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6-17-09 004_edited-1-2
Trekking Up the River

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11/13/12, E. Of Lake Havasu, AZ (Coord. N. 34 deg, 24.556 min; W. 114 deg, 11.166 min.)

To ensure I arrived at the proper time in Lake Havasu City to stock up on hay, I hitched Doc and Bill this morning and set about the business of making some miles.  In spite of that, I had an opportunity to meet some great people and have a really good time.

After breaking camp, I retraced my route down the dead end road and out to the main highway. My team was up on the bit, and for the first hour it was all I could do to hold them to a medium trot. I wanted to let them work through the sugar from their morning oats, but also conserve some energy for the day ahead. Over the years, I found that a teamster will only get so many miles out of a horse in a given day.  If a horse is trotted all day, heíll still put in about the same miles as if he was walked.  Once the magic number of miles is reached, the team will be spent. The difference is that if you pace your team, theyíll end the day in better shape.

About the time the oat-sugar worked itís way out of their system, I met some folks who spend the winter at an RV Park down by the river.  They invited me to stop over and fill up my water jugs and tank the team.  Water is the most precious commodity for desert travel and I never pass up an opportunity to refill the wagon and trailer to my maximum capacity of 120 gallons. While there, I met some great folks, including a lady that rode with me for 3 miles, this past summer, when I was in Montana (itís a small world)!

At lunchtime, I was just pulling into the small community located near Parker Dam. I was looking for a good place to park the team for lunch and my eyes rested on the parking lot for a small diner. Always ready to seize an opportunity, I broke the team out for lunch and strolled into the diner for my own chow. During the previous six and a half months, this is only the 5th opportunity Iíve had to eat in a restaurant.  After a huge hamburger, fries and a couple of Bloody Maryís, I waddled back to the wagon, rehitched the lads and continued on my merry way.                                                                                          

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Driving past vast fields of papyrus grass that lined an inlet of Havasu Lake.

As the day wore on, the shoulders on the side of the road dwindled, until they finally just about disappeared. With a moderate amount of traffic, this made a challenging drive as I wound my way through the hills alongside the road.

After a long, 24 mile day, I finally pulled the team over on a BLM access road and made camp for the night.

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While I was unharnessing and putting up the electric fence, I treated each of the guys to a flake of hay. Even though Bill always grows a thick winter coat, the dried out sweat on his coat provides and idea of how hard he worked today.

I called the feed store in Lake Havasu City, and the gals there were kind enough to set aside a few bales of alfalfa for me. When I leave there for Bullhead City, both the wagon and trailer should be fully supplied!

All in all, this has been a great day!