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Tennessee Man in Mule-Powered Cart Reaches Phoenix After 1,774 Miles


A Henry, Tennessee man drove his mule-pulled wagon 1,774 across the United States, reaching his destination in Phoenix last week.

John McComsey says on his Web site it was his dream for retirement to take the leisurely cross-country trip to the Arizona home of one of his relatives. But he also wanted to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis, a disease affecting his niece.

The only one who wanted to come with him, he says, is his dog, Britt.

The wagon train came down from Payson at the end of June, says his blog:

So if you were travelling on 87 between Phoenix and Payson on Sunday morning you may have seen us in route. We could not drive very fast because the supply wagon (white wagon in the rear) would begin to fish-tail at about 25mph so we had to stay under that speed. The brakes on the trucks were getting hot. It took us almost 4 hours to navigate down to Fort McDowell where my sister and Roger identified the perfect parking spot for me and my team with some shade and a nice breese.

The temperature was quite a shock - from 85 in Payson to 108 in Phoenix. I know I'll need to get an early start in the morning so we are close to destination before it gets unbearable hot. My plan will be to be on the road by 5AM Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday.

One of his days through the Valley, the mules drank 15 gallons of water each. But he and the animals made it just fine.

McComsey not sure what he's doing next.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.