position on the first journey. I have the same wagon as on the second trip, but Iím hauling a trailer behind it to carry supplies.
Trip #4 4/12 to 11/12 - This was a great loop through most of the American west (2,800 miles).
Trip #5 6/14 - Not long after starting this trip, I called it quit when my horse Bill came up lame.
The Future - Who can tell. I donít have any immediate plans of hitting the road with a wagon. The two Belgians are now in retirement, but Doc is still going strong. However, I do occasionally get the itch to go wagoneering. Itís likely that sometime In the future Iíll buy a teammate for Doc, harness up and once again go visit America.