Offbeat With Region 8 Covered Wagons

April 26, 2004--Posted at 3:45 p.m. CDT

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR-- It's a picture right out of the old west, covered wagons cruising the prairie. It almost looks like a mirage, like a dream, but this is not a dream, this is a dream come true.

"I just wanted to do something I've never done before," said Wagon Captian Rick Huckabee.

These men are true pioneers in every since of the word, headed for a new frontier, well sort of.

"We told em we was headed to the Mississippi river and they said what for, and we said just cause we can," said Wagon Master John Wayne Malloy.

Wagon Scout, Fred Head said, "This is City Slickers 3.  I got a chance to do it and I wasn't going to pass it up."

Fred Head, Rick Huckabee, and John Wayne Malloy all turned their covered wagon dream into reality.

"It's just something we wanted to do, so we decided we'd get out here, take a weeks vacation and go," said Malloy.

They left Poughkeepsie, Arkansas Monday morning, April 20, and averaging three miles an hour, 24 miles a day, these fronteirsman should make 'ole muddy' in about six days.

With four mules and two covered wagons they took off for a trip back in time.  A time when life wasn't about time.

"Life at a slower pace, relaxing and you meet a lot of people. You get to experience life like it used to be traveling," said Huckabee.  "You can see the country and you got time to look at it."

But these wagoneers aren't totally roughing it.  "We try to do it as much as possible like it used to be, but I guess we got spoiled so bad, you know," said Huckabee.  "We' got our coolers, our coleman latern, and our cell phone."

That's right a car battery keeps it charged and while the ride is exactly exactly Cadillac smooth,  the rubber tires with hub caps aren't exactly authentic wagon wheels either.

"As long as we don't have a flat on a mule we're doin on O-K," said Huckabee.

It's just not something you're used to seeing, a couple of covered wagons and some pioneers rolling across the plains of Arkansas.  Definately not something you see everyday anyway, at least not these days.

"I was born a hundred years too late. I always thought this is the way the world should be, you get to see everything a little closer as you go by, you don't have to look so quick," said Head.

Here's wishing just little bit for the way the world should be.