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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
Home in the Mountains

WAGONTEAMSTER .COM

1/14/11, La Garita, CO - With the job over in New Hampshire, I packed up the truck and headed back to the mountains. It was a nice trip back, with an opportunity to visit several friends and only one snow storm to contend with.

On my way across upstate New York, I stopped and had a beer with Kathy Lawler. Back in 2008, when I was traveling across New York State, I met, and had dinner with Kathy and her brother. She belongs to a very special group of people that I admire very much. Kathy is a single mother of two, who works full time, goes to school and cares for a disabled brother. On top of that, sheís always out to save the world. Whether itís getting the old Erie Canal cleaned up, fighting for causes, or writing politicians to keep them straight, sheís right in there swinging away. Itís people like this that I feel truly define the words strength, courage and persistence.

The following night I spent in Indiana, at the Barngalo. I had a nice visit with Marti Caldwell. The next morning, on the east side of Indy, I had breakfast with my good friend Barry Rayburn. The rest of the trip was uneventful, and I pulled into La Garita, Co yesterday afternoon.

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On a ride into the San Juan foothills, Doc posing with the Sangre De Cristo mountains in the background.

Like always, Bonnie and Jerry Nusbuam, and the whole community have made me feel right at home. Iím comfortably settled into the wagon right now, but the Nusbaums have offered me the use of their fifth wheel camper. For the extra room and comfort, Iíll be moving into it in a couple of days. The wagon is great, but it can be a little too cozy.

The lads are doing great. Theyíre having a great time getting fat and lazy while they devour their one ton bales of good grass hay. I would guess they are all about 200 pounds heavier than when we were trekking down the road. Theyíve also grown some really long coats. Doc and Bobís coat is about two inches long, and Bill has a full three inches of winter hair. My granddad says you can tell how cold the winter is going to be by the length of a horseís coat, I guess I should break out the long johns and extra sweater.

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The town of La Garita, with the Sangre De Cristos in the background. These mountain are so pretty, theyíre hard not to photograph. I shot this picture from the crest of the first hills in the foothills of the San Juans. This photo was taken with the camera on itís highest telephoto setting.

This afternoon, after doing a few fence repairs and odd jobs around the place, I saddled up Doc and went for a ride. BLM land and the foothills start about a mile west of town, so Doc and I dodged a few prairie dog holes and took off cross country. We only went out for a few hours today, but the ride was great, it was beautiful weather, and the scenery was fantastic.

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To Docís way of thinking, being tied to a pinion bush on a mountain side is a good photo op. If he didnít have blinders on, you would probably recognize the twinkle in his eye.

After spending so much time frolicking in the pasture, he was a little herd-bound (barn-sour). If I would have dropped the reins, he would have made an immediate U-turn for the paddock. On the way back, and against my better judgment, I opened him up for a bit when we hit the gravel road at the base of the hills. With a little incentive this horse Ďsurely can flyí.

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The lads, doing their best to devour the entire hay crop for the San Luis Valley. Ahh, they deserve it.

In the immediate future, I plan on enjoying a stretch of good weather. Whenever possible, Iíll throw a saddle on one of the lads and head for the hills. Tomorrow, I think itís Billyís turn. Since heís the boss hoss, Iíll turn the other two hoodlums loose and let them tag along.

Stay tuned there are more blogs to come. Now that Iím back in beautiful Colorado, thereís a lot more to write about.