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Thanksgiving in Colorado

WAGONTEAMSTER .COM

11/24/11, La Garita Creek, CO - I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope their holiday has been as wonderful as mine. Sandy and I are back in Colorado celebrating the holiday weekend with friends and neighbors.  Once again, Bonnie and Jerry Nusbaum hosted dinner at the trading post. Like always, it was an incredible spread of food with a lot of good people in attendance.

Weíre going to enjoy the mountains for a few days before heading back to Nebraska. The lads are doing great and look really good. As usual, they initially greeted me with a lot of indifference, but later each walked up to say Ďhií.

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Thanksgiving Dinner at the La Garita Trading Post.

It was a gorgeous day, sunny, clear and warm.  But, as soon as the sun got near the horizon, it cooled down quick. Weíve got a fire in the fireplace and itís really nice to be in place free of cars, trains and noisy airplanes.  As I walked under the cottonwood trees, gathering wood for the fire, the only sounds I could here were some birds chattering and a buck on top of the mesa, rubbing his antlers against a tree.  Itís easy to be thankful in such a peaceful setting.

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As we drove from the trading post to the ranch, I was amazed at the sight of a triple (wedding cake) layer of lenticular clouds over the Sangre De Cristo mountains.

Iíve tentatively set April 30, 2012 as the departure date for trip #4. Prior to departing on this journey, I plan a two week trip with the horses and wagon to the eastern side of the San Luis Valley. My childhood friend Dave, is flying in to make the trip with me. We intend to spend a week on the banks of the Rio Grande River, studying and filming the wild horse herds in the area. The team should be hitched and pulling for this jaunt by April 1st.

 

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The view up-canyon from the cabin porch.

My current job may be over at the end of the year, but even if it isnít I plan on quitting by February 15th. It will take a solid two months to retrofit the wagon and get the horses in shape for the journey.

Some of the improvements I plan on making to the wagon are: 

1. Electric Power - I plan on going with 600 watts of solar panels, a bigger inverter and at least 4 deep cycle batteries.  The price of solar panels has come way down and this will give me all the power I need without ever having to plug in or start a generator.

2. Wagon Appearance - The front of the wagon will be boxed in with plexiglas windows and doors. Since Iím not the best craftsman in the world, Iíll probably get an Amish carriage maker to do this.  Amongst other things, the wagon will have a new paint job and lettering.

3. Independent front and rear brake systems - After overpressurizing and blowing a couple of wheel cylinders on the last trip, I realize how important this is.

4. Improved Vehicle Warning Devices - As a minimum, Iím going to add a white (school bus type) strobe and a couple of more slow moving vehicle signs.

5. Horse Care - Iíll have a total of two electric fence systems.  This will prevent overcrowding in one and reduce the chance of a breakout. Also, more tie points on the wagon and more harness hangers.

6. An outside awning on the side of the wagon.

7. Better storage areas, for both the trailer and inside the wagon.

8. Another 30 to 40 gallon water tank, mounted under the wagon. I still havenít come up with where I can put a hot tub!

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The ice is just starting to form on the sides of La Garita Creek.  Tomorrow, Iím going to see if this impacts the trout fishing!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!