Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Great Southern Arkansas Mule Ride

Saturday was the 24th World Wide SketchCrawl and I crawled all by my lonesome at The Great Southern Arkansas Mule Ride in Magnolia, Arkansas.

The day was wet and nasty but my intrepid Hubby agreed to be chauffeur and guardian angel. We caught up with the Mule Ride at McNeil, Arkansas where they stopped for lunch. When we got out of the car the thick smell of wet mules was overwhelming...and we were a block or two away.

We walked through the grounds and looked at all the animals and wagons. They were decked out in blue and yellow, the school colors of Southern Arkansas University. I took a few photos, then my camera died. I wasn't going to be able to draw from photos this time. I was under the gun to git-er-done. I had about 30 minutes before the Mule Ride pulled out.

I decided to draw Emma, an 8-year-old mare. Her momma was a Belgian draft horse and her daddy was a very ambitious jack with a can-do attitude. She was lead for the 4-mule team pulling a wagon from Dexter, Missouri.

When I draw I tune out the rest of the world, so Hubby was off to the side telling me to move when necessary so I wouldn't get trampled by the mule traffic. Apparently I was an interesting sight standing there in the rain and mule poo with my little black sketchbook. People must have been staring because I could hear Hubby saying over and over, "Camera batteries died, so she's drawing."

One woman circled around me all aghast as if Hubby had just declared me to be a child molester. With an incredulous look she spouted, "You're drawing?!?!?" She walked away shaking her head in disbelief. Dang. I'm not THAT weird am I?

I started drawing the wagon Emma was pulling just as they started getting ready to leave on the return trip. I was scribbling fast and I missed a few critical pieces of the undercarriage. There's no axle attached to the wheel. Oh well.

By this time Hubby declared he was hungry enough to the the south end of a northbound mule, so I figured I had better feed him before he produced a fork.
We drove back to Magnolia to eat at The Flying Burger. They have a meat case where you can pick your own fresh burger, steak, or seafood. Hubby ordered a 1/2 pound burger and I ordered a shrimp Po-Boy. Got a quick sketch in while we waited on our food.

After lunch we bought batteries for the camera and visited with friends. Caught up with the Mule Ride again to watch the mule jumping and mule driving demonstrations. Mules jump flat-footed, unlike horses who can take a running start. I did not know that.

Emma's wagon was in the mule driving demonstration. They can turn the wagon on a dime. It was pretty cool.

I was hoping I could convince Hubby to stick around for the steak dinner and live music but alas, he had had all the sketchcrawling he could stand for the day. We headed home for tacos and a Georgia O'Keeffe movie.


raena said...

This is a fabulous story, and despite the mule poop, it sounds like you had a great time! You also got a lot more done than I did, so maybe being alone isn't so bad! We talked too much and I couldn't keep my concentration! I did get lots of photos though, and I now know of places to sketch when I visit Bryan again. Great job and let's hear it for chauffeur husbands!

john.p said...

Great story! Had to tell it to my honey.