It was in Tennessee that we first came across roads called “Pikes.” The roads were being made to accommodate the horseless carriages that were becoming more and more prevalent in and around the big cities, especially here in the eastern part of the country. While I don’t much like these noisy, smelly carriages, I have become quite used to them and they don’t scare me the way they once did. Anyway, back to the Pikes. The Pikes were made with hard packed gravel and were quite smooth. The hard surface of the road does hurt my feet and legs after a while, however. That is especially true if we trot.
On the Pike leading to Franklin, we saw a pole across the road, completely blocking it.
“What’s this?” Slim said as we came to a stop.
“Maybe they’re fixing the road up ahead,” suggested Fat.
Just then, a tall, thin, stern-looking woman stepped out of a shack near the gate. “It will cost you five cents to pass.”
“But we’re the Overland Westerners. Surely, you’ve heard of us,” said George as politely as a man can speak.
“I ain’t never heard o’ya and I don’t much care who you are. No nickel, no pass,” the lady said, folding her arms across her chest with a huff.
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