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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Man drives horses in gas protest

Friday, June 6, 2008

Charles Hedge makes a stop at Bainbridge Grain to water and rest his horses Cocoa and Rocky before heading toward Fillmore. He is driving his horse and wagon from Raccoon to Martinsville partly as a protest against high gas prices.
Charles Hedge left the town of Raccoon in northern Putnam County early Thursday morning and arrived in Bainbridge a little before 11 a.m.

It took him about two hours to travel the 11 miles.

He was traveling by horse and wagon, and Bainbridge was the first stop on his planned two-day trip of 55 miles to Martinsville.

The sign on the back of his wagon says it all, "I'm saving fuel, are you?"

Hedge, who is retired, decided to take the trip partly as a protest for the high price of diesel fuel for his truck.

"This time last year I was paying $1.83 a gallon. Today it costs me $4.89 a gallon. I can't afford to drive my truck," said Hedge.

He has wanted to visit his cousin in Martinsville for a while, and decided to travel by horse and wagon. At the same time, he thought using horsepower would help make people aware that there are some alternatives to paying high prices for gas.

"If everybody would take their vacations within a 25-mile range of home that might help the government take notice. If the big tourist spots aren't getting business they are going to complain, maybe the government will listen to them," he said.

Along with his two horses Cocoa and Rocky, Hedge plans to take back roads to Fillmore today, spending the night in a grass lot so his horses can rest.

Both of his horses are good road animals.

Rocky has been with Hedge a long time and is used to pulling the wagon, being ridden and helping with farm chores.

Cocoa was always a working farm horse. When Hedge purchased the part Belgian, he had to work with her to get her comfortable on the road.

Now, both are road warriors.

Hedge lost another horse last summer when his wagon was struck in the rear by a car. Rocky was knocked unconscious and Hedge's wife Caroline had her leg broken. His favorite horse was killed.

Since then, Caroline doesn't really travel far in the wagon. She has on occasion ridden in the back of the wagon that has canvas sides, a water supply, bed and portable kitchen.

Hedge created the covered wagon by adding a waterproof canvas top and sides that he can close it in bad weather.

"If it rains, I'll get wet," he said with a laugh. "But I'll pull the curtains and everything inside will stay dry."

Some of the roads he will travel down on his way to Fillmore, Eminence, Paragon and finally Martinsville include Turkey Neck, Buffalo and Shoestring Roads.

Today he plans to arrive in Martinsville, where he will spend a few days visiting his cousin before heading back to Raccoon.

"I'm retired, want to visit my cousin and can't afford diesel gas for my truck so I'm going by horse and wagon. It's just a way to bring awareness to people about gas prices," Hedge said. "People need to keep protesting and not stop until gas is below $2 a gallon again."

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I say GO FOR IT!!! I've been telling people for months now that if people would stop going out and start staying home nights and weekends, the restruants and movie theaters would start complaining and then maybe the government would do something.

-- Posted by Jahaya on Thu, Jun 5, 2008, at 11:14 PM

Four hooves up for Mr.Hedge !!! I own horses too. Would love to ride them to work.... but too far to ride(20 miles one way). Would have to camp in the parking lot all week just to turn around & do it again. Good luck to ya Mr. Hedge, Bless you & your equine partners

-- Posted by fourhorses on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 1:44 AM

I love, love, LOVE that you did this! I have been complaining to others about the price of gas and stating that something needs to be done to fix it! I wish I had the capability to ride a horse everywhere we needed to go! All of the places that everyone loves to visit such as malls, restaurants, vacation spots, etc are all going to start shutting down and the government will eventually have to take notice. Right now, all the government sees is dollar signs, not the signs of a failing economy.

-- Posted by cmd9603 on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 6:44 AM

This is a wonderful way to enjoy the countryside while making a statement at the same time! I support you 100% !!

-- Posted by tennismom on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 7:58 AM

My children saw you yesterday and were very impressed at what you were doing. Best of luck to you!!

-- Posted by horsepower on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 11:23 AM

I've never before heard anyone mention avoiding big tourist spots. I think it's a GREAT idea!

Good luck on your trip.

Stay safe!

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 1:17 PM

Well the $3.99 a gallon forced me to quit my 21 mile one way commute to work so that my husband could have the $100.00 for gas in his vehicle to commute to his job (25 miles one way). If I owned a horse or two I would definatly be riding "Little House on the Prairie" style to work everyday. All the power to you Mr. Hedge. I am with you 100% also.

-- Posted by catlover19732003 on Fri, Jun 6, 2008, at 9:26 PM

How much are you spending on feed? That's rather expensive right now as well.

Anyway it's all nice and convenient for someone who is retired to go around in a horse and buggy patting themselves on the back. The rest of us have to live in the real world. Jobs worth having aren't just conveniently sitting across the road or even 10 miles down the road. If it were I'd save more money than you are by ridding a bicycle and get some decent exercise in the process.

-- Posted by Inquizitor on Sat, Jun 7, 2008, at 4:39 PM

I hope he and his horses arrived safely. Did he reach his destination before the flood?

-- Posted by whatweretheythinking on Mon, Jun 9, 2008, at 8:43 AM

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