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7/25 and 26/10, Estrella, CO - The most rewarding aspect of my trip is that Iím truly blessed by meeting so many exceptional people.

This morning, I pulled out of Jimís place and headed back to the main highway. As I started traveling north, I watched with interest as a storm was already starting to build over the southern portion of the Sangre De Cristo mountain range.  Otherwise, the sky in the valley was calm and it was nice traveling weather.

Traffic on route 285 was fairly fast, but there was a wide shoulder and it was a nice flat pull.

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The lads love road signs that are written in horse language and are particularly happy when the county road commission puts up a sign just for them!

On the road to La Jara, CO, I met Melissa. She invited me to camp at her farm, north and west of town for the night.  It was right on the way and about the right distance for the day, so I accepted.

As I was pulling into the south side of La Jara, I met a nice couple from Grand Junction.  The man and his brother have been following my blog for years and was excited to meet up.  I get a real delight on putting faces to some of the folks that follow the blog (even if Iím terrible at remembering names).

After stopping at a gas station in La Jara, I met up with Melissa and her two daughters, Maggie and Hannah.  While the girls sat up on Doc and kept him entertained, Melissa and I enjoyed lunch.

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This nice couple had planned a trip from Grand Junction, CO to meet me, but just happened to find me on their way back from Taos, NM.

After lunch, Hannah and Maggie jumped on board for the 8 mile ride to the house. Both girls are experienced with horses and really enjoyed the ride.  Hannah did a great job of driving the lads for about a mile. We pulled into the house just ahead of a large squall line. Fortunately, a storm never materialized from the ominous looking clouds, and I didnít get soaking wet trying to unharness and bed down the team.

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Melissa, driving the lads off the pole at lunchtime. I have to admit she handled the lads a lot better than the John Wayne Impersonator did when we were in Montrose, CO.  Heck, if you can beat out John Wayne, you got to be pretty good.

So now Iím settled in at Melissaís farm for a bit and were having a great time.  On the 26th, we saddled up two of the lads and a couple of Melissaís horses and went for about a 3 hours horseback ride. B.O.B. didnít have a rider, so he enjoyed his status as a free ranging ĎWestern Starí and trotted along with the group.

Thursday, Iím head out to a canyon south of here to count Bighorn Sheep. Melissa works for the Bureau of Land Management, and Iíve been invited to saddle up and ride along on their Annual Sheep Count.  Hopefully, Iíll get some good pictures for the website.

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Maggie and Hannah on the wagon.  Hannah, doing a great job handling the lines.

Friday, Melissa, her two girls and I are taking the wagon and a couple of Outrider horses on a three day camping trip back into the mountains. Iíll drop the trailer and go into the mountain travel mode.  The wagon works perfect as a centerpiece for a camping trip into the mountains. Since everything is horsepowered, it should be a great horse camping experience, complete with cooking, toilet an shower facilities.

Iím currently about 7 miles south and a tad west of Alamosa, CO.

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A strong looking squall line moving in from the Sangre De Cristo Mountains.  Fortunately, this one was all bark and no bite.