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Ernie Bessette, Crosscountry Wagon Driver

9/12/08, Moreau, NY - It was tough leaving the good people at Sally’s Hen House diner. A special thanks to the Sally and all the folks I met there. I pulled out of Sally’s and headed south towards Hudson Falls.

Hudson Falls was a busy town with a lot of traffic downtown. Just before leaving town, with the traffic backed up somewhat, I encountered my first real dangerous driver of the trip. Some deranged idiot in an SUV, first passed several people, then cut me off, coming within inches of hitting Dolly. It’s difficult to keep your temper under situations like this.

The road between Hudson Falls and Fort Edward was narrow with construction work putting in new sidewalks and other infrastructure.  The team navigated the obstacles and traffic like pro’s.

Leaving Fort Edward, we crossed the Hudson river at historic Rogers Island.  On the other side of the river, I met Ernie Bessette.  Ernie is an extremely experienced teamster who actually crossed the United States in a wagon pulled by a team of Belgians in 1986. Ernie was happy to jump on the wagon and we drove 2 or 3 miles to his house for lunch.

Ernie’s house, barn and life are dedicated to horses.  The inside of his house looks like a horse museum. His sheds and yards are full of horse drawn equipment and wagons, to include a Roman chariot. In the barn, he has two nice teams of Belgians and some saddle stock. Ernie is the guy on the left in the photo to the right. A heck of a horseman and a really nice guy.

I’m now camped at the Win A Maker farm in Moreau, NY.  The owner is a wonderful hostess that has gone out of her way to show fix me up with everything I and the horses need (she’s even doing my laundry)! - Thank You!

My good friends the Gates family from Mt. Holly, VT stopped by to visit in the evening.  Very nice people who brought a supper of great grinders and beer.  In the picture below, you can see Haley Gates sitting on Deedee in the indoor riding arena.

Saturday is a day of rest for the horses and I.  We’re to be well rested when we tackle Saratoga Springs tomorrow, one of the horse capitols of the world.  Somehow, I think Saratoga is going to be a fun and exciting time.


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