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Nice Country, Nice People


5/23/12, N. Side of Steinaker Lake, Utah - One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the kindness and generosity of the people on meet on this journey. It’s a theme that I constantly repeat, but with good reason.  It’s like a have half the world in my corner, just rooting and assisting me to make the trek a success.  Even if folks don’t offer material assistance, a wave or a thumbs up goes a long way.  Sure, there are those people that don’t even bother to look up when I’m going by.  There are even some folks that give me the, ‘what a nut’ look. But, who am I to interrupt their busy lives and prevent them from running home and turning the TV on to their favorite episode of ‘reality’ TV.  After all, Hollywood has a lot to offer.  Just ask my ‘Hollywood Horse’ B.O.B.

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After seeing this Pink Brontosaurus guarding the entrance to the City of Vernal, B.O.B. was glad fate placed him at the head of the wagon.

Yesterday, the lads and I had a fairly relaxing day off. They got to chow down as much as they wanted and take a few catnaps.  I spent about half the day tacking on horse shoes, but managed to also get a little R & R. In the afternoon, I met Brett, a local horse farmer, who was kind enough to give me 6 beautiful, 100 pound bales of alfalfa - thanks Brett!

Even though the range grass was pretty brown, the lads liked it enough that I had to move their electric playpen twice,  Three times a day, I walked them down to the river and let them tank up.  When I walked Doc down this morning, there were six families of geese at are watering spot. I found out that baby geese have an interesting way or rejoining their families when the current starts to sweep them downstream - they dive underwater and swim against the current until they pop up amongst the family.

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In Vernal, this little girl is sitting on a horse for the very first time - I think she liked it!

Last night, my friend John, from Blue Mountain, was driving into Vernal and picked up some stuff for me at the store. This was great as it saved me a stop today.

This morning, I was hitched up and underway at my normal time. Before leaving the town of Jensen, I had to chat with several people, including my friend Brett and a newspaper reporter.

Arriving in Vernal, my first stop was at the Farm Supply Store, where I bought some oats, mineral salt and a new 15 gallon water tub.  (After 3 years the old one got a hole in it.) I had quite a crowd on returning to the wagon.

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This lilttle girl quickly developed an expert technique at feeding horse treats.

I couldn’t find a supermarket, so I stopped for lunch at the Unitah Packing Company. Don, the owner, wouldn’t accept any payment for a couple of really excellent Ribeye Steaks and a pound of Ground Beef.  This just another example of gracious people I meet on my trip.

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This little boy has all the makings of a future cowboy!

After a couple more stops for provisions, I’m on the road to Flaming Gorge.  Currently, I’m 5 1/2 miles north of town, right at the north edge of Steinaker Lake. The lads have a large playpen tonight and feasting on some of Brett’s good alfalfa.

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One of Don’s food steaks that I had for supper tonight.  If you held this one up to a grading chart, it would definitely come in as USDA Prime!

I could have walked the lads across the street to the lake for water, but instead, I chose to use the supply on my wagon to lighten the load a bit. Tomorrow, we have a long climb ahead of us. We’re currently at 5,500 feet and will be climbing about 3000 feet in elevation tomorrow. Most of the climb is in just a few miles, on a road with an average pitch of 8%.  In the morning, I’ll hitch up all three horses for the chore ahead of them. With that many contour lines to conquer, I doubt we’ll make over 15 miles.

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The lads, comfortably settled in for the evening.  Did I mention that my steak was delicious?