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Camping in the Hills

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

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5/12/13, Valley Falls, OR - Once again, the wagon proved to be the perfect vehicle with which to traipse off in the wilderness. For three days, the lads pulled Jacquie and I through some gorgeous country at a comfortable three mile an hour.

The first few miles of our journey required navigating around several cattle guards, four of which required the wagon to be pulled across the cattle guard as the go-around gate was adequate to drive the wagon through the open gate.  The lads can pull the wagon across with a chain, but to expedite the process we used the truck for this function during the first few miles of travel.

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This cattle guard was easy, as it didnít have an attached go-around gate or fence line.

The first 10 miles of travel were through range land and BLM.  For 3 or 4 miles the road passed down Willow Creek canyon.  Fortunately traffic was nonexistent as the road narrowed to one lane as it followed the willow lined creek bottom.  Much of this portion of the trek was through open range with cattle walking on the road to reach different sections of graze.

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Some ancient petroglyphs on the rock in Willow Creek Canyon.

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Three hours after starting our trek, the tree line ahead marked the boundary for the National Forrest.

Upon reaching the forest, Hershey jumped off the wagon and ran alongside.  It was a three mile pull to our first camping spot on Flat Mill Lake. Even though it was a steady uphill grade, the lads made short work of it.  On our previous trip touring the American West, the combined weight of the wagon and trailer was 8000 to 9000 pounds.  For this trip, the wagon only weighted between 4000 and 5000 pounds.

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Hershey trotting ahead of the horses and making sure our way was clear.

It was a full day by the time we drove the 15 miles to Flat Mill Lake. After a great Lobster and Steak supper we turned in for the night. The lads had plenty of thick grass to munch on and a large spring covered with water cress to quench their thirst.

The following day, the lads only pulled the wagon about 6 miles to a camp on the upper reaches of Cox Creek.  We settled on a nice piece of ground alongside the creek. The grass was a little sparser here than the lush grazing on Flat Mill Lake, so I ended up having to move the fence enclosure three different times.

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Few things are as pleasurable for a horse as grazing on sweet spring grass.  The sugar content is so high, a blade would taste sweet if I ran my tongue over it.

Cox Creek was a great place to camp and we took several nice hikes down area trails.  Following are a couple of pictures of Hershey enjoying his time on Cox Creek.

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For the last day of our journey we traveled out of the forest and back to the highway. The lads were strong and pulled the seventeen miles to Chandler Park by 2:30 pm. We originally planned on spending the last night at the park, but decided to head home for a nice hot Jacuzzi.

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Traveling through the last of the National Forest.

All in all this was a real tremendous trip; much better than hitching up a travel trailer to a motor vehicle and going camping for the weekend.