The Southern Indiana Draft Horse and Mule Association started it's annual Fall wagon train ride on Saturday September 10, 2016. The idea for this year was to try to ride parts of the trail followed by the family of Abraham Lincoln as they moved from Kentucky to Indiana when the former president was a boy. However, that trail is almost impossible to identify given the changes in the years since it occurred. Most of this part of the country was unsettled at that time. One place that was easily identified, however, is the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial near Lincoln City, Indiana. Therefore, the group spent a few days riding on several of the backroads around Perry and Spencer Counties winding up on Wednesday at the memorial. A layover day was planned at the memorial and we spent the day attempting to see how wagon teams and their drivers would do using various pieces of farm equipment such as plows and discs, much to the amusment of several classes of school children who were visiting the site. Although the weather was pretty good all week, there were a couple of brief showers on a few of the afternoons which didn't cause any problems. That all changed on Saturday, the final scheduled day of the ride. We arose to a dark and gloomy sky and the rain started to fall about 6:30 AM. A quick check of the weather radar on our smart phones showed that there was a fairly large storm headed our way that looked like it was going to hang around until in the afternoon. Since we were camped in a field on Chuck Painter's farm, it was quickly decided that ending the ride one day early was the smart thing to do if no one wanted to get bogged down and have to be pulled out with a tractor. Overall, the ride went great! There was only one runoff and that was due to a lightening strike nearby. However, that team was caught and stopped very quickly. There was only one minor injury when Mike King's horse Lester decided to see just how much weight the top of Mikes foot would hold. The committee that put the ride together did a fine job and we ate like kings the entire trip. Unfortunately, a few of our regular wagons were missing due to other committments and to the health problems of the drivers, but I'm sure they will be back next year ready to roll.
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