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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
A Start, But Not Officially

8/16/08 - Weíre off - well sort of.

It was pretty tough to pull the big wagon in and out of my place, so I opted to drive the 4 miles to my friends Randy and Honyís place as a trial run.

This was the first run with the 4-up with the big wagon and only the 5th time they have been run 4-up.

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8-16-08 4-up Big wagon

So how was it? I was a bit apprehensive. We had to start off with a pretty good sized hill to climb. All the horses were pulling good but Dolly.  She stepped through her trace chain right from the start.  After I squared that away, she tended to hang back and let Doc do most of the work up front.  Joyce and Deedee were magnificent.  With 3 out of the 4 working good, I still considered it a success.  At the top of the first hill we picked up a neighbor lady and her two small children for a short ride. The next 3 miles were fairly uneventful. 

Just before I got to Randyís place thereís a big, long hill to climb.  I stopped the team for a rest, prior to tackling the hill.  Unnoticed by me, Dolly must have pushed one of Docís cross-tie reins into the snap holding his chest strap (I need to tighten Dollieís side checks and turn around Docís snaps).  This caused Doc to drive like a drunken sailor going up the hill.  Fortunately, good friends Barbie and Missy helped straighten  things out.

Iím now camped at Hony and Randyís place. Randy, I and friend Chris knocked off a few beers while Hony cooked a magnificent supper.

The horses are bedded down in a corral sized enclosure and are fed.  They all seem in good health and didnít get any harness rubs or loose shoes.

Tomorrow morning, we should be pulling out around 9 am.  My friend Beth is going to ride with me for a couple of days.  After that her father, Fred is going to ride a long for a few more days. Fred makes a great gin and tonic, which is an important asset to have when traveling by horse and wagon.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I would call this day a 9.  Iím a little apprehensive, but not nervous. Because this trip has no set goals, Iím not trying to break a speed record.  Weíre going to start the trip off slow with the primary emphasis being the health and well being of the horses. It will take a while for them to get in top shape and for all of them to pull well together. In the meantime, I have to keep them healthy, otherwise weíre not going anywhere.    What a Great Day!

8-16-08 Camping at Randy's
8-16-08 Camping at Randy's 2