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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
Going to Southeast Utah


5/12/10, Lewis, CO - As Iím waiting for the snow to melt in the Colorado mountains,I figure I have about three weeks to wander aimlessly throughout Southeastern Utah.  So, thatís where Iím off to next. And, now for todayís travels:

Jim, my host last night, was great company, so I didnít hit the road until 9 am.   After I made it back out to the highway, there was an endless parade of people stopping to talk and to see the team. This happens whenever a story in the local newspaper comes out before I clear out of an area. But, Iím not complaining at all. I really enjoy meeting people, and itís nice to see them interact with the horses - especially the kids.

The first folks that stopped, did so in front of a farm that had camels and llamas, so I asked if we could rejoin a couple of hundred yards up the road.  Ever since I stayed at a llama farm in Texas, the team has been good about them, but I wanted to make sure the kids were safe.

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This little girl really liked feeding carrots to the lads.

The next vehicle held Melissa Weber and her two little kids. Melissaís kids attend a small private school. The school has a half day for field trips Friday, so the school is probably going to load up and come visit me. This will be a first - the school comes to the team!

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Itís amazing how gentle and careful these great beasts are around little ones, the old and the developmentally challenged adults. I believe they treat them like they would colts in a herd - with a lot of care and tolerance.

If you havenít noticed, Iíve had Bob trailing behind for the past couple of days.  Heís started to get a neck sore, so I pulled him out of harness while it heals. When I bought Bob, he had an old scar on his neck. This is very visible because there is a small white spot on his neck. Scar tissue is more sensitive than regular skin and wonít really callous up.  So, if you are looking to purchase a horse, look for a small spot where there is a loss of pigment, at a place where tack is positioned.  This can indicate an old injury that is now scar tissue.  If you plan on using him a lot, the scar tissue can form a sore faster than the normal skin.

Bob should be back in harness in about a week and a half; but, Iíll change collar sizes on him again so the rub point will be in slightly different spot.

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B.O.B in his favorite position - walking behind the trailer. He doesnít have to work too hard for his supper and there are a lot of pets and treats.

When I stopped to pick up a couple of things at the gas station, I had Mesa Verde to the southeast, and Ute Mountain to the southwest. This was the back drop for our southern view for the whole day.

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When they work hard enough, a team learns to rest quietly when you stop. Thereís no point in expending energy uselessly.

I pulled into the entrance of a ranchette development for lunch, where quite a few people stopped to chat.  Just before I took off, I noticed that Doc had worn the Drilltek off one corner of a front shoe. As I was getting ready to re-shoe him, Todd King, a farrier, showed up with his two kids. Talk about a heaven sent opportunity! After I pulled the old shoes, Todd was kind enough to trim the feet. Then, I set one shoe and Todd the other. Iíve met a lot of nice farriers on the trip, but none that were kind enough to volunteer to shoe one of my draft horses - they generally know better than to subject themselves to that form a physical punishment - Thanks Todd.

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Todd King setting one of Docís shoes.  He has done it several thousand times more than I have, so heís faster and better at it then I ever will be.

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Taking a little break on top of the earthen dam for a reservoir. The sound of the outflow water running beneath their feet didnít bother the team a bit.

Tonight, Iím camped at Claude and Beckyís place, about a mile north of the town of Lewis.  The lads are running around on a nice 8 acre pasture with my hostís two horses.  Every time I look out, they have their heads buried in the grass, so I know theyíre having a good time. As a rule of thumb, I can turn them out with other geldings with no problems. If there is a mare in the bunch, all bets are off. If there is a blond Belgian mare, B.O.B. would start telling his blonde-Belgian jokes and the new herd would erupt in chaos!

In a few days, Iíll be in Monticello, Utah.  Thereís still too much snow in the high country of the Colorado Rockies, so I plan on killing some time and seeing some nice country while it melts. Iím not sure of my route yet, so if you have any suggestions let me know. I donít want to travel more than 150 miles from Monticello, I can only go about 50 miles without water. and 200 miles from a source of grain. And, Iím reluctant to eat snakes and bugs, so I would like to get groceries every week or so.  With those restrictions in mind, Iím open to suggestions.

Following, are a couple of pictures that Lu Ann sent me of the Ladies Driving Clinic from a couple of weeks ago. Also here is a link to the Cortez Journal story that Hope wrote. In addition to being a good cook, Hope is also a good writer!

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The Instructors: myself, Lu Ann Baker, and Chuck Baley.  It was a real pleasure working with a couple of experienced and professional teamsters.

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First lesson in team driving.  Iím there to take pictures and wish the team ĎBon Voyageí if they run off.