9/6/08 - Mt. Holly, VT - This was a pleasant and somewhat different day. The morning started with my host Tim preparing us a fantastic breakfast of cranberry pancakes and sausage.
During breakfast, Mary McCallum, a writer for the Rutland newspaper showed up at the inn to interview me for a feature article for the paper. Mary seemed very interested in wagon life, so I invited her along for morning to ride to Ludlow, VT. Mary got to experience first hand how it was to step back to time 100 years ago when people would drive down the road and stop to chat with others along the way.
During the interview over breakfast, I mentioned how apparent problems with wagon travel seem to solve themselves. ďFor instanceĒ, I said, ďright now, Iím down to about a day and a half supply of oats. I donít worry about it because it will solve itselfĒ. Two miles down the road, a very nice couple I met the night before, drove by the wagon and said they would like to give me a gift of some grain (they didnít know I needed grain). They went to the feed store in a nearby town and bought me a couple bags of oats.
Mary rode with me to a supermarket parking lot in Ludlow, where we stopped for lunch. Like all wagon passengers, she enjoyed holding Clementine on her lap.
Lunch in the parking lot was full of people asking questions and petting the horses. While I was there it started to rain. This actually is a good thing when traveling by wagon in the summertime. The rain cools the air and the horses. With the cooler temperatures, we were able to climb some pretty good sized hills coming out of Ludlow, with considerably less fatigue to the horses.
Right now Iím camped with a nice family in Mt. Holly, VT. The horses have good graze and seem to be enjoying a rainy, bug-free night.
Returning from a shopping trip to Rutland, Mary spotted me from the highway and was kind enough to join me for supper at a nice restaurant, about a 1/2 mile down the road - this was the first time I have eaten in a restaurant this trip.
Clementine and I are now tucked in the wagon, listening to the rain fall outside. The horses are happy with the cooler temperature and no bugs. I would call this a really good day.
Hereís some things that have come as a surprise to me since I have started this trip:
1. Almost without exception, everyone I meet is very friendly and kind.
2. I havenít been flipped off by anyone that was upset at being delayed in traffic because of the horses.
3. A cell phone glued to someoneís ear can cause them to completely miss the sight and sound of 4 horses pulling a wagon ten feet away.
4. Everything I built into the wagon works exactly like I wanted it to.
5. It helps to be prepared, but if Iím not, thereís no sense in worrying, problems have a way of solving themselves.
6. The horses continue to improve - theyíre all actually pulling together most of the time (with a little encouragement from their coach.)
7. Media exposure really helps. When Iím looking for a place to stay at the end of the day, people already know of me and are happy to help.
8. Before I started this trip, I thought it was going to be a really cool thing to do. I was wrong; itís actually a lot cooler than I imagined it was going to be.