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The Wagonteamster Channel has itís first video production - Journey To the Valley Of the Wild Horses

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5/5/12, Sapinero, CO - This evening, Iím camped in a beautiful location, perched on a hill, overlooking the gorgeous Blue Mesa Reservoir.  The horses are on lush green graze, the view is fantastic and Iím settled here amongst friends.

Fortunately, I broke camp early and was on the road by 7:15 am.  Not a mile down the road, I encountered a difficult obstacle. For three miles, US 50 wound itís way through the narrow Gunnison River Canyon.  Without much of a shoulder and hairpin turns, I used my red and blue flasher to warn traffic to my rear.  By getting on the road early, most of the Saturday Morning crowd were still in bed and the traffic was light. Doc and Bill were hitched up and managed to navigate the canyon in about 45 minutes.  With all that going for us, we managed to pull it off without a problem.

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While beautiful, narrow roads and blind corners make the three miles of the Gunnison River Canyon a difficult place to drive horses.

All day, the drive was beautiful.  On one side I had the shimmering blue water of Blue Mesa Reservoir. On the other, there were towering mesas and cliffs of limestone. Blue Mesa Reservoir was flooded up in the 1960ís, when construction of the Gunnison River Dam was completed. Since then, the lake and the surrounding land has become the Curecanti National Recreation Area.  Itís a real gem in the National Park System and not overused as many of the National Parks are.

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Along my travels this morning, I rode for a few minutes with Karen.  Her husband works for the National Park Service and they have been assigned her for 2 years.

Every time I stopped for a break or for lunch, people would pull up to chat and take pictures.  Break time usually goes like this:  Billy veers for a likely break spot - heís a well trained horse (that way), I park the team and pour a cup of coffee from the electric coffee machine, I take two sips and settle back in to my chair, some pulls up, we chat and the coffee get cold. Before I pull out, I pour another hot cup of coffee.

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Break Time!

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Another Break Time!

For lunch, I decided to drive into one of the pullouts next to the lake. Actually, Doc decided to, but I agreed.  After taking care of the team, I first sat on one of those perfect rocks and had a cocktail on a cliff overlooking the lake.  Several car loads of visitors stopped to chat, so before I knew it, an hour had gone by and I still hadnít eaten. Not to worry - I decided on a Mediterranean lunch of rolls with olive oil, olives and cheese and a glass of wine (easy to fix).

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A self portrait of me and my perfect rock at lunch.

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Another angle of the same theme. I know what youíre thinking - with only a 10 second delay timer on the camera; how did I get back to my rock and still look relaxed after running down a small hill and moving 20 feet?  Easy, I was hurrying back to my drink!

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This is the view of the wagon from my perfect rock,

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While at lunch, a couple of very nice Park Rangers stopped to say Ďhií and pet the horses.  Very good people, with often a difficult job.

Doc and Bill were moving right along today and we made the 18 miles to Sapinero Village by 2:30 pm.  I almost missed the village store and bar and they were located up a small hill and somewhat sheltered by a small hill near the road.  Itís a good thing I saw it.  The store and bar are owned by Jim Murphy and his wife Jeri.  I went into the store to pick up a couple of things and before you know it, Iím the recipient of all sorts of gracious hospitality. 

This morning, I was just thinking, ĎIím down to four bales of hay, Iím going to have to find a place to stop and get four more.í

Iím barely in the store and Jim says to me, ďYou know, Iíve got a few bales of grass hay in the barn.  Do you think you could use them?Ē

We drove up the hill, and there were exactly 4 bales of hay - what are the odds? So now the wagon has a full load of hay. To top it off, there was a beautiful hillside of green grass located right below the store that belongs to the park service. The team is now trying to eat an entire hill side of nicely greened-up blue grama grass (their favorite)

 

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Jim and his wife have a little Jewel of America here.  Thereís a store with just about anything a camper could need, and a great bar with an outside deck and an RV park. If you look at the last picture, you can see the view. It just doesnít come any better and itís about the only place this side of Gunnison.  Jimís number is (970) 641-2310.

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As my old dog Clementime would say, tonightís supper was really ďRuff!Ē

As Iím sitting here in 7th Heaven, to the horsesí way of thinking, theyíve got it even better.

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Bill and Doc are thinking, ĎWow, green grass and water!í B.O.B. thoughts are, ĎItís all in the ambiance!í

This has been another really great day on the wagon. Tomorrow, Iím going to try and drive the twenty or so miles to a friends Ranch on the Cimarron River. Good Night.