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At Long Last, A Day Off

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5/7/12, Cimarron, CO - After 136 miles and seven days of travel, the lads and I finally have a day of rest.  Well the team is making the most of it, I had a few chores to do.

All morning long the lads took advantage of their pasture time to either lay on their sides and take a nap or meander around the pasture and nibble on the most luscious of the new spring grass.  Theyíre kind of like the family that goes on vacation and really know how to have a good time.

While they were enjoying their downtime, I was busy working on the front end of the wagon. When I mounted the new spindles on the wagon, I thought the alignment looked pretty good - well, I wasnít exactly right. So, most of the morning was spent trying to free up the tie-rods and adjust the alignment. It would have been easier if I had a set of forks to dislodge the ball joints, but I made do. Right now, itís about as good as a pair of boards and a tape measure will make it.

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The wagon parked at the Bar E Ranch with the Cimarron Mountains in the background.  With unusual rock formations and incredible scenery, these mountains are among my favorites.

This afternoon, a drizzly rain started to fall.  I cut up some boards for irrigation ditch dams while Linda and Cady went out back to fetch the backhoe. The game plan was to work on the irrigation ditches this afternoon, but after Cady fell in the ditch and got soaked for the second day in a row, we decided to call it quits.  I havenít got the whole story, but I think Linda is sneaking up behind him and pushing him it the ditch!

Everything is going good.  The way my trip is laid out, the vast majority of the miles have to be traveled between now and December 1st, when I hope to be south of Bishop, CA.  By then, Iíll be far enough south and at a low enough altitude to miss the worst of next winter.  Between now and then, Iím going to try and travel about 400 miles a month to accomplish that goal.  While I do that, I have to balance in the condition of the team.  Horses can withstand quite a bit, but when I am traveling with them over long distances, I have to be careful to ensure I balance their nutrition, condition and amount of work, while keeping them sound and free of sores.  This is the number one concern of a teamster making a long-haul trip. My team consists of four members; Doc, Bill, B.O.B. and me.  I ask a lot of them, but I also go out of my way to baby them. They know it and appreciate it.  This morning, when I walked into the pasture, they all came over, one at a time, put their noses in my armpit and waited for a rub and a kind word.

I experience and learn a lot on a trip like this.  I experience, happiness, joy, excitement, danger, wonder, fellowship and hardship. I learn that mankind should spend most of their lives pursuing things is two basic categories: beans and tacos (the essential of what it takes to live), and love, comradeship and fellowship with their friends, family and fellow human beings.  But I also see that mankind spends far too much time being distracted from these two things by spending a deal of their lives going after things like, ambition, personal recognition, power, toys, mindless entertainment and indulging in self pity. While Iíll be the first to admit that I have been guilty of all of these distractions, I find that fulfillment and happiness are best achieved through acts of love and kindness to others. Weíre all human, and as a minimum, we all deserve a smile and a kind word. If only in your heart, youíll get much more in return.

In the morning the lads and I are setting out once more. On the west side of Montrose, I plan on stopping to visit some friends.  Since we have 26 miles to travel, and Cerro hill to conquer on the way, I probably wonít make it until the day after tomorrow (weíll see).

In the meantime, Iím about ready to join my hosts, Cady and Linda Daniels for a leg of lamb supper.

I donít have internet for the second night, so Iíll publish both of these blogs tomorrow, when I reach the top of Cerro Hill.

Good Night!