Orville Jackson, of Strafford, and his friend Eddie Williams, of Maynardville, Tennessee, made their way into Sedalia around noon Wednesday with their covered wagon and four mules Sally, Jack and Holly with Sarah bringing up the rear.
The group were traveling down south U.S. Highway 65, a few miles east of the city limits, coming in from Glenwood, near the Iowa border.
Around 1:40 p.m., the men made it into Sedalia and stopped at the Dollar General Store on North Ohio Avenue to stock up on water before continuing on into downtown.
They said most of their supplies were carried with them and at night they sleep in the wagon.
“That’s why my eyes are swollen,” Jackson said of sleeping in the wagon. “I got into some cottonwood dust at Silver Creek at Nelson.”
Washing clothes is simple for the men, who then hang their overalls on the back of the wagon to dry in the summer heat.
Jackson said they began the trip with the wagon weighing 7,850 pounds counting the mules, and they have used approximately 900 to 1,000 pounds of food since then feeding the mules.
He added that there was no real reason for the expedition. It was something he’d always looked forward to trying. He retired from Empire Gas Co. Inc., after 39 years, making his wagon trips possible.
“I wanted to do this for years,” he said. “I retired in 2012 and we took off in 2012 and went to Fort Madison (Iowa), to the rodeo, over on the Mississippi River.”
Last year he traveled to Wichita, Kansas, but this year he decided to travel by mule wagon to his nephew’s wedding in Glenwood, leaving June 11.
“We just decided we were going to make a trip out of it,” he added. “We left a little early and took off and went up there. It took us 12 days going up there and it looks like it will take us 13 to 14 going back.”
They spent time with family before beginning the journey back home.
Jackson said he has a small hobby farm in Stafford.
“I’ve tried raising them,” he said of the mules. “I bought most of them as colts.”
Reach Faith Bemiss at 826-1000 ext. 1481 or @flbemiss.