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

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8/30 through 9/1/12

8/30/12, N. of Valley Falls, OR - I camped this evening 4 miles north of Valley Falls, on the southern edge of Lake Abert. After pulling a large hill south of the rest area, the lads and I made are approach to Lake Abert. After climbing the hill, I started a long descent into the Lake Abert basin.

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The dried out northern edge of Lake Abert was my first view of the lake as I descended into the valley.

As the road wound itís way down towards the lake, the Abert Rim, one of the largest geological faults in the United States began to appear on my left side.

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Obviously made for the nearsighted cow that is also dyslexic, these double fake cattle guards didnít impress the lads at all.

Like many of the lakes in the Great Basin, Lake Abert has no outflow and the water is not fresh.  Over the years, the constant evaporation of water has caused the lake to be loaded with alkali salts, similar to the Great Salt Lake of Utah.

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Due to years of drought, the average depth of Lake Abert has receded from a normal average depth of 20 feet to an average depth of 5 feet. This has left miles of dry lake bed on the northern edge.  The rainbow of colors was even more impressive in person.

The only marine species that is present in Lake Abert in any number is brine shrimp that is less than one centimeter long. However, the shrimp exists in such numbers that the lake attracts a tremendous amount of migratory birds.

I later met Ken and Lynn who are the only people that harvest the brine shrimp for sale as pet food and feed for prawn farms.  Every summer they harvest the shrimp with seine nets, then sell the frozen shrimp all winter long by mail order.

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As the wagon rolled along the side of the cliff, thousands of migratory birds took flight, leery of the wagonís close approach. It was reminiscent of movie scenes showing African wild birds taking to flight on some large African lake.  The lads are not only good pullers, they also can cause several thousand birds to take to the wing!

The road alongside the lake is not one I would choose to drive a green team on.  It was windy, narrow and had a steep cliff on the lake side.  But, the boys arenít scared of heights (and neither am I) so we drove the 15 miles down the goat path to the south side of the lake.

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Ainít that a pretty picture!

That evening, I camped on BLM land, right at the southern edge of the lake.  The lads put in another 26 mile day and were ready for another large bale of alfalfa.

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Some visitors at a turnout just north of where I ended up camping. I told these ladies, ďGo ahead, give the horses a nice pet. Youíll feel a lot better afterwards.Ē  They said they did feel a lot better!

8/31/12 & 9/1/12, Valley Falls, OR - On the morning of 8/31, I drove the lads the four miles to the small town of Valley Falls. As I was stopped for the first morning break, I was invited to stop and rest the team in town. As the lads had just driven 120 miles in 5 days, they were more than past due for a rest. 

Iím now settled in with for the next few days while both the lads and I get some R&R.  After driving more than 1800 miles in 4 months, theyíre due for a little downtime. 

While Iím hear, Iím going to get some rest myself, but also get a few chores done and act like a normal person for a few days.

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The lads took a liking to my hostís miniature horses, especially Casper, the little white one that is giving B.O.B. a kiss.

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After shoeing draft horses for so long, it was a real pleasure to trim the hooves on this little horses.

Talk to you soon,  Bob