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Hilly Road to Henry's Fork


6/23/12, Ashton, ID - Iím currently camped on the north bank of the Henryís Fork of the Snake River, a couple of hundred yards from US-20. This is about 2 miles north of Ashton, ID.

Most of the morning was spent pulling a lot of up and down hills, some of which were pretty challenging. I had Doc and Bill hitched up and they Ďkicked buttí! Even with a lot of hills, this dynamic duo managed to pull 23 miles.

All day long, I met nice people. Nearly everyone waved as they went by, some people stopped to chat, a couple of people brought gifts and a lot of kids got to pet the horses.

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An icon of Americaís past - this grain elevator has long sat empty in the now abandoned town of Lamont.  Before the age of trucking, trains transported grain crops from small elevators, scattered across farm country. Now the tracks are gone and replaced with an ATV trail.

The hill country, south and east of Ashton is primarily used to grow winter wheat and some alfalfa.  Enough rain falls in the region so that these crops will grow without irrigation. I must admit, when I looked at how steep some of the wheat fields were, I couldnít imagine driving a combine down these hills to harvest the grain. I wonder where the combine drivers buy life insurance?

After 7 or 8 miles, the hills began to shallow as I began my descent into Ashton.  Along the way, I stopped and talked with several people, including a guy that brought me a fresh baked doughnut and a case of water - thank you.

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Bill and Doc like driving together and usually set a blistering pace.  Hills are taken at a trot and they need no encouragement at all.

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One of the rules I follow on the wagon is that people get to pet the horses, especially children. This young mother had three little girls ready to pet some soft noses.

In Ashton, I had two stops to make.  First was the gas station, where I bought another can of coffee (just in case).  Some people believe that the world ends in December when the Mayan calendar runs out.  I doubt if thatís true; but, if the coffee pot runs empty, it might as well be the end of the world! While I was at the gas station I filled up the water jugs and introduced a lot of people to some gentle giants.  I also got directions to the liquor store, which was my second stop (I had to refresh my afternoon cocktail ingredients).

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B.O.B. loves the attention just as much as the other two.

Tonight, Iím camped on the banks of Henryís Fork of the Snake River. Thereís a high bluff, so I canít get the horses down to the river and the grazing is poor. In spite of that, Iím off the highway and I have a great view of the river and the Teton Mountains.

I look at the traffic zooming down the highway and Iím amazed that people are always in such a hurry, even when theyíre on vacation. I feel honored to be able to slow my life down enough that I can truly relax and enjoy myself.  I still keep to a schedule, but my life is regulated by the months on a calendar, not the minutes on a watch.  My activities are also regulated by the growth of a horses hoof and the wear on the shoes. Which reminds me, I have some shoeing to do in the next few days.

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On the left side of this picture, you can see a couple of anglers trying their luck in the river.

Tomorrow morning, Iíll hitch all three horses for the first few miles. As we climb away from the river, itís a pretty steep grade.

For the next couple of days, it suppose to warm to the mid 80ís. To beat the heat and a lot of the traffic, Iíll try for an early start.