4/25/12, La Garita Creek, CO - With just a few short days before departing on my year long journey, I am nearly done with the preparations.
In the past few days, I finished preparing the wagon for the journey; to include, painting the cabin, some improvements to the brakes, a new refrigerator, front canvass repairs, weather protection for the new doors, and a whole slew of miscellaneous things. Except for the food and personal effects to be brought onboard, the wagon is essentially ready to go.
The horseshoeing is complete. The lads are shedding the last of their winter coat and are ready to hit the road. Theyíre getting a little feisty and ready to leave paddock life. The other night, Bob and Doc busted out of the paddock and spent the early morning hours checking out the neighborhood, peeking in bedroom windows and generally just being pests.
Friday or Saturday, Iíll have everything out of the cabin and will migrate into the wagon for my last couple of nights of a civilized existence. Here on the ranch, the cottonwood trees are about half leafed out, the does are showing up to fawn alongside the creek bed, and the morning doves are competing for territory. As much as I pine for the road, it will still be tough to leave this beautiful place.
For those of you following along on the internet, youíll also have an opportunity to ride along with Bernie Harberts at www.riverearth.com as he travels through the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Bernie, the Triscuit Wagon, and his mule Polly will be headed north about the same time as the Biscuit Wagon rolls out of La Garita.
A little over a day after I start the trip, Iíll be turning northwest, up Saguache Creek for the Gunnison River Valley. Then, Iíll have a week-long trek downstream until I hit Montrose and the Uncompahgre River. Iíll then turn north and head for Grand Junction and Rangley, Colorado, before heading northwest for Vernal Utah and the Flaming Gorge. Thatís my itinerary for the first four weeks of the trip. One of the great things about wagon travel is what the route will bring. The only certainty about wagon travel is that I never know what the day will bring when I wake up in the morning.
My good friend Barry Rayburn has agreed to once more maintain the Google-maps feature on the website. Weíre activating his GPS-downloadable phone so heíll have the capability to fix my position at any time (as long as Iím range of a Nextel tower). Another high tech feature Iíll have on the wagon is a starlight scope that my buddy Dave sent me. It only works as good as the old Vietnam Era scopes we had in the Army, 35 years ago, but I should be able to know whether or not I need to load up before I jump out of the wagon in the middle of the night in my underwear - ha ha.
My goals for this trip include; having a good time, spreading some good will and promoting the use of draft horses and solar-electric (photovoltaic) power. Incase youíre wondering, even though I havenít pulled out of the driveway yet, there are already several thousand people hitting this website everyday. I hope I donít seriously impact the productivity of the American workplace by everyone surfing Wagonteamster.com at work. (Maybe that would be a good thing!!)
Goodnight everyone, Bob