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2/6/09, Columbus, MS - The horses really gave an outstanding performance today. With 25 miles of road behind them, much of it in heavy traffic and difficult conditions, they were definitely superstars.

Before pulling out of the Thompson place this morning, I had to reshoe Deedee’s front feet. Most of the extended Thompson family showed up to watch, wish me well and give me some parting gifts - Thanks everyone, I really enjoyed my visit.

In the morning, I did a TV interview with WCBI (Columbus, MS) by the side of the road.  Just before lunch, I stopped at an RV dealership and purchased a new toilet.  I had broken the flusher valve on my existing toilet.

Lunch was near the entrance to Columbus Airforce base. A lot of nice people stopped by, including a nice guy from the MS state police and a reporter from the Columbus Commercial Dispatch.

Once we pulled into the city of Columbus, traffic on the four lane was very heavy.  My intended route was to bypass route 82 to the west and take old route 182.  Both my GPS and map showed a bridge on route 182 that went across the TomTenn waterway.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find out that there wasn’t a bridge until I was well along the way. This little detour cost us about 4 miles and quite and a bit of time.

The only other bridge was on US 82.  The map shows it as limited access expressway, but it wasn’t marked as such, so I decided to give it a try as their wasn’t any place to stay overnight on the side I was on.  I had to travel about a 5 mile section of the road to US 45. When I got down the ramp I had to pull over for about a half hour before I started down the highway. With very heavy rush hour traffic and the glare from the sun, it wouldn’t have been too smart to travel until the sun dipped below the tree line.

When we pulled out on to the expressway, the team had already put in 20 miles and the sun was getting ready to set.  Fortunately, US 82 has a shoulder (although it has a lot of scrap metal and other debris on it). With 80 mph traffic close on one side, only a Jersey barrier on the side of the Tom-Tenn bridge (which is 100 feet high) on the other, fading light and debris in their path, the teamed pulled it off without a hitch. It seemed that the harrier things got, and the farther they traveled, the more their performance improved.

With barely enough light left to see the road, I pulled into the truck stop at the top of the US 45 ramp. A guy I met just before pulling on to US 82 (Mike) had offered me a place about 1/2 mile from here, but I didn’t have enough light to travel by. Mike stopped by later and brought me supper - thanks Mike.

After their outstanding performance, the horses got an extra ration of grain and are bedded down on some grass, inside their electric fence - what a team!.


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