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1/12/09 - In two days, weíll be pulling out, so this will probably be the last post from Bentonville.

Yesterday, with the wagon and trailer mostly packed, I took a five mile spin around the block.  Everything went well and the team had no problem pulling the wagon and trailer.

Because of the distance between supply points, and the fact that Iíll be out for about a year, I had to pack more supplies then I did this summer.  In addition to increased amounts of hay, grain and water, I had to make room for extra collars, a generator and a yearís supply of horseshoes and nails. Iím also carrying a good supply of ĎWagonteamsterí books, winter clothing and a few creature comforts.

It has been a busy two months, but itís definitely time to shed this settled lifestyle for the joy of the road.

My general idea for trip #3 is a 4000 mile loop around the western side of the Continental Divide.  Weíre going to start here, loop around the south side of Indy, cross the Wabash River into Illinois at Vincennes, cross the Mississippi River at Cape Giradeau, IL, follow the West Bank of the Mississippi River through Missouri to Central Arkansas, leave Arkansas in the Southwest corner and move into Texas. My first destination is Austin, TX, before we move west into Southern New Mexico, cross the Divide and head up the west side of the Rockies. I donít plan on turning back east until we get to South Pass in southern Wyoming. After that, itís back across the plains to Indiana.

It may sound pretty ambitious, but then, this country has a history of ambitious wagon travelers. But, unlike our ancestors, Iíll have access to a lot more supplies and creature comforts.   I also wonít have to contend with small pox, swollen river crossings, dust, mud, and Native American raids.

Thereís a lot to get done in the next couple of days, so until Iím on the road again - Adios.

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Storage bin loaded, including 200 pounds of horseshoes and nails.

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Wagon loaded with the wagon

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Pulling past the barn on the other side of the farm

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Pulling over to allow a school bus by

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The rig, pulling into the yard

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Unharnessed in front of the Barngalo

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Clementine, getting ready for bed