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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
A Hot Day


6/6/10, Colona, CO - Before leaving Jim and Gaylaís place, Jim was kind enough to run me down to Home Depot for a full sheet of plywood. Iíve got the plywood stored on the side of the trailer. When I get to the Dallas Creek National Forest access road, itís the centerpiece of my game plan for getting around the impassable cattle guard.  About 9:30 am, I said goodbye to my gracious hosts and hit the road. My first stop was just up the road at Murdochís Feed and Supply, where I bought 500 pounds of oats.  After that, I was headed out of town.

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Jim and Gayla, great folks who went out of their way to be great hosts!

All morning long, people were stopping to say Ďhií.  Just before lunch, some ladies stopped and invited me to a family cookout, about two miles up the road. I barely got the words ďHoss, make tracksĒ, out of my mouth and Doc was picking them up, and laying them down (heís real partial to cookouts).

One member of the extended family, Luke, is the Ranch Foreman at a ranch in Cimarron Canyon. We never met, but we saw each other when I passed some corrals, just as the cowboys were unloading their horses and getting ready to receive some heifers that were going out on the range. Before I left, Luke got a chance to drive the team around the house. Heís hooked, so I think his next task is to convince the ranch owners that he needs a team for winter feeding and putting out mineral in the summer.

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There are few things that Doc enjoys more on a 95 degree day, than the feel of a kid on his back in a wet bathing suit.

I couldnít think of a better way of spending a lunch hour on a hot summer day. After stuffing myself on burgers and brats, I thanked my hosts and reluctantly hit the road.

I left Montrose at just the right time, as the temperature there, was just over a hundred. As I moved north, the wagon was slowly gaining elevation, so it never got that warm. For the next few days, itís suppose to be hot, so Iím glad Iím gaining elevation. When I reach my fishing camp in the Sneffels Mountains, Iíll be well above 9000 feet, so the temperature shouldnít climb above the 70ís. But even that is warm, and Iíve been seeing the snowline recede up the mountains for the past couple of days. The runoff in the creeks and rivers is very high, and several farmers and ranchers are worried about their irrigation ditches. One guy I talked to is going to use an excavator to put in a big dirt block right before their stream gate (better than loosing the ditches).

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Of course two kids in wet suits is twice as cool!

Tonight, Iím camped on the roadside, about a mile or two south of the crossroads of Colona (about 13 miles from Ridgway). I chose this camping spot because there is some nearby water in an irrigation ditch and plenty of grass for the team.  I also wanted to camp in the Uncompahgre River Valley, before it necks down into a canyon, a mile to the south. Once I enter the canyon, Iíll be without cell or internet service, until I get near the town of Ridgway.

This evening, I got a very kind offer from some folks to rest the team at their ranch, about 3 miles up the canyon from where Iím at.  With the weather so hot, Iím all for taking it a little easy.

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The view out the front of the wagon where Iím camped.  About a mile to the south, you can see where the river valley necks down into a canyon,  The mountains shown are east of the Sneffels range, near the town of Ouray.