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Starting Down the Road to Telluride

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6/13/10, Noel, CO - After a late start, I hitched up and started the long climb up to the Dallas Divide.

Before harnessing the lads, my host, Ralph, and I went off in search of his wandering horses.  There were a number of gates to open and close, so we decided against taking a couple of the lads on our search. Getting on and off an 18 hand high horse to open gates is not the best way to spend a morning. Instead, we rode an ATV for the first mile, and hiked another couple of miles to round up the strays.  By the time we got them home, and I had harnessed and hitched the team, it was 10 am.

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Bill - Not only did he get the day off, he was also tied on the side of the wagon that cast him against the mountains for photographs.

Bob and Doc had a tough pull up the hill.  I stopped for lunch at pullout, two miles east of the Dallas Divide. While i was there, several groups of people stopped for a perfect photo opportunity, including a bus load of German tourists.  Not everyday does someone get an opportunity to photograph a nice team of horses, standing in front of a gorgeous mountain range, covered with a mantle of fresh snow. Itís a good thing that Chris and I elected not to stay overnight at his cabin site.  With over a foot of new snow at that altitude, we would have had a tough time getting out.

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A beautiful lunchtime setting.

All day long, people were stopping to chat and take pictures.  Within an hour after crossing the Dallas Divide, I had four very nice groups of visitors. First to stop, was Paul and Casie Wilson and their two sons.  I had a great day of rest with the Wilson family when I was in Redvale, CO. Next to stop was Caroline, who trekked with me to the Cimarron Mountains. Next to stop was Greg Gleason, a Teamster who has been driving draft horses his whole life.  Finally Brenda and her daughter Natalie stopped by to say Ďhií - I gave them a ride on the wagon when I first went through Ridgway.

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It was a long pull up the grades to the Dallas Divide.

Tonight, Iím camped once more at the sheep corrals on route 62, four miles south of the Dallas Divide.  Caroline was kind enough to stay for dinner and it was great to have the company. Since there wasnít very much grass in the corrals, I gave the lads a bale of hay (thanks Ralph). Even though Ralph made some nice hay, the team was so used to eating sweet, green, mountain grass; they have only been picking at the hay.  When they figure out that there is no green pasture tonight, theyíll have the hay devoured before morning.

Tomorrow, Iím going to drive a few miles down the road and visit my friends Dave and Carla.  If they want some pasture guests, I might just stop and see if there are any hungry fish in Leopard Creek.