Wagons and Horses Getting Closer to the Rodeo of the Ozarks

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Around 150 people traveling the old fashioned way are making a 100 mile journey from Harrison to Springdale.

The group arrived in Springdale on horses and wagons to be part of the John Henry Shaddox Wagon Train dating back to 1977.

"This wagon belonged to our father-in-law. He built this," wagon master Jim Parker said.

Parker's father-in-law is John Henry Shaddox. Parker and his brother George have been part of this wagon train since it started 35 years ago.

"It's been a lot of fun. A lot of ups and downs," Parker said.

They are the only two left from the original crew traveling 10 to 15 miles a day going four miles per hour. They bring their own food, bathe in rivers and try to beat the heat.

"It has been hot. If it wasn't for the wind I don't think the animals could stand it," James Reynolds said.

Every night, they camp out to rest, eat and feed their animals and even though they travel this way, many of them said they are not as tough as the early pioneers.

"We've got the ice chest and all the conveniences. When you think about the women that went cross country, pregnant or with babies you go 'wow'," Ada Jensen said.

Jim Parker said he's impressed by the endurance of those who carved the path to the West.

"I just can't imagine it, kill what they eat on the way. They were tough people," Parker said.

This wagon train helps promote the Rodeo of the Ozarks and celebrate Independence Day.

The group will arrive at the Springdale Parson's Stadium in time for the Rodeo of the Ozarks parade at 3pm.

The Rodeo of the Ozarks runs from July 4th through July 7th.