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Carrots, Colorado Style


5/2/10 & 5/3/10

5/2/10, N. of Pagosa Springs, CO - Sunday was my last day of rest at the Davis Ranch.  In the morning, I went down to see the horses.  As I was petting Bob, an elk ran across the field behind Doc. Doc looked up, shrugged, and went back to grazing. Not so with Billy. He blasted past me, and I thought I heard him say, “I’m going to cut that dern elk out of the herd.

I shouted, “Bill, he ain’t with the herd”.

I think I heard a reply, “I don’t care, it’s time to cow-horse”.

So with Bill leading, all three Amigos chased the elk into a far wood line, about 600 yards away - “yee haw”.  I don’t know if elk can actually laugh, but one might have learned how.

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Doc, with the elk walking behind him.

Later in the day, while I was shoeing Bill, Randall stopped by with some participants from a seminar that he was attending. He said, “We need to create a miracle, in the next 40 minutes”.

I gave him a lead rope and a bridle and told him, “If you can catch Doc, bridle him, and ride him back up here, that would be a miracle”.

I’ve got to hand it to Randall; he really did try to cowboy-up, but Doc had other ideas. When Randall got within 10 feet, Doc and B.O.B. buck-snorted off, and didn’t stop until they were about 1/2 mile away. I guess miracles don’t happen every day!

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Doc and B.O.B. thinking, “If you think we’re blind, guess again. We see that bridle that’s not hidden very well behind your back.”

5/3/10, W. of Pagosa Springs, CO - This morning, when I went out to round up the horses, I remembered Randall’s lesson well, and took a bucket of oats with me - it works every time!  In no time at all, I had them tied up and harnessed.  With the team ready to go, I wrapped up some odds and ends and hit the road. 

A week ago, when I was driving up the driveway to the ranch house, I stomped down on the brake pedal and ended up losing my brakes, when a wheel cylinder let broke. I plugged the brake line and figured I would carry on with one brake operating, until I got the parts to fix the other.


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Harnessed up at the Davis Ranch, and ready to hit the road.

About four miles into the day’s trek, we were climbing a 12 - 15% grade hill.  About half way up, the team needed to take a break.  When I went to push the brake pedal, the last remaining wheel cylinder blew. Quickly, I turned the team into a driveway and put a wheel chock under the tire.  Then I was stuck. I didn’t dare start back up the hill without brakes.

I was stuck, but not for long, I nice guy showed up, with a pickup and a rope.  We hooked the rope up to the tongue and pulled the wagon up with two horse power and a truck.

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Stuck on the hill without brakes.

Randall’s girlfriend Cary arrived and we met up at a store out on the highway. After borrowing a jack, and finding a trailer store that carried the brake parts, I spent the next few hours replacing the wheel cylinders and brake shoes on both rear wheels.

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Now I know why they invented disc brakes.  Drum brakes just ain’t no fun!

It was 4 pm, before I was finally back on the road.  I had to stop and gather a few supplies, so it took even longer before I cleared town.  I nice guy stopped and offered to let me stay at his place, but after the stops I had to make, I wouldn’t make it until after dark.

Tonight, I’m settled into a roadside park, about 5 or 6 miles west of Pagosa Springs.  A lot of people have stopped to say ‘Hi” and leave me with some nice gifts. They include; Barry, Gary, Chuck and Terri. It’s amazing how many nice people I meet on the road. Tonight, I’m stuffed with a great pasta dinner, have a few buck more in the travel fund, the horses are eating a nice bale of 2nd cut hay, and they have a monster sized bag of carrots; all compliments of people I met this evening.  And to top it off, I got to meet some really great folks.

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A little boy at the feed store who thought it was great that I stopped by and brought Doc for him to pet.

Tonight, the horses have a nice, big playpen, here at the roadside park. We only made 10 miles today, but the brake job took up the lion’s share of the day.  In spite of the problems encountered, it was a great day.

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The ‘Itsy Bitsy’ bag of carrots that Barry dropped off for the horses!