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Wagon & Trailer Work Done

5-14-14, Valley Falls, OR  - With a couple of weeks left before the start of Trip #5, the majority of work to be done on the wagon and trailer are finished.  Iím quite pleased with the new setup. Iíve incorporated several new innovations that should make travel both safer and easier.

Iíve replaced the old canvass on the front of the wagon with a solid surface made of drop down plexiglass windows with an oak frame. This is a very rigid construction that offers plenty of visibility.

In this picture, the front windows are down. I drive with the lines passed over the top of the open window. To keep the windows from rattling when they are open, they rest on door stops and are snugged down with eye hooks. The smaller windows below are so I can see the evener and they also provide a nice place for the dogs to look out.

Here, the windows are closed.  I drive with the lines passed through the slot covered with the flap that came off the old front wagon covering. The slot measures 5 inches high by 28 inches wide. This gives me enough room to drive with multiple lines for a big hitch, and room to slap a line on the butt of a horse if I have to.

With the new rig essentially complete, Jacquie and I took it out for a trial run.  Iím trying to pull with the Belgians as much as possible, as they need the most physical conditioning. Next week, I plan on taking them up to the mountains for a couple of days of fishing. At this time, Iíll have the wagon and trailer loaded to the weight Iíll use on Trip #5. Just before we take off on the trip, Jacquie and I are going to drive the route in a car and make sure there are no unexpected surprises. This road trip will also gives a chance to map out the best route, pick out potential camping spots and points or resupply.

Bob and Bill taking a short breather after pulling the new rig on a trial run.

Doc hates being pony-ed behind the trailer, as he would much rather be up front pulling. To compensate, he usually walks to the right of the trailer and pushes, using the nose band of his halter and the leadrope to pick up some of the weight of moving the rig down the road. 

As an added safety precaution, Iíve included flashing red lights on the trailer. By positioning the lights 8 feet off the ground, and wiring both the brake lights and running lights together (so they both flash), this will provide a lot of warning to traffic approaching from behind, even when the wagon and trailer are masked by the crest of a hill.

The Abert Rim undergoes dramatic changes in color at sunset. In this picture Monty is standing in the foreground of one of the color changes.

The next couple weeks will be busy ones as there is a lot to get done. I post again when I can.


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