Saturday, January 10, 2009

Large Black Hogs Part Two

So how does my story end? Well it continued the day be before Halloween, 2008. Having procured a new (different) truck and a borrowed horse trailer, we (Uncle Chris, pictured right and myself) left the house at 4 in the morning.

Our route would roughly take us through Milton-Freewater and LaGrande OR, Boise, and Twin Falls ID then through Ogden, UT and across the belly of WY turning South at Laramie. Next up was Fort Collins, CO and Wichita, KS before skipping through Oklahoma and into TX. We would skip KS on the return trip.

One of the best days was day 1 in southern Idaho. Great far country as the sun came up. The Southernmost portions of ID and Northern UT were...empty. Seems like a bad place to break down if you get off the beaten path. But we found a rest stop with some interesting geological information. I could share that, but why? Rather check out the pictures below of our travels through this American wasteland! First up is a an early AM ID wasteland shots. A little country, a very old and abandoned farmstead and a not so useful fire hydrant just across the border in UT.

Not real exciting, but How about this one? Bet you didn't know UT has Sasquatch? Or is that me...sometimes it's hard to tell :)

So anyhow, on we travelled. I'd tell you about UT and WY, but there isn't much to say. UT was brief and WY was empty. We stopped at "Little America" (the biggest truck stop I've ever seen) in what appeared to be the surface of the moon. Seriously, the only thing around for 100 miles in any direction is nothing and then BLAM! Mini-Mart-City. After that we hit a very "where-is-the-guy-with-a-leather-mask-and-chainsaw" gas station (at night of course) and then one more stop in Laramie, WY. Did I mention a 2005 Crew Cab Silverado gets lousy gas mileage while hauling a four horse trailer at 85MPH?

Our last stop on day one was Fort Collins, CO. I have to admit that we got there pretty late and when the highway disappeared onto a city street, I thought I was completely lost. Center Ave. I think it was. Well, we found our hotel and it was great. The lady (girl really) behind the counter had recently hauled her horses on a 36 hour straight drive from somewhere in CA to Fort Collins so (along with directions for dinner) she was full of much appreciated sympathy for our sore butts.

The next morning it was on to KS. After finding Starbucks and some snacks (and cold medicine, I came down with something just as we left...nice eh?) we proceeded to get bled to death by the most expensive toll road in all creation. That would be the E470. Small, crowded and cost was something like $450 per gate (and I swear there are 15 of them in 2 miles) all for the pleasure of driving around Denver. Traffic in Denver isn't that bad, I'd strongly recommend driving through Denver. It has more interesting scenery anyway.

So off we went through CO, but there ain't much to see in Eastern Colorado. Check out the ID pictures and that will about cover it. KS, now those people know how to truck stop. Lots of...creativity. My favorite? Giant metal palm trees...

But that is not all that a set of nasty MapQuest directions and the state of KS have to offer. Not by a long shot. There is the great and wondrous Mushroom Rock State Park. It holds such treasures including the actual Mushroom rocks (really kind of cool) and the WORST SMELLING OUTHOUSE IN CREATION. I grew up camping Eastern WA using outhouses that were cleaned using some kind of "when it runs out the top" scheduling and they were rose gardens compared to this hole of doom. I'd have used the back seat of my truck before using this "restroom." Fortunately there were plenty of bushes. And no people. I suspect the only visitors this place gets is local teenagers on the weekend looking for a bit of privacy to to partake of some oat soda. Anyway, here are some snaps.

But what about the pigs? Well our first pickup was in KS, not far from "The 'Shroom." Underhill Farms was the first stop. I had to run Lynn off the tractor (seeding wheat if I recall) and they were more than accommodating. We sorted three gals from one litter and a boar-ito from the other one. Here they are all snug in the trailer. These were September babies and this was the 1st of November.

In the next installment, I'll chat about our time with the folks at Oleo Acres in Leonard, TX. Cathy and Tim (and Company) were a real blast. Definitely a high point of the trip.

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