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Happy New Year - 2013

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12/30/12, Valley Falls, OR - As 2012 draws to a close and yet another year is at our doorstep, I fondly remember twelve great months behind me and eagerly anticipate the 365 days to come.

In five days I pack up the truck and head to the Nuclear Plant near Omaha, NE for a few months of work. 

After three weeks of labor and $3000 dollars worth of material, the walk-in barn is complete.  I overbuilt the 10í x 24í structure so it could withstand the ravages of 2000 pound horses and the occasional hurricane force wind that has been known to blow in from the south. Iím pleased with the finished product, but more importantly, my three trusty steeds seem quite happy with it.

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When I was a kid, all of the livestock could be fed from the barn aisles, as the mangers all faced out. The ladsí new pad has the same feature.  Windows open to allow the mangers and grain boxes to be filled from outside the fence. This picture shows that I still have to install a 4 foot chuck of ridge cap to the metal roof (thatís it).

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With the hay and grain right outside the feed windows, chores take about 5 minutes to complete.  It will be a few months until itís warm enough to slap on a coat of paint.

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With breakfast over, Bill still likes to chill out in his ĎDeluxe Indoor/Outdoor accommodationsí.

The 2800 miles traveled during Trip #4 were the best time Iíve ever had.  As far as Iím concerned, the trip ended on an upbeat and at exactly the right time.  I had traveled through the very best that the West has to offer and met some incredible people along the way. For a few hundred bucks, I could have repaired the damage from the fender-bender and have been back on the road, but I was weary of travel and ready to throw in the towel.  After working 14 to 16 hours a day while traveling on the wagon, 10 to 12 hour days at the Nuke Plant will seem like a piece of cake (Iíll have to find something to keep me busy with all the extra leisure time).

In other news, Chuck and Mary Reagan are still in Golden Valley, AZ, recovering from a devastating wagon fire. However, it seems that things are going pretty well for them.  Home Depot in Kingman, AZ has volunteered to repair their wagon. Chuck has a job offer to teach people how to build metal casting molds, so they decided to stay put for three months, get everything repaired and build a road-stake.

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Doc and Hershey (the Lab).

Both Jacquie and I hope everybody had a great Christmas and wish everyone the best in the coming New Year.

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The two Miniís and the llamas.