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Rest At An Oasis


10/4/12, State Line, NV - Today was a truly incredible day of good travel, stunning vistas and a wonderful place to camp.

When I broke camp this morning, I had Doc and Bill hitched to the wagon. This is my best pulling team and the joy of driving a good team really set the pace for the whole day.

Most of the morning was spent driving to and through a narrow canyon that involved a steady climb. An hour after getting underway, I left a sagebrush desert for a road winding through rock faces covered with pinion trees. Just before lunch, I broke out of the head of the canyon into a majestic valley overlooking the grand backbone of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

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Climbing out the head of the canyon, the huge ramparts of the Sierra Mountains rose above a sagebrush plain.

As I ate my lunch of grill cheese sandwiches and a drought of wine, my eyes seldom wandered from the vista before me. Even the horses were taken in by the view. After finishing their oats, they seemed to be enjoying the view rather than taking their normal catnap. I thought i heard B.O.B. mutter, “Oats and water are great, but it’s really all about the ambiance.”

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When photographing a wide vista, it’s always a toss up rather to use wide angle or a closeup. This shot was taken with a wide angle to show a wide range of mountains. Actually these peaks rose thousands of feet above the plain and were only about 5 miles distant.

After lunch, the route wound uphill as the road traveled through a pinion forest.  A couple of hours later, I reached a summit of 6800 feet, about 1000 feet higher than my camp the previous night.  From there, the road ran downhill for several miles, before starting up a slight grade.

I had a destination in mind. The previous evening, Todd, a local rancher, invited me to stop at his ranch and rest the team.  21 miles after setting out, the lads pulled the wagon into the ranch yard. Todd’s ranch winds alongside a river for several miles on both sides of the State Line. From the road, it appears to be a very large oasis of green fields, willow and cottonwood trees in a sea of pinion trees and sagebrush.

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A clear running mountain river turns a desert into an oasis.

Tonight, the wagon is parked next to a beautiful river, alongside a thick hedge of wild roses. The lads have a huge field of good grass and willows to frolic in. All that is missing from scene of serenity is a line of Bedouin girls serving platters of dates and goat cheese under the palm trees.

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There’s nothing like a little ‘horse reward’ for some hard labor.

I’m going to rest up here for a day or two and enjoy a little ranch life and some good fishing. In the meantime, my team will have a chance to enjoy some good life as well.

Since cell and internet service are at least a day’s travel away, this blog won’t be posted until a later date.