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Over 1000 Miles


7/7/12, East Helena, MT - Iím currently 8 miles SE of E. Helena. In an effort to beat the heat, I had an early departure from the campground, just north of Townsend.  Before I even silenced the alarm on my phone at 4:30 am, my hand was already reaching for the coffee pot On switch. This allowed another 5 minutes of snooze time until the gurgling of the pot and the smell of coffee brought me to a semiconscious state.

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A sight not often seen by mortal man - a bleary-eyed, semi comatose Teamster about to take his first sip of coffee.

After turning off the electric fence, my first task was to walk the horses to a pond 300 yards for a drink. In the dim gray light of the morning, I didnít try to take all three at once. I could just see Doc running over somebodyís tent.

The team was hitched and the wagon rolling by 6:20 am. I had Doc and Bill pulling.  As usual, they set a good pace as we pulled on to the highway.

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Remember the old saying, ĎRed sky in morning, sailors take warning.  Well, we were dodging rain showers and thunderstorms all day long.

By 10:15 the lads had covered the 12 miles to Winston, MT and we pulled in for an early lunch.  I had several visitors, including some young children who had a chance to meet the horses. While the horses were munching their oats, I got a chance to fill up my empty water jugs.

The road was really good leading to Winston, then dropped back to a 2 feet wide shoulder for the remainder of the day.

I had a couple of people stop to visit in the afternoon, including an interesting fellow who drives around taking pictures of Montana, then blogging about it.

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Another guy that enjoys life most of the time and works when he has to.

This day saw the team traveling through a lot of ranch and farm land.  Traffic was pretty heavy except for the early morning hours.

Tonight, Iím in a roadside camp. The lads have plenty of good grass, but I had to water them with the wagon stores. As Iíve started doing on most nights, I have two separate electric playpens built. The Belgians have one in front of the wagon and Doc has his own at the rear.

Tomorrow, the wagon is rolling through the cities of E. Helena and the Capitol City of Helena. Since I got most of my Ďcivilizationí chores done in Townsend, I only have to stop at Walmart for a few things. Believe it or not, this is the first Walmart I have come near on my journey.  I didnít think it was possible to travel 1000 miles across America without bumping into several Walmarts.  Old Sam Walton must be rolling over in his grave.

After traveling through Helena, I plan on exiting the city on US-12 for the mountains.