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9/12/12, N. of Alturis, CA (Coord. N. 41 deg. 25.749 min., W. 120 deg. 32.540 min)

This was a nice day of travel as I moved to, through and beyond the City of Alturis.

A few hours after hitching up, I drove up to the Port of Entry Inspection Station for the State of California. They didnít have a lane for a horse-drawn wagon, so I used the truck lane. As I pulled up, a lady came out and asked if I was the guy from Colorado (itís really hard being incognito in a horse and wagon!)  After a little chit-chat, she took my picture and before sending me on my way, dutifully asked. ďAny fruits or vegetables?Ē

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Fortunately, you still donít have to show a passport at the Port of Entry (I left my expired one at home).

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The camera was pointed at the guys, not at me. I guess I know who the celebrities are.

An hour later, I was entering the city.  Right off the bat, I met a guy I had encountered yesterday. While pulling out of a side street, this fellow had a spare tire fall of his trailer. I quickly pulled the team over and got it out of the highway before a car ran over it, then gave it to him.  Today, he was very helpful in telling me about the wildfire which has been burning on my route, a day further to the south. The fire is now 100% contained after burning 10,000 acres of sage, grass and juniper.  I was prepared to take an alternate route, but with the way now clear, Iíll continue with my original route down US 395.  Also, a thank you to Dana, who made me aware of the fire a few days ago.

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As we cruised the streets of the city. A lot of people tossed their work aside and came out to watch, take pictures and chat.

The only stop I really had to make in town was at the feed store.  Of course, I was expected (itís a good thing Iím not wanted by the law!)  I purchased 8 sacks of oats and asked if they had any hay. They were all out, so I thought I would have to go looking for some.  For just an instant, I must have lost my faith the goodness of people.  A very nice lady, called her stepfather and had him bring me a couple of very large bales of hay, which topped off the trailer - Thank You!

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The lads had a working lunch as several carloads of older and younger folks stopped by to give them a few treats, pets and a ride on their backs.  I think they enjoyed their lunch time.

Lynn, a nice lady i met several days ago, stopped by with lunch for me and treats for the horses - Thank You!  Lynn also happens to know Ron (Dakotah) who came through this area, driving his team two years ago. Ron, now settled in Banderra, TX with his girlfriend has the distinction of being the most widely traveled teamster of modern time, having driven his team over 55,000 miles in 26 years.

The good folks at the feed store also know Ron and threw in a 50 bag of complete feed (the kind of feed that Ron suggested they carry).

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This young fellow would have camped out on Billís back if his mom had let him.

With everyone stopping by, lunch lasted a couple of hours. A couple of people wanted to bring their kids by to see the horses. As I pulled out before school let out, they caught up with me down the street.

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At lunch, Lynn brought some garden pears for the horses and I. Doc would still rather have an apple, but I think Bob and Bill like the pears better.

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A happy family getting to meet the horses.

As I drove south of Alturis, I could see that mop up operations were still going on with the wildfire to the south. An endless parade of helicopter with sling-loaded water were headed for the fire.  North of Alturis, the highway travels through a wildlife refuge. In the first few miles, I saw several deer, antelope, eagles and lots of waterfowl.

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A Chinook with a sling load of water, headed for the fire.

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If Picaso can name his pictures, so can I. This one is called ĎRaptor Rockí.

Seven miles north of town, I pulled over and made a roadside camp. Everybody is settled in and content. This was a really great day.

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I know, another picture of speed goats on a hay field.