7/11/09, Franklin, IN - This was a really nice day. Last night I got a visit and a nice letter from 9 year old Alyssa, which Iíve included below. Alyssa, her mother and grandmother have been following the blog since last October. Letter:
Dear Bob, I love riding horses. I show lots of animals in 4-H. I am nine years old. I show horses in 4-H too. It is so fun. It is cool that you build the wagons you ride in all by yourself. I heard about your wreck last year. You are brave to keep on riding the wagon with your horses after your wreck. It must be fun to ride in a wagon with horses pulling it. Good luck on traveling around the USA. Love, Alyssa.
I invited Alyssa, her mother and little sister to ride in the wagon for a few hours today. The girls had a great time and Alyssa found out herself how fun it was to ride in a wagon. Everybody had a great time and the girls left after lunch.
I currently camped at the home of Larry and Patty Vogel. They own an organic farm and dairy a couple of miles west of Franklin, IN. They normally milk about two dozen head of Jerseyís. They get a very high contract price for milk that is high in butterfat and protein. They also win annual awards for their low bacteria count. This is a seasonal dairy that dries the cows out for three months out of the year. Cows treated in this fashion calve most of their adult life. The milking is done is a five cow parlor.
Other dairies that are very high volume often get an average of less then two lactations out of a cow before it is culled from the herd.
Just as a little disclaimer, when I took these pictures, it was chore time and the pens hadnít been scraped yet. You can see that these animals lead a very clean, long and healthy life. A lot of people stop by the Vogelís for produce, meat, eggs and whole milk (for animal consumption only, of course). Thereís a very good reason for this: youíre always sure what you feed your family is all natural and the best there is.
Bill and Bob are having a great time here. They love being inside/outside horses with clean stalls and all they can eat. Personally, I think if we stayed here too long, they would become spoiled brats and demand valet parking service for the wagon!
Bob has been after me to be a guest blog writer. I told him there is no way heís getting his size 8, steel shod hooves on my keyboard. Weíre currently negotiating a him-speak, me-type deal. But itís contingent upon his lunch time behavior. He currently likes to scratch all of his considerable itchy places on the side of the wagon, causing a force 9 earthquake in the wagon. This makes it extremely difficult to eat soup!