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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
A View of the Mountains


4/8/10, Vaughn, NM - Today, we trekked through a remote land.  Until we were almost at the town of Vaughn, we didnít even pass a road or driveway, leading to a ranch house. For about 15 miles, there was nothing but the road and the range.

Traffic was light on this section of the road, with less than a dozen vehicles per hour. In spite of this, several vehicles stopped to take pictures, and I chatted with folks from a couple of others.

There were a lot of up and down hills, which made it a challenging pull. I was glad I had my go-getters, Doc and Bill hitched up. Otherwise, we would have made it to Vaughn a lot later in the day.

Topping a last rise before stopping to eat lunch, I had a pleasant surprise. To the northwest, I had a very clear view of the snow capped mountains that lie west of Santa Fe.  Like the pioneers of yesteryear, I still have several days of travel before I reach the shining mountains. I can easily imagine their frustration at thinking they are almost in the cool mountains, only to find they are still days and weeks away. Since they were only making less than 10 miles a day, on wagons pulled by oxen, it must have seemed like they never would get there.

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The snow covered peaks just east of Santa Fe, still 80 or 90 miles away.

Since entering the western side of Texas, the horses have primarily been eating alfalfa hay. I think they get about twice the Ďbang per baleí out of eating alfalfa, as they do out of grass hay. Their condition is now fantastic.  Even Bill, my hyperactive horse, has filled out a lot and is now taking in more calories than he is using.  Where I really notice it is when they are pulling up the hills. They have much more stamina than they used to have.

Tonight, weíre camping in the town of Vaughn.  After stopping at the truck stop to pick up a few things, I pulled down to the Allsups Gas Station to camp for the night (the truck stop didnít have an outdoor water spigot).  Several folks stopped to chat since weíre been here, including a couple living in their RV full time, and a guy bicycling across America.

Tomorrow, Iím headed the 17 miles for the town of Encino.  Depending on what the day brings, Iíll either camp there, or pull past the town and camp. Itís another 27 miles further to Clines Corner, so Iíll probably drive past Encino, so I can make Clines Corner on the second night.

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When there is nothing to watch on the ranch channel, the wagon becomes ĎCow TVí!