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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
North of I-40 Again



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4/10/10, Clines Corner, NM - The Belgians had a tough pull, traveling 25 miles through some very challenging hills. They really excelled and got us where we need to be. Along the way, I met some great folks, saw some beautiful scenery, and the weather was perfect!

I rolled out of the sack early, broke camp and hit the road by 7:30 am.  With the territory we had to cover, the sooner we were on the road the better. 

Right off the bat, I lot of people were pulling over to take pictures and to chat.  One young lady pulled over and said, On our whole trip, this is the absolute coolest thing weve seen!

We stopped for lunch just before climbing the hill to the top of the mesa.

After lunch, the climb up the mesa was very challenging.  The Belgians had already covered 12 miles, but managed to make the climb without a break. On the steep part near the top, they were starting to run out of gas, so I used a real low voice and said, I need Belgian Power! I think the low voice surprised them, because suddenly, their overdrive kicked in, and they began trotting up the hill. Later I tried this trick on a couple of other hills. It worked fine the second time, but the novelty had worn off by the third hill.

A surprise awaited me on top of the mesa.  I was at about 7000 ft. above sea level, and the countryside was covered by green colored trees!  I hadnt seen this since the live oaks of Central Texas. After all the shades of brown during the past few weeks, this was very soothing to the eyes.

The next few miles were covered with hills, pinion and juniper trees, and good people. Finally I reached Interstate Highway I-40 and crossed it before entering the collection of stores and gas stations, referred to as Clines Corner.  Its at the 7200 ft. elevation, and they had snow here just last week.

Tonight the team and I are camped on some grass, next to the Shell Station. A lot of people have stopped by, including a couple from South Africa, and some really nice truckers.

I let the team munch some grass and roll around in their playpen for a few hours, then pulled them out and tied them to the wagon for the night. Whenever Im camped closed to a busy highway or a train track, this seems to work the best.

This was a really great day. I bet tomorrow is going to be a good one too.

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The Belgians did a superb job of pulling a lot of hills, many with steep grades.

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Finally on top of the mesa.  The 300 yard stretch before the top was at 10 to 12% grade.

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A very nice family we met on the road. Everybody liked the team.  They were kind enough to leave me with a nice gift!

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At 7000 ft. elev., finally in the trees again. Only Pinion and Juniper, but Ill take it.

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Across I-40, heading north.  As one of the four main east/west interstate highways, its a milestone of sorts.

Some really nice truckers I met at the truck stop.  One guy told me how to replace my 66 Chevy brake master cylinder with a 72 to fix some break problems Ive been having. (They also wanted to trade rigs with me!)

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