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8-7-12, State line, Oregon - Tonight, Iím camped at Gary and LIndaís Ranch, 1 1/2 miles south and 1 1/2 miles east of where Route 11 crosses the State Line.

As it was going to be extremely hot today, the lads and I were on the road before 6 AM.  I had Bill and Doc hitched so I could make some miles early in the day. My first stop after arriving in Walla Walla was Albertsonís Grocery Store where I stocked up on a few things.

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Some good folks who had a nice time with the team while I was in shopping.

The team is so used to people, I never have a worry about the kids around the horses when Iím in shopping. Theyíre always very careful how they move and place their feet whenever others are around. Now if the old Teamster was moving around them it would be a different story.  You see, Iím just one of the guys. So, when Iím around I have to keep a hand on them because as a teammate, I can be bumped and pushed around at will.

After leaving the grocery store, I made my way across town, before stopping at the Walmart on the southern edge of town. After picking up a Subway Sandwich, I returned to the wagon to meet Gary and Linda.  They have a ranch, south of Walla Walla and invited me to spend the night. It sounded like a great deal, so I readily accepted.

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One of the dozens of wineries on the road south of Walla Walla.

On the backroads through the wine country, there were several short hills with very steep grades (15 to 20%). Without even asking, my ace team of Doc and Bill started up these hills at a strong gallop so they would have enough inertia to make the top. Once again, my team proved themselves smarter than their teamster and made the top of each knoll.

In the early afternoon, the temperature remained in the nineties, but the humidity started climbing above 50%. By the time we made the last of the hills, the team was almost spent, but somehow recognized they were near their resting spot for the evening and kept up a good pace.

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If this was on the main road, there would be a sign that said, ĎWelcome to Oregoní. On the backroad, there wasnít any sign, so Iíll see what if looks like when we exit the state in a few weeks.

Tonight, the lads and I are set up like kings. They have a large paddock full of grass with a sprinkler to cool them. I have a belly full of steak and beer and a heart warmed by some great folks.  Tonight, my hosts gave a great dinner party with a lot of friends and family attending.

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A hawk sitting on the rail of one of the paddocks. Like me, he was enjoying a view of the mountains!

Iíve been asked to stay an extra day and give the lads a little rest.  So, while the lads are enjoying paddock life tomorrow, Iím going to enjoy the sights with my hosts.