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You Can't Keep a Wagoneer Down

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The Wagonteamster Channel has itís first video production - Journey To the Valley Of the Wild Horses

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5/7/13, Valley Falls, OR - As the trees leaf out in their springtime splendor, the local ranchers are busy with branding. After the calves are inoculated and branded, the calves and their mommas are trucked or driven off to summer pasture. The harriers still patrol the skies overhead, but take a break and hide every couple of days when a pair of golden eagles show up, high in the sky.

On a recent horseback ride, Jacquie and I had a close encounter with the eagles when we rode back from the base of the Abert Rim and climbed on to the Rim Road. one eagle was sitting in the road, 50 yards in front of us, while his/her mate circled just a few feet overhead.  A quarter mile up ahead, a city dweller was parked alongside the road and using a telescope to carefully scan the tops of the rim, a mile away and a half mile high for signs of golden eagles, known to frequent the area.  After I told him they were just up the road he continued to scan the cliff faces for his elusive targets. Hmm, why is it that some people canít recognize the forest through all the trees?

Preparations are almost complete for a four day camping trip in the mountains. On Thursday morning, we plan on hitching the lads to a newly refurbished wagon and trekking into the hills.

On Sunday, with the horses sporting new shoes and the weather both warm and pleasant, we drove the boys five miles down the road to a nice roadside park.  While the lads were munching on sweet spring glass, Jacquie and I had lox, bagels and cream cheese to accompany our mimosas.

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The horses kept up a steady trot and pulled the wagon the five miles to the park in less than an hour. Once there, they enjoyed the cool shade of the lofty pines on the banks of Crooked Creek.

The first part of the journey to the forest requires that we pass around nine cattle guards.  Five of the cattle guards have good go-around gates with which the wagon can be driven past without unhitching the team.  The other four cattle guards have poor go-around gates that require the team to be unhitched and the wagon pulled over the grating before the team is rehitched. To expedite the process, Jacquie will drive the truck the first five miles, using it to pull the wagon across the cattle guards while I drive the team though the go-around gates. Weíll then leave the truck at a friendís ranch before continuing our trip into the mountains.

The first night we plan on spending on a small lake, fed by a large spring that bubbles up out of the ground in a huge bed of watercress.  The second night weíll be alongside a mountain stream.  The third night we will be at the roadside park pictured above.

As excited as I am for this hitch, I have feeling that the lads are just as anxious. After all, you canít keep a good wagon horse down!

In other news, Chuck and Mary Reagan were planing to get back underway today on their mule-drawn wagon across America. Unfortunately, Chuck had a little accident.  After throwing his mule Pauline, who was objecting to being shod, Chuck was attempting to keep her down. Pauline got up real quick and Chuck couldnít get out of the way. She ended up rolling over on Chuck and breaking his pelvis.  He is currently in the Las Vegas VA Hospital getting his pelvis repaired.  So, their wagon is ready to go, but Chuck has some bones to knit before they get underway.