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Good Times in Helena


7/8/12, Helena West Side - This was a really great day on the wagon. After leaving my roadside camp, Doc and Bob pulled the wagon on the approach to Helena. The road had a good shoulder and we made good time moving through East Helena and into the city.

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Many times on this journey Iíve run into a situation like the one shown in this picture.  Up close, the wagon tends to spook pronghorns.  When they are trapped on the right-of-way, with fences on both side, they freak out and bounce from one side of the road to the other. Antelope have to crawl through or under a fence as they canít jump. After a couple near misses with some cars, this bunch made it to safety.

As I came into town, I stopped several times to talk with people and let the kids pet the horses. Traffic was fairly light and we moved right along, arriving at Walmart around 10:30.

i had worn out a pair of cheap Chinese made shoes, so I replaced them with another pair of Chinese made shoes (the horses wear good American made steel and tungsten carbide shoes). I also managed to stop at the barber shop and get my mane trimmed.

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This young fellow and his mom really enjoyed meeting the lads.

While I was in the store, I unhitched the lads, watered and fed them their lunchtime oats.  Quite a few people stopped by, but I had to leave them and the guys and go about my shopping.

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At the back of the parking lot, I was just one of many campers.

By 12:30 pm, I was back on the road and headed through town. The temperature was climbing near 90 and I had some water jugs to fill so I looked around for a gas station to get some water.


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Cruising the streets of Helena.

A couple of miles before leaving the city, I stopped at a station for water. After giving each one of the amigos a couple of buckets, I filled up my empty jugs and topped off the tank on the wagon.  A lot of people stopped to see the lads and chat.

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Having the day off, Bill got a lot of attention at the rear of the trailer, including this cute little girl.

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The lads really love all the attention.

Shortly after leaving the west side of Helena, I was stopped by John and asked if I would like to camp at a private park, right around the corner. The horses were hot and tired and it sounded like a golden opportunity.

Tonight, the guys are roaming free on a wonderful 30 acre park, just west of the City. This is the sight of the old Broadwater Hotel, which from 1880 until the 1936 Olympics, had the largest indoor, heated swimming pool in the world.  (Hitler ensured that the one built for the Olympics was 2 feet longer). 

The hotel was later destroyed in a fire, but the grounds are now used for concerts, weddings and car shows.  Last week the Marshal Tucker band was here.  Bill and his son own the property, while John and his wife keep it up.

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This is one of the most interesting shots I have taken with the horses.  Using a telephoto setting, I got a picture of a mule deer (not a statue) with all three of the lads in the background.  Howís that for wildlife photography?

What followed was a very nice evening grilling steaks with friends and family and generally having a great time. The kids got to sit on the horses as they wandered around eating grass.

I guess the caption for the following two pictures would be: Who says that kids nowadays donít grow up with the Ďbark on Ďemí?

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Iím taking Monday off in this beautiful place to rest the lads and maybe do a little horseback riding.  As far as the horses are concerned, they think theyíve landed in a little piece of paradise.  So do I.