8/21/08 - Loudon, N.H. For breakfast, I made some blueberry pancakes with blueberries from the Riel Farm and maple syrup from the Hoage-Batcheldor Farm (the pancake mix was store-bought). After saying goodbye to our hosts and enjoying the morning, we finally harnessed up and pulled out of Pittsfield at about 10:30 am. It was tough saying goodbye, as the Riel family had made it such a pleasant stay.
We took our time for the next couple of hours and stopped at a wide spot in the road for lunch at about 12:30. I wanted to see how Joyce would do in the lead with Doc, so I switched driving lines around and when we re-hitched after lunch, Joyce was moved up to lead and Dolly was on the wheel with Deedee. Dolly started working well, and Joyce was having problems working alongside Doc. I came to the conclusion that Doc was hitting the evener so hard when I gave him the giddyup command, he was stretching his side of the evener out before Joyce could start pulling. Joyce tried hard though, and we actually had all four pulling about half the time. I think the solution is to leave Joyce up in the lead position and tie a chain on Docís side of the evener, so he canít stretch it out straight.
Thanks to friends from the Riel farm, we had an invitation to camp at the Meadow Ledge Farm in Loudon. The farm is about 7 miles from our start in Pittsfield. The scenery along the way was breathtaking and although the drive was somewhat hilly, it was manageable.
Meadow Ledge Farm is an operating orchard that grows mostly apples, but had other crops as well. Itís owned by Ernie Roberts of Loudon and is a first class facility that has about 3,300 fruit trees, processes apples and has a great U-pick operation.
We parked the wagon on a nice piece of grass near the road and set up camp. The horses were glad to be out of harness and have a chance to graze and roll.
Not long after setting up, several of Ernieís customers came up to see and pet the horses.
After dark, Ernie stopped by to give us a tour of the facilities. This was a great day and we got a chance to meet some really great people.
Tomorrow is another day of rest for the horses. Fred is headed back home and Iíll be continuing on the journey alone on Saturday.