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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
Drats! an Impassable Cattle Guard

WAGONTEAMSTER .COM

5/23/10, Ridgway, CO - I made a gallant attempt, but I wasnít able to pass around a cattle guard on the Forrest Service access road to my favorite fishing hole. Tonight, Iím on US Route 550, 2 miles north of Ridgway, heading towards Montrose.  Anyway, itís time I found some new favorite fishing holes!

About an hour and a half after leaving camp this morning, the boys pulled up on the Dallas Divide. At almost 9000 feet above sea level, itís the highest point for them on the trip - so far. Like all good athletes, they have been conditioning themselves to the altitude, and climbed the 700 feet in elevation to the pass, without taking a break.

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The Mountain Horses, with the Sneffels Range in the background.

After the pass, it was all down hill.  A couple of miles further down the road I stopped at a wide turnout. Two different ladies also stopped to photograph the mountains and the team.  For them it was a heaven sent opportunity to capture the beautiful scenery, with a handsome bunch of horses in the foreground.  It was a nice break; and both ladies left me with some nice parting gifts - thank you. 

 

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Not too bad for a cell phone picture, huh? It helps when you have a great team and great scenery. The expensive fence in the background (which extends for several miles) belongs to Ralph Loren, who has a large ranch through here. There was a cold wind blowing today, so I bet Ralph wasnít running around in a polo shirt!

I took a lunch break, just a few hundred yards before turning on to the Forrest Service access road. About 1/2 mile down the road I encountered a cattle guard, which I expected. The required wire gate was to the side of the cattle guard, but there was a large steep sided ditch running right under it. I would have spent two or three hours with a shovel making it passable, but with all the snow still present high in the mountains, I figured there would be another time.

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I love candid shots! My destination in the mountains was just beyond the ridge that is located below the highest mountain on the left side of the photo (Mt. Sneffels).

Like all Amish travelers before me, I turned around at a wide spot in the road and headed for the town of Ridgway.  In the short term, Iím headed for the city of Montrose, after that, I havenít figured out my exact route yet.  Heck, I got a couple of days!

In other news: A couple of days ago, I wrote a blog which showed my travels down Norwood Hill to the San Miguel River, and then down the river to a camping spot at the boat launch at the junction with Specie Creek. Unfortunately, much of the beautiful terrain is pretty ugly right now.  Friday night, a wildfire started from a lightening strike at the bottom of Norwood Hill. With the fierce winds we have been having, the fire spread considerably, finally jumping up on to the mesa.  A friend of mine just told me that over 4500 acres have burnt so far.  I was well out of the area before it started. As Iíve always said, ďHaving three fast horses is real niceĒ. Not meaning to belittle Clydesdales, but they would have kept stopping for beer breaks, leaving me in the midst of a wildfire!

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This is not only a picture of a mountain range; itís also a framed picture!

In the town of Ridgway, I gave Brenda and her daughter Natalie a ride for about a 1/2 mile.  They were great to have aboard, and I enjoyed their company.

As I was leaving town, and climbing up a fairly treacherous hill on the outside of town, a Ridgway Police Officer was kind enough to fall in behind me and give me an escort.

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My escort up the hill.

Tonight, the team has a nice sized playpen on a wide spot in the road right-of-way.  My internet access is a little marginal, but hopefully I have enough bandwidth to publish this blog tonight,