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Wild Horses, With a Mountain View


6/21/10, Dolores/Mancos, CO - The team and I are safely out of the mountains, and back in the civilized world of houses and cell signals.

After breaking camp and hitching up, the lads and I set a pretty good pace for about the first five miles. A road crew was setup to ‘Chip-seal’ the road and I think we were holding them up. Since there were about 50 guys involved, that second cup of coffee I had this morning must have cost the State DOT a pretty penny!

After clearing the construction area, the lads and I set a relaxed pace into the town of Dolores.  I had to stop and pick up some ice and groceries, so I unhitched the lads in front of the town hall for lunch.

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These ladies stopped to say ‘hi’ at lunch. The elder of the two grew up with Percheron horses on the farm.

It was quite a steep climb out of the Dolores river valley.  The road grade at times was between 10 and 12%, but Bob and Doc did a good job.  My goal was a few mile farther down the road, to Gene Reimers’ ranch.

After setting us up like kings, Gene ran me into town for a nice Chinese diner and some oats. (Thanks Gene).

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View out the side of the wagon of the wall that is Mesa Verde. Everything is a lot greener than when I passed this way a month ago.

Tonight, the boys are having the time of their life. With 117 acres of good grass to roam in, they still are sticking pretty close to the wagon.  There is quite an assortment of grasses and they’re sampling everything. Here near the barn, they have their choice of Orchard grass, Blue Gramma, Alfalfa, Green oats and several other types. They also can roam in and out of a large barn when they want to. For them, this is the ultimate horse hotel.

When I asked Doc, “Don’t daddy treat you right”?

I think I heard him mutter (through a mouthful of grass), “Sure do!”

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Sampling the grasses here on the Reimers’ Ranch with Sleeping Ute Mountain in the back ground.

Everyone is set up great here on the Reimers’ Ranch. Tomorrow, the lads and I are headed southeast towards Mancos.

Show below are a few pictures that I took when I left on my mountain expedition to Silverton with my old friend Chris Blatter. It has taken this long to find a good cell signal to get them transferred off my phone.


Climbing through the top of Ophir Pass (12,000 feet), a week after it opened.  Most people find this road difficult in a high clearance Jeep; for Chris it’s a piece of cake with his Nissan Pathfinder with 300,000 miles on it. Heck, you ought to see him wind down the switchbacks of Red Mountain Pass while driving only with his knee!


This is the Urt Type shelter Chris built on one of his mining claims at 12,000 feet.  Chris is a world renown mountain climber, having climbed peaks from Alaska, to Patagonia, to the Himalayas.  He also has several ‘First Ascents’ on mountains. So, if he was going to build a temporary shelter, while waiting to get his improvement permit, I would expect it to look like something you would find at a climbing base camp.


This is one of the views from Chris’ Base Camp.  The red scars you see on the hills opposite, are old mine tailings. These mines were worked about 100 years ago. The hardy men that used to work the mines, trekked up to 12 to 13,000 feet in all sorts of weather, lunch bucket in hand, only to get about $30 to $40 per month. At this altitude, it’s dead winter for all but about 3 months out of the year (then it’s early spring).