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Wagonteamster

6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
Across the Divide & in CO

WAGONTEAMSTER .COM

4/24/10, Chromo, CO - After a 23 mile long day, Iím across the divide and about three miles into southern Colorado.

On a sad note, I fear ĎOl Clementine may be on her last legs.  For the past 24 hours, she has had very rapid, shallow, breathing and her temperature is down a few degrees.   But, you never know, sheís fooled me before (and trucks do bounce off her).

I know Iím going to get a lot of advice about taking her a vet and such not. But, sheís 19 years old, deaf, almost blind and has no teeth. She has lived a full life; to include, having traveled in a horse drawn wagon for over 5000 miles in 16 states.  I think itís best to let nature takes itís course, one way or another. In the meantime, Iíll keep her comfortable and give her a few pats and pets.

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Before pulling out of Chama this morning, I stopped and topped off on water and gas. Itís a few days up to Pagosa Springs, with not much in between.  Iím carrying a couple of extra days worth of rations, in case we have to wait out some bad weather (always a possibility when youíre over 7000 feet, this time of year).  Water is plentiful, so Iím not too concerned with that.

I stopped and talked with several folks this morning, including a rancher, and Dr. Eric Burkholter.  The good doctor is retired and traveling around in a nicely restored older truck with a truck camper.  He was kind enough to give me a few kind words and a donation for my travel fund.  Itís always great meeting fellow travelers!

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Dr. Burkholter, with his dog and his slightly more modern version of the wagon.

I pushed on and made the Continental Divide by lunchtime.  After unhitching and unbridling the team, they each got an extra ration of oats for lunch.  To celebrate the completion of Leg #2,  I poured myself a couple of cocktails and sat inside, while Bill rocked the wagon, as he was trying to reach that certain itchy spot.

And now, B.O.B. the Horse Philosopher would like to say a few words about the location I chose for lunch.

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B.O.B. - Just when I think Iíve reach a Philosophical Nirvana, the Teamster pulls another crazy stunt that leaves me in a mental quandary. Today, he chose to position me for lunch, exactly on the ridge of the Continental Divide. Hereís the problem - I always pee at lunch, I always do.  If I pee from this location, where is it going to flow, to the Atlantic, or to the Pacific. Well, it could only go to both oceans.  That means that my stream will forever be divided.

This bothered me for quite some time, until I finally arrived at a satisfactory conclusion,  The two oceans are actually joined; at the tip of South America, at the Arctic Ocean, and even at the Panama Canal.  That means, that given some time, my stream will be reunited at last!  My Superior, Philosophical Intellect is at peace once more!

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B. O. B.ís Dilemma

I wanted to make Colorado, before calling it quits for the day.  After a 20 mile pull, we finally made it.  Now, to find a camping spot.  Even though there is a large right-of-way, the road bed was build up several feet, with fairly steep ditches leading to the right of way. This went on for a few miles, until I finally located a spot that wasnít too steep.  Thereís been a lot of recent snow melt, so I walked out on the spot first to make sure it wasnít too soft. I forgot one important detail - the trailer is loaded down and weights well over 2000 pounds.  With those skinny, 12 inch tires, it sinks in a lot more than the wagon tires.

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The Amigos enjoying their celebratory oats for lunch.

We got about 15 feet onto the right of way, and the trailer tires sunk in far enough so that the frame of the wagon hit the ground.  If the lads had been fresh, it still would have been no problem; but, they were tired and couldnít break it free.  I ended up unhitching the trailer and driving the wagon out of the muddy area.  Then, I took the team and the double tree off the wagon and used it to pull the trailer close to the wagon.  Then, I had to unload the trailer and use a spare fence rail as a pry bar to rehitch the trailer.  All in a dayís work!

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B.O.B, enjoying the scenery with a clear philosophical mind, once more

I reloaded everything, but tomorrow Iíll shift a few hundred pounds up to the wagon. With what we used tonight, this will keep the trailer weight at about 1500 pounds. Hopefully this will be enough to drive out of here with a fresh team - Iíll see!

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