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1/8/10, Ricon, AR - Tonight we’re 6 miles north of the town of Ricon, at the Volunteer Fire Department.

Yesterday, we took the day off.  There was a little snow on the ground in the morning, so we decided to sit the day out and give the lads and us some more rest.

This morning, we were on the road by 8 am, headed west, for the Arkansas River Bridge, and the city of Pine Bluff.  Our host, Danny Murdoch was there to see us off. Danny has been great and it was tough saying goodbye.

Our first obstacle of the day was the Arkansas River Bridge. Large river crossings are always exciting to attempt, but the horses are very business-like and handle them with ease.

Before entering the city of Pine Bluff, we ran into a couple of friends. We met Joe Richmond, who said ‘hi’ and gave us a smoked pork shoulder to munch on.  We also met David Deadman, who has arranged several stopover places for us in the next few days.

Pine Bluff is a large city with about 55,000 people. Crossing the city took most of the morning. The only excitement was crossing a railroad bridge with a train rolling by underneath.  Bill got a little excited as he thought it was about to run him over.  He tried to dance sideways, but Doc held his ground and kept him in his lane, until we cleared the bridge. When I first started driving the Belgians, Bill used to think cars and trucks underneath us were going to run us over, but he got over his fear. We still have a little work to do when it comes to trains.

We stopped at McDonald’s for lunch and Denise got herself a Big Mac. She has vowed to eat one in every state of the trip. She can now cross off the State of Arkansas.

The team had a big day and put in 25 miles.  David arranged for us to stay at a Volunteer Fire Department. Tonight, we had a nice dinner with some friends.

It was a long day of driving and started off at only 10 degrees, but the horses were strong, the sun was out and the road was good - a really nice day.

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Doc and Bill leading us across the Arkansas River

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Large river crossings are always exciting

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Bob, securing the rear!

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Unhitching the team at Mickey-Dees.  So far Denise has visited McDonald’s in four states and choked down four Big Macs.  She’s still in the running for either congestive heart disease or a Guinness Book Record!

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B.O.B. - “I have to do my part to ensure the teams succeeds.  Danny put so much good hay in this trailer, I have to lighten the load, so the team can pull it easier.”

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With new friends at a Volunteer Fire Department.

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David’s 4 year old son, who hopped up on Doc for a better view of the world.