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South of Here


7/14/12, Clearwater Junction, MT - I’m currently 4 miles east of Clearwater Junction, at the Blackfoot River Campground. After driving the team for ten miles, I put up at a State Campground for the last half of the day to give the lads a rest and put some new shoes on Doc.

After breaking camp, I had Doc and Bill hitched and made good time down the road.  There had been a light rain the night before and the mountains were hazy.

As it was Saturday morning, traffic was light and we tooled right along.

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In their haze, the mountains were quite pretty.

About three miles past Ovando, I arrived at a milestone for the journey. Rounding a bend, I went from heading Northwest to Southwest. According to my calculations, this is the most northern part of the journey. I was careful to avoid any stray musk oxen as I rounded the bend and continued on the trek.

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The bend in the road shown above signifies the most northern part of my trek around the west. From here on, every part of the trip will be “South Of Here”!

My route paralleled the Blackfoot River for a couple of miles. The lads looked tired so I kept an eye out for a likely camping spot, with plenty of water.  Just before the road turned away from the river, I spied a Fish and Game ‘Fishing Access’ that also had camping. I turned the team in and started checking the place out to see if it could be suitable for our needs.

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With plenty of grass and water a place under the pines suited our needs.

About 100 yards behind the campsite, I found just what we needed and went about setting up camp.

An hour after we were settled, a ‘non-badged’ Ranger showed up and said he would check to ensure it was okay if I camped there.  He was very courteous and helpful. A little later he showed up again and said we were good. He even took some pictures for their monthly newsletter.

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Montana Fish and Game - Good Folks.

One of my goals in taking the afternoon off was to put some new shoes on Doc. The old ones looked like they only had a couple of days left before they would be too worn out.

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Nailing a new (only used once) shoe to one of Doc’s front feet.

The stay at the campground was a good one and I managed to get in some work and fun.

In the evening, I had a great time socializing with Markus and Michelle from Missoula.

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Bill, entertaining a couple of young ladies

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And, another couple of young ladies.