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Harvest

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8/6/12, Dixie, WA - Today the lads and I called it quit at 1 pm and set up camp alongside a small creek on the north edge of Dixie.  For Barry Rayburn, the keeper of the Google Maps section of the website, I would again like to thank you for your diligent work in keeping up this feature. For Barryís benefit, Iím 100 yards up Mud Creek Road, of US-12.

The day started warm and quickly got hot. By the time we stopped for lunch around 11:15 AM, it was already in the nineties.  A couple miles further down the road at 1 PM, with a temperature approaching 100 degrees, I found a nice patch of green grass, next to a small creek and pulled in for the night.

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Rolling through the town of Waitsburg around 8:30 AM. 

To beat the heat, I was underway by 6:15 this morning. For the first few hours, the lads had an easy pull and we made great time.  On our way out of Waitsburg Doc and Bob encounters a Camel in a field, alongside the road. Itís been three years since they saw one. The Belgians werenít very impressed, but Doc thought it was a scary monster.  I let him sit there and dance while he figured it out.  After about 30 seconds, he figured it wasnít going to eat him, so we went on our way.

Itís harvest time her in the hilly country of Southeast Washington.  Everywhere you go farmers are hard at work combining wheat. The roads are full of grain trucks hauling wheat to the elevators.

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Combines working there way across the side of a hill.  If you look closely, you can see that the self-leveling combine is leveled with the downhill wheels farther from the body of the machine.

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Wheat - with my untrained eyes, it looks like itís going to be a good harvest. The seed heads look very full and the wheat is thick and fully mature.

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Another local crop is Garbanzo Beans.

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The lads look longingly at the weeds growing alongside many fields.  Wild or free oats would make a tasty treat for them.

Just before lunch, I had to pull a 3/4 mile long hill with a 7 or 8% grade.  Rather than break out the third harness, I tried it with just Doc and Bob. By stopping twice and giving them each a sip of water, we made it despite the heat.  A horseís endurance goes way down as the temperature rises. Just like any athlete, care must also be given to prevent heat exhaustion or possibly heat stroke.

I broke the lads out for lunch at the top of the hill. In addition to their oats, I was able to completely tank them up on water.  Despite the fact that they were tanked up right before I hitched at 6 AM, they each still downed about 8 to 10 gallons of water. 

After lunch, the temperature continued to rise.  It was an easy pull down the hill and I set about looking for a place to call it quits for the day. Just off a little side road, I spied a good sizes piece of green grass, next to a draw that I figured might hold running water.  After scouting it out and finding it acceptable, I turned in and set about making camp.

I had a lot of visitors today, including a reporter from the Walla Walla newspaper, locals and some folks that came looking for me.

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This young man who came with his parents has a natural way with animals. He liked the horses and they really liked him.

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These two sisters really liked petting the lads and giving them some treats. The younger of the two spent several minutes braiding B.O.B.ís forelock. Of course B.O.B. ate it up!

Itís suppose to be another really hot day tomorrow.  Iím going to try and be on the road really early and be clear of Walla Walla before it gets too hot.