Wednesday, July 9, 2008


This adventure included several modes of transportation. Saddle Horses, Wagons, or walking.
We rented two saddle horses, Joey and Itsey, from a North Dakota resident. This allowed us the option to ride the horses, walk, or ride in the wagon. Depending upon how saddle sore we were determined whether we would ride that day or the next. The two third-graders in our group were willing to ride at any opportunity.

This little cutie pie, 2 year old Josie, (the horse owner's daughter) would immediately say 'ride horsie' when she was in proximity to the horse.
Riding in the wagon became a favorite option, however, 'wagon butt' was the dilemma here. The hard piece of board was narrow and inflexible. The Pioneer men and women all walked as the wagons held their possessions, but we frequently opted to ride in the wagon. It was cozy and close quarters, but once we determined the pattern for our legs, it worked out quite handily; provided you didn't need to find something under the seats, such as bug spray, water, or suntan lotion. There were a total of 14 wagons, and we had the smallest wagon, but fortunately we all enjoyed each others company. There was a lot of chatter and laughter from Wagon 12. The team of Draft horses pulling our wagon were Lady and Prince. Their fellow companions, King and Rocky, were pulling the wagon behind us. They would whinny and neigh to each other during the entire ride, keeping track of one another. The view was always the same, until we learned we could roll up the canvas sides. Once we rolled up the sides, we enjoyed cool breezes and a beautiful view of the Plains.
There were intrepid travelers that decided to walk, even a few that walked the entire distance. It was an option that not everyone utilized, particularly after we discovered that a North Dakota mile is really about 5 miles. The men in our group walked a lot, and they have the blisters to prove it.
Whichever option you selected, it was tiring. Traveling at 3 miles an hour, we averaged about 15 - 18 miles a day for a total of 80 miles in the week. Once the wagons circled at the campsite, everyone was ready for a rest at the end of a long dusty day.

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