11/28/09, Sand Barrens, IL - Yesterday I wrote about the band of gangster horses that broke out of their electric playpen prison and went joy riding. Well later that evening, they upped the ante. Let me introduce you to the Equine Dillinger Gang: First we have ‘Pretty Boy Belgian’, AKA Bob - Definitely a force to be reckoned with. Then we have ‘Clyde’, AKA Doc - Not the leader of the gang, but a horse with devilry on his mind. Then we have the leader of the heinous bunch - John, the Belgian, Dillinger, AKA Bill - a horse with mayhem as his first priority! Together, this terrible threesome staged a major breakout of the Wagonteamster Stockade and spent several hours terrorizing the poor citizens and countryside of Lawrence County, Illinois.
We were just getting ready for bed when the electric fence tore off the wagon and the terrible threesome busted out. I ran outside and saw them running up the side of the levee. Grabbing a coat, flashlight and a lead rope I scurried after them. The only sign of their presence was a single track in the mud, heading off in the woods. After 15 minutes, I called in the professionals - the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department. Deputies Brian and Hal responded ASAP. After a search lasting several hours, and with the help of Darryl, from the Volunteer Fire Department, the banditos were captured.
Dee saddled up Doc, while I rode Bill and ponied Bob. What followed, was a seven mile ride through the Illinois countryside to reach Wagonteamster camp. I commented to Denise (AKA Deebird), “It’s really something when a guy asks his girl out on a seven mile, moonlit ride, in subfreezing temperatures”.
I would like to really thank the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department and Darryl Robinson, from the Volunteer Fire Department for all their efforts in bringing the team back to the wagon. Some of these guys were searching on their own time!
This morning, I didn’t roll out of the hay until 8:30 am. The gang, who was just as tired from their 4 am return to the wagon were still snoozing on their lead ropes, tied to the side of the wagon. We finally got underway about 10 am EST (I decided to delay my entry into the Central Time Zone).
It was a seven or eight mile drive to Lawrenceville, where we stopped and ate lunch. Clementine enjoyed the day stretched out on the bed -with the late departure, it never was made back into the table and bench seats.
Tonight, we camped at Vic and Marge’s place, about 3 miles north of the town of Sand Barrens. The gang is still serving time for the breakout and will be tied for the next few nights.
Last night was what I call a major rodeo. Nobody or nothing got hurt, so it wasn’t a train wreck - just another adventure.