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Visitors From Afar

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8/13/12 & 8/14/12

8/13/12, Battle Mountain Summit, OR - The lads and I had a very relaxing day off.  The grass was green, the pines were shady and a slight breeze kept everything relatively cool.  I only had a few small maintenance chores to do.  Except for the time I spent putting new shoes on Billís hind feet, I had an opportunity to kick back, read and relax. 

From where the wagon sat, I was able to build four separate electric fence enclosures.  When we pulled out this morning, the boys had grazed off about an acre of good mountain grass.

 

8/14/12, Ukiah, OR - Tonight, Iím located about 2 1/2 miles south of the Ukiah Road junction.  This was definitely a day when I greeted many visitors who have driven long distances.

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After descending off the top of Battle Mountain, I rolled out on to a large mountain park. Most of the park was used for cattle grazing, but sections of good meadow were being cut and baled into hay.

My first visitors were John and Sharon from near the towns of Kamiah and Orofino, Idaho.  I passed through their area a few weeks ago, but unfortunately we didnít cross paths. Since that time, John has been following my blog and did a little scouting for me.  When I get south of Burns, OR, I have to cross a dry stretch of the Colombia Plateau of over 100 miles.  Traveling to and from California, John found a couple of good places for me to get water in the midst of this section of dry land. I was considering making a detour to the west to avoid this dry area, but after talking to John, I think Iíll stay near my original track (with some minor changes).  They also brought me a gift of a bag of rolled oats, which the lads are enjoying tonight (Doc says, ĎThank Youí).

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Good Folks from Idaho!

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As I travel down the road, the scene shown in this picture is repeated many times a day. People stop to take pictures of the horses and wagon.  Often, they just cruise by and snap a shot, sometimes they pull over. When they pull over, they usually speed off before I get their. I suspect that the primary reason is that they donít want to block my way.  However, I imagine that a certain few are afraid Iíll say, ďThat will be $1.75 pleaseĒ - ha ha.

The town of Ukiah is located a little more than a mile off the main road.  Just before lunch, I took the turnoff and took the lads to town!  I needed a few supplies and some propane for my spare tank, so it was a good place to stop for lunch.

Jean Ann brought her mother down from Walla Walla to have lunch with us and let her mom ride in the wagon. She was also kind enough to stop by the feed store for me so I could restock my supply of grain. So thanks to her, the wagon is once again fully provisioned. Jean Ann also treated me to a great roast beef sandwich and fries for lunch - thank you!

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This young lady in Ukiah had never been on a horse.  When offered the chance, she even exchanged her P.J.ís for some clothes (donít worry mom, I had teenagers too).

After meeting most of the town and hitting all of the business establishments, I drove back to the main highway and once more turned the wagon south. The afternoon was getting warm, so I set about finding a good place to camp for the evening.

Spying a nice piece of green quack grass on a turnout alongside a gurgling creek, I pulled the wagon over for a closer look. The camping place was almost perfect.  The only problem was that under the quack grass was a bed of river rock. Because the footing wasnít all that great, I built two separate, small enclosures that would each house only one horse.  I didnít want two or more horses interacting with each other on the river rock and possibly getting injured.  Tonight, Doc and Bill each have a small paddock of good green grass and B.O.B. is helping himself to the hay on the trailer. Itís good hay and Bob is a good tie-horse, so heís not really complaining.

Not long after I settled in, I had my third visitor from afar. Ellen was on her way from northern Washington to fight a fire in southern Oregon.  She has the distinction of being from my old town of Deerfield, New Hampshire. I know her mother quite well, but have never met her.

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Itís a small wagon world!  I hardly expected to run into someone whoís home place was only a mile and a half from my old homestead in Deerfield, NH.

The boys really enjoy the treats that Ellen brought for them and I had to try out some of her farm-fresh eggs for supper tonight.

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Doc and Bill in their small enclosures of quack grass on the bank of a gurgling brook.

Today was a short day, but fun, real fun.