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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
Preparations for High Desert Crossing


4/5/10, Fort Sumner, NM - From a logistics standpoint, the next leg of the journey will be more challenging then what weíve faced until this time.  When I leave Fort Sumner, I wonít reach the next feed store until I get to Santa Fe, 155 miles away. Also, I can be two or three days of travel between sources of good water.  If the horses need food or water, Iíll either have to carry it or find it along the way.  Since the spring grasses havenít come out yet, the vast majority of the feed Iíll need for this segment will be carried on the wagon.  Hereís a short list of supplies Iíll carry to help me over this segment of the journey:

Hay - 12 bales (800 - 1000 lbs) of alfalfa - 9 day supply

Oats - 450 lbs - 9 day supply

Water - 110 gallons (880 lbs) - 3 day and 2 night supply

Generator Gas - 5 Gallons - 4 day supply

Groceries - 10 day supply

If I wanted to travel a little slower and the horses were used to rough country grazing, I could make better use of the last yearís roadside grass and wouldnít have to carry so much feed. But, I want the team to be in good shape when we reach Santa Fe, so itís better if I can take it with me.

I figure it will take 7 days of travel to reach Santa Fe, so I have a little cushion.  The team will also get some benefit from grazing along the road.  I should have feed left over when I get to Santa Fe.  These are some of the same issues that our pioneer ancestors faced, but they couldnít obtain water at someoneís house, buy oats, or call up their friends on a cell phone, if need be.

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The trailer and wagon are stocked to the hilt with essentials. The rocking chair and china cabinet were left alongside the trail long ago. I did however, keep the case of beer and fillet mignon steaks! The Pioneers really roughed it, but Iím getting too old to be drinking out of a hoof print or chewing on a piece of leather for something to eat.

My host Jerry and his wife Laverne have been fantastic.  With the number of home cooked meals Iíve consumed, I might have to hitch up a third horse, just to haul me around.

The wind is supposed to be blowing pretty good tomorrow. If itís too high, Iíll lay over another day. If not, a fat and happy team of horses and teamster will be hitting the road tomorrow. My intended route is down US 60 to the crossroads of Encino, then up US 285 to Santa Fe.