Wagonteamster Book Order Click Here

Available Now!

Wangoteamster Cover_edited-2

The Wagonteamster Channel has it’s first video production - Journey To the Valley Of the Wild Horses

joyce head

Please Sign my Guestbook

Please Read my Guestbook


6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
Hot Day and High Hills


8/5/12, Dayton, WA - I’m currently 3 miles southwest of Dayton on US-12. The lads actually had two large hills to climb today.  Shortly after passing over the Tucannon River Bridge, it was a steady climb of 3 to 8% for the next 4 miles.  The road then leveled off for a mile, then the grade increased to 8 to 12% for the next three miles.  When I though I had reached the top, I broke Doc out and put  him on the rear.  Then, I went down a small hill and saw that to climb back out again, it was a 1/2 mile long hill that was a 10 to 12% grade. My secret weapon (Doc) went back on the front of the wagon and away we went.

Bill and Bob are good pullers, but they’re not even in the same league as Doc. When he’s pulling a steep hill at the front of a Unicorn hitch, he always pulls at least half the weight of the wagon, sometimes more.  Even if I try and hold him back a bit with the lines, he just takes the bit in his teeth and goes for it. Consequently, I have to watch him very carefully to make sure he doesn’t lose his wind.  If I stop and let him catch his breath before he’s blown, it only takes 5 to 10 minutes before he’s ready to go again. If he’s blown (really heaving), it will take a lot longer.  The bad part about stopping for more than a 10 minute break is that their muscles cool and they stiffen up.  I try to hold rest breaks on hills or after heavy work to 10 minutes flat.

8-5-12 001

I’ve now got Bill trained to automatically go on a green light - we’re still working on the auto-stop on a red light. B.O.B. hasn’t got past the philosophical implications associated with the cool colored lights!  Dayton, WA.

We made the top of the last hill by 10 AM, just as the temperature started climbing into the eighties.  As we coasted downhill towards the City of Dayton, it got warmer and was in the mid nineties by the time we stopped for lunch at a city park.  At lunch, I hauled water from the river and got the horses completely tanked up.

After lunch, a lady said I could use the hose at the bank next door and I filled up all the water jugs, watered the team again and sprayed them down with the hose (they all love that).

Before leaving town, I stopped at the Drive-in for a couple of hot dogs and a chocolate shake (I forgot my lunch with taking care of the team and posting yesterday’s blog).

8-5-12 002

At the drive-in, this little girl was all smiles and giggles as she petted Bill. I think I heard Bill nicker, “Ahhh, too cute!”

Glancing at the sign on the bank as we headed out of town, I saw the temperature had climbed to 102 degrees.  I set about finding a place to camp right away. 

About two miles south of town, I met Herb and Norma. Herb gave me a ride in his car so I could do a recon and find a camping spot down the road.  A mile south, I found a place next to the creek that had water, shade and some grazing.

With his wife Norma onboard for a short ride, we drove to the new camping spot.  The place that I originally was going to turn the horses into had some poison hemlock in it, so I found even a better spot. The team should have enough green, quack grass to keep them busy most of the night. I’ll also give them a little alfalfa to make sure they have enough zip for tomorrow.

8-5-12 003

The pen is located behind the thistle and the lads have quite a bit of good grazing and some shade.  I think they’re happy!

In spite of the fact that there were some tough hills and high temperatures, the lads and I had a good day and ended up in a honey pot at the end. 

Tomorrow is suppose to be another hot one, so I plan on an early start and finish.  This will leave me just north of Walla Walla and poised to get some shopping done and move through town on the following day.

Following are a couple of pictures of two does and a fawn that are hanging around my campsite.  As I type this blog on the front porch, the fawn is strutting around showing me his big white tail!

8-5-12-1 003
8-5-12-1 004