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Bar E Ranch to Mountain Mode


5/28/10 & 5/29/10

5/28/10, Cimmaron, CO - I had a prearranged stop over at the Bar E Ranch, so I didnít have to travel far, but it workout out well, as there were a lot of contour lines to conquer.

As soon as I pulled out of the roadside camp, Bob and Doc started a steady climb up Cerro Hill. The top of the hill was at about 8000 feet, and it was a tough climb. 

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At the top of Cerro Hill, Wyle E. Coyote shadowed the wagon for about a 1/4 mile.  I think he was hoping we had some ACME Rabbit catching supplies.

Upon reaching the top of the hill, I then had to give up all our hard won contour lines and descend 1000 feet before arriving at the crossroads of Cimmaron.

There was a small general store and gas station in town and I purchased a new gas can and bought some gas. Several people stopped to see the team and meet me.

A couple of miles further down the road, I turned onto Cimmaron Road, and shortly thereafter I pulled into the Bar E Ranch.  The Bar E is owned by Cady and Linda Daniels and her brother. Thereís 800 acres of mostly irrigated land that is leased out for other Ranchers to graze their cattle. The place is an old family ranch and has an amazing collection of old western machinery and artifacts.

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Descending into Cimmaron. On the other side of these hills, the Gunnison River runs through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

Cady and Linda are wonderful hosts, who treated us like royalty. Not long after I arrived, Caroline, a friend of mine stopped and we both enjoyed a wonderful lamb chop dinner with the Danielís. The team got to enjoy munching grass in a large pasture. There were a lot of hills this day, but life at the Bar E was smooth sailing!

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A little boy petting Bob at the store in Cimmaron.

5/29/10, Cimmaron Public Corral, Uncompahgre National Forrest - Before taking off this morning, I managed to recon the dayís travel by automobile. Itís a good thing; with gravel roads and a lot of steep hills, I knew it would be tough taking the wagon and trailer over the route.

I solved the dilemma by putting the wagon into itís Ďmountain travel modeí.  After pulling out the extra tools, vet supplies, and about 200 pounds of horse shoes, I had room to put the generator and a couple of gas cans in the wagon storage compartment. The trailer was then unhitched and left at the Bar E Ranch, until I return down the valley in a few days.  So, right now, Iím carrying only a four day supply of oats, no hay (thereís lots of grass right now) and an extra 20 gallons of water for the horses.  Iím also about 2000 to 2500 pounds lighter than when I pulled into the Bar E.

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The wagon, moving as a lean, mean, mountain traveling machine.

My friend Caroline accepted my invitation to travel with me for the next few days, as I make my way into the mountains on this vacation, from my normal vacation.

In the first 5 miles, we climbed about a thousand feet, as we made out way back up to 8000 feet. I initially had Bob and Bill hitched up, but at lunchtime, Bill was looking a little tired, so I harnessed up Doc, and let Bill rest for the remainder of the day.

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Mountain Horses - carefully threading there way through the aspen groves.

The remainder of the day was up and down, as we traveled another 10 miles to our overnight camping spot.  Tonight, weíre located just inside the National Forrest, next to a very large public stock corral. The horses have plenty of graze and water from the river.

With the corral, itís easy to set up camp, and Caroline and I had plenty of time to sip a cocktail on the bank of the Cimmaron River.

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The boys, enjoying the grass in the corral.

The game plan for tomorrow is to head upstream for a few miles and find a nice lake or pond to fish in and camp by. The river is still running pretty high, so Iíll be looking for some still water. 

Internet and phone access up here in the mountains is nonexistent, so it will be a few days before I can publish this blog.

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