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A Lot of Well Wishers



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12/18/08, Union Twp, IN - The Nunez family were terrific hosts and it was hard to pack up and leave them this morning. Before I left, friend Joe Mohr stopped over to help me load the hay he brought yesterday on top of the wagon.  Joe’s a great guy and enjoys cutting horses in his free time. Neighbor Pat Jackson also stopped by with some very nice gifts before we left for the day - Thanks!

Today was definitely a day full of people wishing the team and I well.  In the first hour of travel alone, hundreds of people waved as we went by. In addition, there were dozens of people who stopped to take pictures and chat.

At the first break, I did a radio interview with a station in Martinsville, IN.

We moved through the 2/3 of Franklin before stopping for lunch at a wide spot on the west side of downtown.  A couple of dozen well wishers stopped by to chat during lunch.

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About an hour after lunch, I stopped to chat with Larry Vogel (see top picture). Larry runs an organic seasonal dairy and milks 21 Jerseys for 9 month out of the year.  He dries his cows out for the final 3 months. An organic dairy has a lot of advantages for a guy with a smaller operation - feed costs are minimal, the cows aren’t burnt out so they continue to produce well through several lactations, there are more replacement heifers to sell, milk prices are much higher (Larry is getting $31/ hundredweight). Larry’s cows produce a herd average of 48 pounds of milk per day, with premiums paid for his high butterfat and protein content.  Larry may never get rich with this dairy operation, but because of his very low costs, he’ll continue to make a living even when milk prices fall!

We’re camped tonight at Lona’s home on a back road, about 12 miles from Martinsville.  Lona has several horses including a miniature horse and donkey. If I hitched this pair up in front of Doc and Dolly, they may get lost in their shadow, but who knows, they might end up pulling pretty good!

I had a really nice day. The people of Indiana have been really kind and generous.  They’re also about the most courteous drivers that I have seen on this trip.  Tomorrow, we’re off for the Martinsville area.