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To the Mighty Mo


7-5-12, Toston, MT - Doc and Bob put in a good day today, pulling the 21 miles to the town of Toston. After a morning of hills, it was great to hit the gentle downgrade that leads to the Missouri River at this small burg.

This is the same river that provides cooling water for the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant, near Omaha, NE. If you remember, I worked at this plant twice in the previous year. Omaha may be 1200 miles downstream but it looks pretty much like the same river.  If I put a message in a bottle and send it down river, I wonder if my pals at the plant could retrieve it?

This morning, as I left Three Forks, MT, I crossed Interstate 90.  This will be the most northern East/West Interstate that I will cross,  In two weeks, just before I arrive in Missoula, MT, Iíll be at the most northern point for Trip #4. I know my mom will want me to load up, just incase the odd polar bear wanders by (sorry mom).

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Interstate 90 was actually a tough crossing. There was construction on the overpass, leaving two lanes, each only 9 feet wide.  With a semi truck coming at us and only a jersey barrier on the other side, the lads were a little excited. But, with a calm voice, I coaxed them across.

Most of the day was spent on two lane highway with no shoulders. I was very visible, so traffic wasnít a problem for me, but there were a couple of drivers passing me that should have paid more attention to oncoming traffic then they did to the sight of a horse and wagon. But, with a little fancy wheel work, they managed to avoid a trip to the auto body repair shop.

I had a mile and a half long uphill grade of about 5 to 8%.  The lads buckled down and did a good job. Itís amazing how much their physical condition has improved during the trip.  I stopped once for them to rest, but at no time did either of the horses get short of breath.

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Doc, drinking at the boat (canoe) launch at tonightís campsite.  In the morning, Iím going to cross the single lane, steel truss bridge on my way back to the highway. I could take the highway bridge, but this old bridge looks cooler.

Tonight, Iím camped at a boat launch on the Missouri River, in the Town of Toston,  I have both front and rear fences out and the horses divided into two pens.  The grass is excellent and they are eating up a storm.

I was going to grill up an elk steak tonight, but I opted instead for the Bar and Grill located across the street. This is only the third time on this trip that I have eaten in a restaurant.

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Wagonteamster Camp on the Might MO.  Before dark, Doc went to another pen located on the front of the wagon.

Iím about 2 1/2 days from the City of Helena.  Timing will be important as I arrive in the Capital City, I need to pick up a few things in Walmart and I want to get new tires for the wagon. As large as the city is, Iíll have to camp the night before right on the eastern edge. This should give me enough time to get everything done and clear the city before dark (thatís the plan, anyway).