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Rest At A Rest Area


10/19/12, Coso Junction, CA (Coord. N. 36 deg, 02.721 min; W. 117 deg, 56.779 min)

This was a short day of travel, but very pleasant. After making it back to the highway, the lads and I called it quits at lunch and ended up staying in a very nice rest area for the rest of the afternoon and evening. All day long we met some tremendous people and had a great time.

After hitching up in the morning, I had a short drive back to the cattle guard blocking the way back to the highway. The previous evening, I had a hard time getting through this obstacle as there was a lot of big brush in front of the go-around gate and I could only get it open about three feet. With the previous nightís experience, I knew it would take about a 1/2 hour to work my way back through the gate and back on to the road.

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This is what happens when a guy decides to eat a bowl of cereal after putting on the collars and not yet harnessing his horses. Doesnít Bill look pitiful?

I thought it might be interesting to show some pictures of what it takes to negotiate a cattle guard in which the wagon canít be driven through the go-around gate.

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After driving the wagon tongue to within a couple of feet of the cattle guard, I unhitch the horses and led them through the go-around gate.  When moving close to the cattle guard and unhitching, I have to be careful to prevent the horses from stepping through the grate on the cattle guard. I keep a tight grip on the driving lines.

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The next step is attaching a chain and strap from the front of the tongue to the evener, which I first have to remove from the pole. 

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Then, I ground drive the team up to the evener, hitch them up and use the team to pull the wagon across the cattle guard.  After the wagon is across, I re-mount the evener, re-hitch the team and carry on down the road.  A crossing like this takes about a half hour.

While I was busy navigating my way through the cattle guard, some good folks that live in the area stopped by to give me a bale of hay and some carrots for the horses.  Both were greatly appreciated - thank you.

The morning drive was fairly uneventful. Doc and Bill were feeling good and pulled eleven miles to the cross roads of Coso Junction.  The first stop was at the gas station for a couple of supplies and some water to fill the jugs, and top of the wagon tank.  After that, I decided to go to the very nice rest area that was next door for lunch.

The Attendants at the rest area were great and directed me to a spot to park.  After receiving an invitation to spend the night there, I gladly accepted; it was shady, there was plenty of water and the place was full of great people.

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The horses drew quite a crowd, to include a Girlís Volleyball Team from Baker, CA, on their way to play a game with a team up north.

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Most of these young ladies have never been up close to a horse, so they had a great time sitting on them and feeding them some treats.

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The guys have a new fan club!

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The guys had a lot of visitors.  This is Joe, one of the rest area attendants feeing Bill a carrot.

This was a really great day on the wagon.  A special thank you to everyone who donated to my travels throughout the day.