Slow Ride Makes For A Good Time For Dixie National Trail Riders

Now days you can travel to Jackson from the coast in a matter of hours, but one group likes to do it the old fashioned way. On Saturday the Dixie National Trail riders saddled up their horses and took off in their 19th century style wagons.

The trip to the state capital will take about two weeks. Some riders say the slow pace helps them to catch up on some family time. Thirteen-year-old Clay Smith is the third generation of his family to ride horseback from the coast to the Dixie National Rodeo in Jackson.

"It was just something that we've always done," said Clay's father, Wayne Smith. "It's just been a tradition with us. I'm just getting him started in it and he really loves it."

Traveling with a caravan of 19th century style wagons leaves plenty of time for relaxing. Riders make the 170 mile trip at a pace of only about 4 miles per hour.

Wagon master Danny Quave said "You get the feeling that it's peace and quiet traveling along at a slow pace. You're away from the rush of everyday life."

Riders like Clay Smith say it's the great company that makes the long trip worthwhile.

"I hope that we'll just have a safe trip and have fun together," Smith said.

By Danielle Thomas