Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to find delightful adventure. Sometimes what looks like just an adventure is so much more.
By chance, I noticed a poster pinned to a bulletin board about a wagon train moving through just a few miles away. After a tasty breakfast at You Betcha Café & Ice Cream Shoppe in Alden, Minnesota, we headed to Walters where twenty or so wagons, more than 50 horses and about a hundred plus people were almost at end their 116 mile trek.
The week-long annual tour happens each June. This voyage began in Northfield and concluded at Farming of Yesteryear in Keister.
As they make their way across the prairies, locals are encouraged to visit, make donations and purchase souvenirs. We caught up with them just north of Walters. Reminiscent of a western movie scene, the wagons and horsemen changed course at a rural intersection. A single rider stationed at the turn guided the caravan while accompanying vehicles dealt with traffic at either end of the procession.
Again, we caught up with them as they entered the main street where onlookers gathered.
We wanted to get a better view, before they headed out of town to Keister, so we drove down a side street, unaware that United Lutheran Church would serve them lunch. We parked halfway down the block when they flooded into the street.
Animals and their humans rested, refreshed, hydrated and fed while curious fans gathered to converse and take photos.
These volunteers from Minnesota, neighboring states as well as Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia round up the horses to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota. Since 1989, the group raises $30,000 to $40,000 for Special Olympics Minnesota.