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Those Sweet Mountains


6/14/12, Pine Creek, ID - From my camp below the dam on the Snake River to our beautiful nighttime resting place in the mountains, today was a great day, full of wonderful people and places.

About 45 minutes after getting underway, the lads pulled the wagon into the convenience store down the road. While I was inside picking up a few essentials, the horses did their best to entertain the locals.

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That Doc attracts pretty girls into a picture like flies to a feast, like ants to a picnic.

A little farther down the road, I was invited to fill up my water containers by a guy caring for a small Veteran’s Memorial Park.  While I was running the hose, several neighbors stopped by to chat as well.  But the old fellow that was attending the park was the guy that intrigued me.  This 85 year old WWII veteran of both the European and Asian Theaters.  Created and kept up this beautiful little memorial by himself.

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A nice Memorial to those that have served - quite a legacy.

I stopped for lunch shortly after beginning the climb out from Swan Valley.  There wasn’t a lot of room to pull off, so I parked the team next to the end driveway for a farmer.  He stopped by shortly after I served the horses their grain and we had a nice chat. Like many farmers and ranchers, he remembers his father using draft horses.  In his case, his dad had a team of shires that he used for summer and winter feeding of cattle.  A half hour later, this gentleman dropped off a sack of oats for the horses. This is the way America really is!

Shortly after climbing the first set of hills, I met a very nice extended family from Canton, China that are here on vacation. These folks stood out as being extremely polite and very pleasant to be with. The young couple were recently married and currently looking for a house of their own.

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This is the first time that the matriarch of the family had ever been near a horse. I think Billy and her got along just great!

They were so nice and pleasant, I invited the young couple to ride up the road with me for a mile.  Somehow I don’t think they’ll forget the experience.

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Newlyweds on a horse and wagon adventure - it makes a nice picture and some nicer memories.

My guest presented me with a very nice pair of shoe inserts that had Chinese character printed on them that said, “For you whole life - only good luck”.

So they had something to hang in their new house, I gave the couple one of B.O.B.’s worn out #8 horseshoes and explained to them how it should be hung up so the good luck doesn’t fall out.

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This chance meeting on the road was a very good thing.

Continuing on, we were soon once more approaching the mountains. When I informed the team of where we were headed, I think I heard the horse choir singing in verse, “Yeah, the mountains, back where we belong!”

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The last of the hillside hay farms disappeared as we turned right in the cleft of Pine Creek canyon (shown just off B.O.B.’s nose.

These mountains are different than most we have gone through on this trip. Since leaving the San Juan Mountains near home, all of the mountain ranges have been of Sedimentary Rock. The range I’m currently in is volcanic in origin and most of the rock is granite. This brings about a totally different look to the surrounding countryside.

Just down the road from where I made camp, I met up with two cousins and a daughter that are here from Oregon. The young lady had never been near a horse, so once again Billy had the opportunity to introduce the two species.

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That Bill, ain’t he something?

I pulled off on a nice grassy piece of ground next to Pine Creek for the night.  It’s pretty close to being my idea of an ideal camping spot.

Not long after I settled in, the first of my evening visitors stopped by.  Bill Bradshaw from the Intermountain Farm and Ranch magazine came out from Idaho Falls to do an interview and take some pictures. I offered him a beer, but that ‘Corporate America thing’ about having alcohol on your breath got in the way of a thirsty man.  I think I’ll start a new organization called, WACN “Wagoneers Against Corporate Nonsense”!

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I’m a fair sort of guy.  So, I always try to ensure that the reporters get a little fame too.

Not long after settling into our camp by the stream, I though I heard the horse choir singing Chorus:

Grass as sweet as candy,

Water as good as wine,

The Teamster can be handy,

At finding a place on the Pine.

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Wagonteamster Camp, Pine Creek, ID.  Not bad, not bad at all!