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Continental Divide


5/2/12, North Cochetopa Pass, CO - Iím currently one mile N.E. of the Pass, and 30 miles from US 50. After a long day, pulling up a tough hill, the lads and I are finally on the Western Slope of the Rockies. It will be a year from now before we again cross back over the divide.  Now, letís see, whatís going to happen in the next year? - I sure donít know, but I bet it will be fun! 10,135 feet is not the highest that the horses have pulled the wagon, but theyíve never been so high this early in the year. Fortunately, we were able to get off the summit without getting snowed on.

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The white marks on the sign are not accents, highlighting the southwestern vocabulary.  Nay, I say, they are but common bird droppings.

I started off the morning by searching the 10 acre pasture for Bobís halter. In his spring grass, sugar-buzzing frenzy, he rubbed it off on something. With all of the clumps of willow in the field, my search was unsuccessful and I had to use one of my three spare halters.

At the first morning break, I scrambled up some fresh eggs, added some tortillas. cheese and jalepenos and had some breakfast burritos.  Throughout the day, I only passed a half dozen ranch houses along Saguache Creek. Traffic on the road was sparse, as a car only went by every 15 minutes.

Just before lunch, the road grade started to get steep as we approached the National Forest Boundary.

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I woke Bill up from his post-oats, lunchtime nap to take this picture.

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B.O.B. was thoroughly exhausted from having to haul his bulk up a couple of hills before lunchtime.  Wow, he had a rough day.

After lunch, it was a steady 5 to 7% uphill grade, all the way to the top of the pass. Like always, Doc was ready and willing, but Bill needed a lot of coaxing for the last half of the climb. Bill is always real bouncy out of the gate, but he fades fast in the later half of the day.

I had driven this pass in my truck, so I knew the grades were not any steeper than 7%. With this in mind, I wanted to stay with only two horses hitched up, instead of going to a unicorn.  That way, I didnít have to break up their schedule, leaving one of the horses without a day off. In hindsight, I should have hitched the Unicorn in the morning and stayed with it all day.

It wasnít a big day for people, as there was very little traffic and few places to pull over.  However, I did get a lot of waves and a few picture takers. This evening, two different Ranchers stopped to see if I needed anything.

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The Belgians were being picky when looking for a place to roll.

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Not ĎOl Doc, he found a descent spot and went for it.

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To Docís way of thinking, if you land on your back, itís all in the recovery.  It doesnít have to be pretty, just effective!

I took the time to cook a really good supper tonight.  I pulled the wagon through a wire gate and parked it on some National Forest range land on the other side of the fence. Their was plenty of Blue Grama grass, but it was mostly dried out still. Instead, the team much preferred eating some alfalfa.

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Lets see, whatís for supper - Roast Beef, Smashed Potatoes and gravy and Salad,  yup, that will work.

This is the second night in a row that I havenít had cell or internet service. Hopefully, late tomorrow, Iíll be close enough to US Route 50 to pick up a signal and post a some blogs.