The National Covered Wagon Competition
January 13, 2011
Last September Drew and I went to the National Covered Wagon Competition in the middle of nowhere Arkansas. Who knew there was such a thing, I certainly didn’t, but now, after having gone once, I’d seriously try to go every year if I could. I mean, come on, it’s covered wagons, and we’re not talking run-of-the-mill-Laura-Ingalls-Wilder type either. No, these are pimped out covered wagons that people spend months building in their garage, only to lose a wheel halfway through the race and have their wagon go careening into a crowd of spectators on horseback. Spectators who spend the whole weekend camping, drinking beer, eating BBQ and hanging out on their horses watching rodeos and covered wagon races. I mean, I dont know, but that doesn’t sound like a bad weekend at all.
Some of these wagons have rims, yes like the $300 car you saw the other day with the $700 spinning rims, others are more traditional with rickety wheels that would’ve made Little House on the Prairie proud, some are trying to be aerodynamic while others would rather just look cool. The bigger wagons are pulled by horses, the smaller ones by ponies or what look like miniature donkeys, they all look terribly uncomfortable and freakishly dangerous and technically should probably not exceed speeds of 10 MPH but are going at least 60 MPH around cones and trees, speeding past crowds that are a little to close to the action for comfort. Which is why it is my new favorite spectator sport. Next to the roller girl derby, that is.
If you are not from the South, it feels like you’re in another country. A country with more american flags, cowboy hats, bottles of bud, white pickup trucks, cowboy boots, chaps, spurs and snug fitting jeans than you’ve ever seen in one place in your life. And even if you are from the South, it is certainly not an everyday experience. It is awesome. And it is why living down here suits me so well, because with tank of gas, a couple hours drive and an open mind, you can have some truly enlightening experiences.