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Thru A Desert On A Horse With No Name


11/10/12, Big River, CA (Coord. N. 34 deg, 08.970 min; W. 114 deg, 18.621 min.)

After an arduous crossing of the eastern Mojave Desert, the lads and I finally reached a land of green things and fresh flowing water.

After breaking camp, the first few miles were easy, with wide shoulders and gentle terrain.  However, all that changed for a three mile stretch of highway that ran through the adobe hills on the west side of the Colorado River Valley. Yesterday, I had been warned about this stretch of road by a CHP Officer. I took his warning to heart and had my best team hitched, with an early departure, to beat the traffic.  For this stretch, the road was very narrow and had numerous, blind dips that were very steep sided. The horses seemed to know their potential peril and the difficulty of the terrain. Without urging, they went down the dips at a fast trot, then up the hills at a fast gallop. At one point, my GPS indicated that Doc and Bill were pulling the 9000 pound wagon and trailer up a hill at 19 MPH! Their incredible strength allowed me to quickly clear the dangerous section of the road.

After finally reaching a side road that offered an alternate route, I stopped and rested them for a few minutes and fed the guys about 10 pounds of carrots and horse treats.  Five minutes later they were itching to go once again.

After meandering through some neighborhoods for a couple of hours, I finally found a great place to stop and have lunch.

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This little cove along the California side of the Colorado River had the horses humming a song by ‘America’ - “I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name ...”  This is B.O.B., trying to drink as he hummed.

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Bill, slaking his thirst amongst the palm trees and papyrus.

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Doc volunteered to give a young girl a ride while he drank his fill. I was hoping we wouldn’t pull the lead out of my hand and take a swim - yikes!

Lunch was great and I met a lot of nice people.  One guy told me about a back street that might offer some places to camp.  I had plenty of supplies still, so I thought it would do the team good to get a day off, resting along the river.  When I reached the street his friend lived on, I checked out a couple of places that were marginal.  Then, I got an offer from Ken to camp at his parents old place.

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Bill, with a mommy and daughter astride.

So, now the lads are enjoying some downtime at an upscale house on the river.  The riparian view is unparalleled, but I think what they truly enjoy is some downtime with good water, feed and a chance to rest!

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Happy horses!

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My present surroundings - a sharp contrast to the wastelands of the Mojave.

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Not bad, not too bad at all!

The lads and I are going to have a nice day tomorrow.  I’m not in Arizona yet, but I can clearly see it, right across the river.