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WAGONS HO - The Journey III - Wilderness


Mt_Rider

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Today almost seems anticlimactic after what we’ve all been through. Driving the horses today seemed easy. Even with the hills we’ve encountered they both behaved themselves but I can see the trails starting to narrow up ahead and I’m not looking forward to that.

 

 

 

My mind wants to wander today. I keep thinking of the greenhouse at the homestead. On the bottom of our Conestoga wagons are sheets of Plexiglas that I hope are all in one piece yet. We were careful to pack them with layers of foam between and a piece of plywood on top of them but everything in those wagons sits on top of them and we walk on them daily. From the beginning it has been my intention to have a greenhouse for winter vegetables. With my allergies and our big family it is only natural I guess but besides that, I know how important it is to our well being to have at least fresh greens.

 

We’ve been asked if our group could continue with some of our mini seminars, either at noon rest periods or in the evenings. We don’t have a lot of time left before we reach the Valley but I was wondering if a couple of question and answer sessions might not be in order. I’ve had questions from people on everything from what do we do when our toothpaste and brushes are gone to, how do we sanitize water when the purification tablets are gone, to what are we going to do for paper and pencils, to how do we live without chocolate. Maybe we should gather a list of those questions and try to answer them before we reach the valley.

 

 

 

The Valley! That thought brings me back to thinking about greenhouses and root cellars. I keep trying to come up with a way that I can stretch the use of our Plexiglas. Originally I intended it for a small double paned greenhouse as well as windows for each of our homes. It’s a scary thought to realize that we may never get to bring windows, or other modern materials on which we’ve come to depend, into the valley. Seeing the way the homestead was set up made me realize that it would have been better if we’d had more time to think of what might have made life more sustainable in our new homes.

 

 

 

I have become more appreciative of the small things, like those ears of corn that might be more reliable in this climate than the ones we brought along. I wonder if we need to do a seminar on how to isolate our seed crops so that the seed stays pure. We could all probably use a quick course in that before we start planting. Yes, we definitely need a question and answer session or two.

 

 

 

Oh boy,,,, this looks like a place I better put all my attention on. I can’t believe that we will even fit through this. I always worry as our wagon is wider than the rest, especially with all we have hanging off it but with all the stuff hanging off the other ones it looks tight for them too.

 

Looks like even the teams are leery, they are all slowing down. GREAT! looks like a bend up there and then down hill. The wagons are going out of sight as they go through this tight place. OH OH! Now we are stopped. Wonder what happened that I can't see. That's some of the B's wagons up there. I think I just saw Chef's wagon go through.

 

"I don't know, Mom. Oh wait, here comes someone." ........"It looks like we're going to be here a while so we might as well hand out some lunch. The Chef's wagon has broken a wheel and is blocking the path. No, you rest that hand, I'll get the horses tied to DD's wagon ahead and then be back to take care of it. I need to move around anyway."

 

This could be a long day for everyone. Already the guys are all headed to help with the wheel. Guess I better check the air in our tires before we start through. These rubber tires are going to be a hazzard if they have to go over sharp rocks. I'm glad we brought along the wire wheels that were originally on this wagon. We can always change them if we need to but it's going to take some work. Wish we'd done it sooner but so far these rubber ones have given us a bit of cushion for riding.

 

Brrr, still chilly out here.

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Ok so I dressed warmer today; however, it is still cold. Being stuck on the side of a mountain while a wagon wheel was being changed didn't help the nerves any. I think we were are the most narrow spot there was well it felt like it. We had to move the chickens back inside and move the stuff off the side one side of the wagon so that we could get closer to the side of the mountain. I was so proud of oxen and horses though they went right on around the trail without too much of an arguement. And I didn't have to hide under the bed once. Tomorrow maybe a different story especially if it is a repeat of today.

 

I was so glad that I had dinner in the hot box. We were late making camp so having dinner ready was a blessing. Chores are done and I am off to bed. I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be another LONG day.

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Greetings of Joy to all that are up.......................

 

What a great day to be able to sleep in and rest for all the wagoneers and animals too.

 

BUT we can't do THAT! We need to make up soome time seeing some of us were held up with the one wagon breaking done on the trail and the rest not being able to get around them until it was fixed.

 

So lets get things rolling ASAP so we can get a few more miles in today. Mr.H said that there is a good place to set up camp for the night but we will have to make some good time on the trail today to get to it. Said something about a stream and flat area so we will be able to get some fresh water for the animals as well as maybe get some laundry done. If the wind keeps up I done think we will have any trouble getting things dry out on the clotheslines.

:AmishMichael2:

 

 

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Is that Michael I hear already, seems like I just went to sleep. Oh darn it is light outside. Ok move body move. Brrr it is cold out here. As I climb out of the wagon I hear "Top of the Morning to ya Sleepy Head" and look around all three of teams are hitched ready to go and there is hot water as well as ham and biscuits. Humm wonder who made the biscuits?

 

So back in the wagon I go. SF said Mr. H said it would be a lot like yesterday to start with but are we got futher along things would get better. Well we will see...I feel like that old country song...On the Road again...

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Good morning Michael, You seem in a good mood this morning. Yes, we're almost ready to go. Just finishing up our breakfast. Nope, nothing special, just cornmeal mush this morning with left over bacon gravy for some of us and fruit syrup for others.

 

Good morning MT3B. Chilly morning isn't it? You seem to be feeling better today. Just take it easy yet though. We're all a bit wore down and will need to take good care of ourselves. Well, back to work for me. Stay safe today.

 

It sure does look to be a nice day for traveling. I only hope it goes smoothly for a change, especially if we have to push the miles today. I better go help with the milking so I can take the milk inside. We still have to get last night's milk skimmed and put in the can to make butter along the way. I still can't believe that Annarchy traded me those beautiful doilies for that butter. I would have given it to her but I will treasure them. We're all going to need those civilized touches in our homes to give us a feeling of normalcy.

 

I'm glad I got up early enough to make some biscuits at the central fire. I got a chance to chat with Chef while I was making them. He's quite interesting. I also noticed that he has different people helping him every day. It seems he's teaching as many as possible to do their own cooking. When I asked him what he was going to do when he didn't have to cook for a big group any longer he just laughed and said he doubted that his services as a cook would ever be done away with but if it was, he would be content to just homestead himself. He has plans to build his own place just like the rest of us. He said if he got bored with that maybe he'd open a restaurant but he was laughing as he said it. He's going to be having another pot of veggie stew on for supper tonight if anyone is interested. He also wondered if any of our group needed more vegetables. He's rationing them as he wants them to last but he's not stingy with them.

 

The horses look to be frisky this morning. Dh is having trouble getting them to stand still to be groomed. I hope that's not an indication of how they're going to be on the trail.

 

Beautiful sky but can't stay still looking at it, got to get busy.

 

 

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Good Morning! It's looks like it's going to be a beautiful day.

 

Well, I've gotta get our animals fed and the oxen hitched. I am looking forward to reaching our stopping point tonight. Gotta run, I hear Gunslinger808 stirring and he'll need his coffee........

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Good morning everyone...I see we are all ready to go and hubby has us hitched up too so lets roll! Get this wagon train a moving! :P ~~~That was my reply to Michael this morning. Oh what a day it was. Up early, eating light on the trail and then having to stop on that teeny tiny ledge waiting for Chef to get his wagon wheel fixed. That would have scared me to death when it broke. Do you wonder if he would have went over the edge when it did without a little help from above? It could have been a real disaster and Chef could have been hurt or worse. :huh: I just thank the good Lord for keeping him safe. I know there are those who are still depending upon him for their daily food and aren't able to cook for themselves yet. That should change soon with all the impromptu classes Chef has been holding for them. Ha! They will end up being able to cook better than the rest of us soon.

 

I was glad to see mt3b back up and around after being slowly warmed back up! She had a bad bout of hypothermia from sludging through the mud and cold water the day of the Chinook. And I see where Mt.R. has given us all some good warning signs to look for with that so I wont re-hash them again here. But I did want to add that they did good with the warm liquids, making her sit up to drink them and not just reclining, but all the way sitting up. And warming her slowly is best. Even having the dog next to her to provide some warmth is a good idea. Out here in the wilds you have to do this with what you have on hand and that isn't too much. It's not like back in the world where you can hook them up to a warmed IV and put a cubbie blanket on them as a nurse lol. So we are better off using a pile of quilts and taking them off one at a time slowly as they warm up. Another person in there with them is best, sans clothing if possible. The skin to skin contact being the best. If not, go ahead and use the dogs, cats... and the hand/foot warmers too. I think they did everything really well which is why mt3b is up and at em today instead of down and sick or worse. And hypothermia if not reversed can kill. There is no messing around out here. We are in dangerous territory with many things out here that can take a bodies life if you're not careful. Hypothermia just being one of them.

 

Okay enough lecture lol. I am going to have to cut this short and get some sleep. We have more rough trail ahead tomorrow then a promise of a flat area with a stream going through it. I will spend some time before bed tonight getting the dirty clothes around in hopes that we will have enough time to do some washing in the stream. If they don't get dry in time, I will just hang them up in the wagon. But I can't stand wearing dirty clothes. Hubby always says you can be poor without having to be dirty too and soap is cheap. Or it used to be lol. Now it's scarce or will be soon until we can figure out how to make it with the ashes from the fires. I am hoping one of the people here already have some experience in that so they can teach the rest of us! Well off to do some cooking and gather the laundry...

 

Q

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Oh how wonderful to see this FLAT grassy area. After all the hills we've been going up and down today I began to wonder if there was such a place. Look at the stream. It looks so clear and clean but with the chill that's in the air and the snow still clinging to shaded spots I bet it's icy cold. I'm glad that I placed our laundry in big garbage cans with soap and water this morning. They have been agitating all day and will only have to be rinsed to be ready to hang out. I'm almost too tired for that even. Perhaps we'll just empty the soapy water from them, wring them a little, and put fresh clear water on them to let them agitate more tomorrow and then perhaps at noon hang some in the wagons to dry and the rest hang out tomorrow night. We've done that several times on the trail so far and it seems to get the clothes cleaner than if we do it by hand. I will miss the 'automatic' washer when we are finally stationary full time.

 

After all the travel days we've missed I'm sure we will want to push on tomorrow as early as possible. The closer we get to the valley the more I find myself torn. I find myself getting more excited but I also find myself thinking of the miles between us and what we left behind. Our families, advanced medical facilities, ease of purchasing food and supplies. Since we left the ranch we've not heard anything about what's going on in the world behind us. We may not hear anything for months or longer. In my mind I know that we have done the right thing. In my heart there is this nagging 'what if'. Every time that thought comes up I tell myself that it's only because of my family. If our youngest son and his family were with us I would not even be considering 'what if's'. If I knew that our oldest son was doing okay it would be fine. I have studied, lived, and breathed the life we are headed for almost my whole adult life. I just wish this trip had come about thirty years ago.

 

Well, it's our turn to circle up so I better stop wool gathering and put my attention on getting us in the right place. Strange how it seems so routine now. Yet in just a week, that whole routine will have to change yet again. Are we ready? I'm not sure.

 

 

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We seemed to have things really organized this morning, everyone was ready to go when the first wagon headed out. Even the animals seemed ready. One by one the line formed and we were on our way. The trail was aged but not as rough as yesterday's section, that had broken chef's wagon wheel. I had intently watched the group changing out the wheel. I wanted to be prepared enough to know basically how to do it, even if I may not have the strength to. They had to lift the body of the wagon to get the weight off the broken wheel and secure it. With a wheel wrench they went right to work replacing it without any trouble, checking the axle and making sure the spindles were not worn out in the process. I was impressed with their speed and accuracy and wished I had been able to watch closer, but I didn't want to get in the way.

 

I had put beans to soak in the morning for dinner last night, and there was enough left over to mash up for refried beans tonight with a couple of corn tortillas. I opened our last can of asparagus for the greens. We also donated some of our ancho chili to the chef and gave him my recipe for enchilada sauce he took them with a twinkle in his eyes.

 

This flat are is ideal tonight, the central camp fire is going, children running, laughing and playing, people gathered around the fire talking and the sky is twinkling with stars. Many of the conversations are planning what we will do when we reach the valley. Shelter, food and general survival. It's beginning to sink in that what we have is all we have, and if we want anything else, we either have to make it ourselves or go without. A very sobering thought. As the fire began to die down some, I headed for bed, still wondering what our future holds.

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So SF sent me to the inside of the wagon today. I almost pushed him off the side of the wagon. I told him I should have been on that side next to the mountain but no he needed to be on that side...men! It did give me a chance to fix some really good ham sandwiches for lunch and start on dinner. Boss was glad to have my company. He didn't like the bouncing, swaying and bumping along the side of the mountain.

 

It was wonderful to come through the pass and see the green grass and crystal clear water. Once we hit the grass the animals didn't like it that they could not stop and graze. However, seeing them now they look happy. I am sure they are enjoying this over the hay. Even the goats and pigs are happy. Mother and Annarchy found some wild greens. I need to get my basket and go pick some before we pull out in the morning.

 

My laundry has been rinsed and hung up to dry. Like mother I have a big plastic garbage can that we put laundry in and let it slosh along the way. Then rinse and hang to dry. The really muddy clothes get rinsed before going in the was can. And as bumpy as the last couple of days have been they really got swished around in there. I did pull out my rubber gloves to keep the cold water of my skin.

 

This stop will also give us a chance to refresh the water to the water barrels and canteens. Finally got rid of the rest of the mud today. I noticed other wagons had chunks of mud falling off as we went over those rough trails. I hope all the plexiglass that we brought with us is still intact. I want windows n my new house. I think everything is traveling rather well. So far what breakable stuff I have checked on has made the move intact. But then again it hasn't been this rough either.

 

Since I was banished to the inside of the wagon I made use of the time by making starter pots out of news paper. I got carried away. I think I have enough to start just about everything. Tonight I am going to fill them will potting soil. Tomorrow I will start flipping though my list of seeds to see what I need to get planted now so they will be ready to go in the ground in a few weeks. I can't believe we are almost there, will there be lots of trees? Or will it all be flat land? Will there be lots of streams or will we have to dig deep wells?

 

The days are getting longer but here surrounded by mountains we loose sun light quickly at night. Once it gets on over th mountains it is dark. So I need to hurry and get the last of the dinner cleared away and dishes washed before I loose all light. I see the men are bringing the animals into the circle of the wagons now for the night. Some ones buck is dealing them fits looks like a couple of the girl goats are in season. They had better be careful or someone is gonna bet butted...oops too late. Looks like one of the men from the benefactor group just got in the seat of the pants. I think he is ok, he got up laughing and threatening the buck with Chefs soup pot. I don't know who is laughing harder him or Mr. Mother or Mr. Mt. Rider.

 

 

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While setting around the fire tonight I was amazed at the questions that were being bandied around. I thought I'd write some of them down and maybe some of us could put our heads to gether to find the answers.

 

 

What will we do for brushes when ours are worn out? (tooth, hair, scrub, animal, etc)

 

What about brooms?

 

What about clothing, bedding, towels? Can we produce all we need and how? Diapers?

 

Pins, needles, scissors, thread?

 

Shoes and boots?

 

What about kitchen things, cast iron, dishes, bowls, containers, knives, etc?

 

What about books when ours have been worn out by repeated readings?

 

What do we do about windows if we didn’t bring any along?

 

Hardware for homes, latches, hinges and etc.

 

How about paper and pencils or pens.

 

What about soap, shampoo, dish soap, laundry soap?

 

What do we do about rope?

 

Harnesses and metal fittings and horse shoes?

 

Protection/hunting when the bullets are gone?

 

Axes, saws, tools, and etc.

 

Salt, soda, Baking powder? Sugar? Oil?

 

Fire starting when the matches are gone?

 

Lighting, especially for traveling, when the batteries and bulbs are done?

 

Cultures such as yogurt, kefir, cheese, etc., how long can we keep them going?

 

HMMMMM, makes one think.

 

 

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STRETCH.................. BEND....................REACH!

 

Oh Good Morning I didn't see you there - So, how are things going this morning.Good glad to hear that.

 

Yes I am a bit late this morning get up and going, I thinik it is the fact we are climbing higher and higher into the mountains and the air is a bit thinner up here. Yesterdau I think my ears popped 2 times as we where going over that rise before we got to 'camp'. What? Oh yes I can see it in the animals too. They seem to be taking it better them some of us are. Even I am getting a bit tired just walking around and some are having a bit of trouble breathing and they are sitting in the wagons all day.

 

Hey , Thanks for the coffee have you seen Mother yet this morning I know we are doing good on time along the trail but I was hoping we could get going early today so we could set up camp a bit early tonight that way we could rest longer before heading into the 'high' country. Mt_Rider said we have a few more hills to get over before we start going 'downhill'? A few HILLS ! I think everything that wasn't tied down in our wagon is now piled up in the back! That one hill yesterday really put the oxen to the test, But with a bit of help from each other we all made it though that pass. The Goats of cause are loving it! Can't seem to be able to keep them off the hills and outcroppings.

 

Well better get to the milking, Lori wants to make some extra butter today so we will have some for our weekend meals? I bet she wants me to make applesauce pancakes as we have not been able to make them for a while.

 

:AmishMichaelstraw:

Edited by Amishway Homesteaders
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OK so heres what I found out while milking this morning......................

Yes we will be moving out soon so you all better get packing.

Mt-Rider and Mother 'had a meeting' with Mr.H and I was asked to sit in . Acording to Mr.H it looks like we are doing very well climbing the hills but the worst part is still up ahead of us. We will need all hands working together to get over a few places and may have to double team a few of the wagons to get them over some bumpy spots. But hey we've done that before so it should go OK.

 

Are you ready for it..............................

 

WAGONS HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Got to love that!

 

:AmishMichael2:

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WAIT!!!! I am NOT ready, my shoe string broke and I can't find replacement. Fine I will just shorten it for now.

 

Animals fed - check

Teams hitched - check

Everything secure in wagons - check

Chickens moved back in side - check

Veggies on soaking for dinner - check

 

OK so where it the O2 tank...this air is way to thin for this suthern girl...

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Good Morning!

 

Crisp clean air, reading finished, chores done, wagon hitched and ready to go. GS808 is still asleep but as soon as we begin to move, I am sure he will wake up. His coffee is in the thermos and I've got some rice soaking for dinner.

 

Praise God from whom all blessing flow,

Praise Him all creatures here below,

Praise Him above ye Heavenly Host,

Praise Father, Son & Holy Ghost..

:amen:

 

It's going to be a wonder full day.

 

 

:happy0203:

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Well, we're off to a good start this morning, thanks to Michael. I believe I would have slept in and missed the meeting this morning. Michael's right, this thinner air is getting to me. I keep yawning but I'm not sure if that's lack of oxygen, because my ears are full, or if I'm just plain tired. Maybe all three.

 

I'm a bit worried about these "hills" we're facing today. They seem to be amounting to the same thing as those "little ditches" that we crossed earlier only these are "BIG DITCHES" :0327: Yesterday we no more got up one with a little help from others than we were trying to hold the teams back down the other sides. At least I learned from Mr. Hughes in our ride through the snow that I had to be more forceful with the horses in both physical strength and in voice to make them do what I wanted. I do not believe in swearing so I laughed at the looks on people's faces yesterday when they heard me using my "teamster" voice with the words like,,,"get up there you lovely pieces of horseflesh, I'm going to brush you silly tonight if you get up that hill, Oh beautiful, get a move on." I found those words are just as effective as swearing if you use the right tone of voice. I must have found the tone 'cause those horses gave me all they had. Bless them.

 

Breakfast this morning was raisin and nut muffins. We soaked dried beans last night and this morning have them cooking with some dehydrated carrots and seasonings in the insulated cooker. When we stop tonight we'll put them in one of the big Dutch Ovens with tomatoes, onions, and whatever else looks good and let it simmer. We'll have that with fresh corn bread, slathered with butter. We're going to have Spotted Pup for desert. Rice and raisins cooked to a pudding consistency with milk is one of my favorites and the rice complements the beans and corn making them a perfect protein for our bodies. If I can find some greens when we camp tonight they will make the meal even more nutritious but this high up and this early in the year it's hard to come across enough for our whole family. Thankfully we still have plenty of dehydrated greens to add variety.

 

Some members tried their hand at fishing the stream last night but had no luck. When I talked to Mr. S, Mr. J, and Mr. Hughes about our meat supplies this morning they agreed that we'd better stop and hunt if possible or fish at the next big stream we came to.

 

I've been thinking a lot about our food lately. We are going to have to be very careful of our nutrition level as our food supplies dwindle. According to Mr. Hughes we only have a week or so until we get to the valley and once there we should find plenty of wild spring edibles and a variety of wildlife to flesh out our supplies though. I am very much aware of the problem of having enough energy to clear land, put in gardens and fields, harvest wild plants, and hunt for meat all the while trying to build homes for winter. That’s going to take a lot of extra calories for us all.

 

It's such a glorious morning. I see Annarchy is smiling too. I believe it's going to be a great day.

Edited by Mother
because I keep loosing my punctuation????
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I keep getting so busy that I forget to write things down lol. So it has been a busy last few days. Up the hills, down the hills, up the hills, up the hills, hey! We aren't going down anymore? Oh well I can tell it since this "belle" is a little more dizzy headed than usual. Must be the air up here. I am used to 420' elevation and darn near 80% humidity. Not 4000' + elevation and hardly any humidity. This is going to take some getting used to for those of us from down home country. And thing is, it might take awhile too. Blood has to change with the elevation and humidity too, not just the skin and such. Well working outside when we get to our new homestead will help.

 

I did manage to get most of the laundry done back at the stream and the oxen were very happy to have the grass instead of just hay for a change. Just wait till we get "home" with them. :D I did a quick check of the wagon and contents while we were stopped yesterday. I got most things lashed down to the sides of the wagon so they don't all rush to the back end. Hubby checked the outside, including the wheels so we don't have a repeat of having to stop on the trail and change one if at all possible. He did say one or two of the Plexiglas pieces are cracked though. I am thinking we will still just use it anyways. Have to do something about the crack, but it shouldn't hurt too much. Other than that, the wagon and the stuff outside seem to still be okay. We did leave the chickens inside still so they aren't hanging off the side of the wagon in those skinny passes we keep going through. It's hard enough without big cages in the way. But hubby is doing a fine job of getting us where we need to go and I am just riding along it seems and enjoying the scenery or studying up on things we will need when we get "home".

 

I did find one interesting idea for shoes which I liked, but it may not suit others so well. Hubby was telling me about groundhogs. How they were good eating and the hide is so tough that they used to make shoe leathers out of them. They would scrape the hide off and then before it got to drying out they would make a circle. Then they would cut about 1/2" strip going around and around inside the circle until they got to the middle and the end. Then they took that 1/2" strip and hung it in a tree to dry. It is so tough when it dries that you can't hardly even cut it with a knife! So it makes great shoe laces. And you can trace out a sole pattern for your shoe by using your current shoe as a pattern and just adding about a 1/4" all the way around it and then let it dry. It will shrink some as it dries up bringing it to your size you need. Then you can sew it on your shoe or use it for a sole for a new shoe or moc. Oh yeah, you need to punch some small holes in it before it dries to sew with. It's really hard to get the holes in it after it's dried hubby said. So I am going to use some deer hide for the side of the mocs and use some groundhog hide for the laces and the soles! Hubby said they should last me a good long time too. So I guess I had best make him a pair also. That will solve our shoe problems. But it wont be for awhile yet since we have some pretty good sturdy work boots to wear now. Might make a good winter project!

 

I have to add this before I forget again. I was sitting around the fire last night watching everyone having a good time, especially the kids. And I saw quite a few adults who looked to be doing a lot of hard thinking like I was. I can't help but feel like the Lord answered my questions last night there around the fire. I had been wondering the same things that I imagine most have...were we right to leave it all behind, all the family, friends and the problems? Were we going to make it in this new place? What would happen to us as things started to run out? How would we ever know if things were good, better, or worse than when we left? And what if someone started a war, how would we know? Would we even want to know. But all those questions tied into just one thing and that was the world we left behind. I admit I was feeling guilty about leaving family there where I knew it wasn't safe. But then the Lord brought two things to my mind. Noah warning family and friends for 120 years and they didn't listen to him either so why did I think they would listen to me? That kind of helped me not feel so bad about leaving. Then the second thing just sealed the deal and that was the scripture about "Come out of her and be ye separate". Well, that was what we were doing wasn't it? Yep. So it felt like a big weight had been lifted off of me. I hadn't slept so good since we hit the trail. I just knew we were doing the right thing then. And I can see others here on this wagon train that are having those same doubts. I hope and pray they get their answer soon too so they can have peace about it.

 

Well off to check on our food and see what I can wrestle up for dinner tonight. I think it is going to have to be easy since I am feeling so dizzy up here lol. Maybe some sandwiches made on the left over biscuits from this morning? Sounds good to me.

 

Q

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“Grandma, where is Florida?”

 

“At the other end of the country. Why?”

 

“Well, you keep saying why this valley couldn’t be in Florida. Grandpa says if you don’t stop talking to your self he’s going to start to worry…..”

 

“Well, OGS if it doesn’t start to get warm soon, I might start worrying too!”

 

This is the conversation that OGS and I had today as we were going up and down those blasted HILLS. I am beginning to think that we should have installed seat belts on the wagon benches! Wait…maybe we should have put the captain’s chairs from my van instead! Oh, well hindsight is 20/20.

 

I have some laundry swishing in plastic totes in the back and will be glad to get that hung out to dry. I was talking to Mother this morning about laundry and she said that she would miss the automatic washers after we leave the trail. Maybe I can start a business strapping totes of laundry in the wagon and driving around all day! LOL! Don’t we have to keep the wheels turning to keep the freezers going too?

 

Maybe tonight if anyone has any extra butter that I can trade for, I will make some cast iron pan candy to share. I am sure that all of the kids (and adults) would like a bit of a treat. (recipe will be posted on the recipe thread)

 

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We got off to a fantastic start. You could sense the anticipation to get to our next stopping point. We had been able to clean up and socialize yesterday, which seemed to bring energy back to many of us who were dragging a little from the trip.

 

Amishway Homesteaders lead the way today and we ended up near the back again, only because the oxen don't think my voice is demanding enough. Their ears would twitch and it seemed they would look at each other and giggle, but wouldn't move. It took one snap of the whip to finally encourage them I ment business. I drove for a very short time before GS808 got up and took over. Gratefully, I crawled in back and re-arranged the sleeping bags and began taking inventory. There seems to be enough food to last for at least 3 weeks of regular meals, maybe 4 before we need to find another source of meat and veggies.

 

The conversations around the fire last night, really got me thinking. I suppose we won't have windows in our house, because I didn't think to bring anything that could be used for that. As for a green house, I wonder if I could make due with a small one using a couple of the tarps we brought. Which reminded me to check my plants again. I covered them with some bubble wrap during the big snow storm and forgot about them. One died, the other 7 plants have new growth! Wow, I didn't expect that! Carefully, I re-secured them near the back so they could get some sun light as we traveled today. I am so very very grateful for the bungee cords and rope. How will we be able to make more? Rope, I can do, sorta, with vines or cloth, but the rubber and formed plastic would pose a problem to overcome.

 

I looked at my sewing supplies, and wondered how long would my spools of thread last? Would the cotton seed I brought would be enough to produce a revolving crop productive enough that we could spin it to make clothes, rugs, bedding? Just the thought of the amount of work it takes to go from the seed to plant, to harvest, to spinning, to weaving, would we be able to get a crop in, harvested and spun by our first winter?.... I wore myself out thinking about it, yet, I know we will do it, because we want to, and because we have a resource to be able to.

 

As I checked to see if my wool socks were dry yet, I wondered if anyone brought any sheep for wool? I would have to enjoy them until they wear out. Instantly, I thought of my 3 wool blankets, NO! I told myself, I like them just the way they are, warm and comfy when it is really cold outside. I'll just have to find another source for my socks. (lol) I looked at my moccasins and knew I could copy the pattern to make more when the need arose, then briefly thought of the cougar hide that was now rolled up buried in the wagon.

 

How long would it take us to create a gasification system? Who would dig a septic system? Would we even want to? And pipes? I remember some people brought some, but I am sure there wouldn't be enough to meet everyones needs. I guess I will be hauling my water like we did when I was little. What will we do when our buckets give out? Would I have the skill to cut the wood and make another? Would there be enough resources in our valley to sustain our group over the long haul? Would we be sending people out for supplies and news?

 

Goodness... my brain hurts thinking too much...LOL I gave up wondering about it for now and picked up my tatting shuttle and began another doily after deciding I would put to use, the supplies I have now, and see what happens when we get there.

 

By lunch break, the lead wagons had found and turned into a pretty little valley where we fit nicely and stopped. Everyone bustled about preparing light meals, checking on animals, wagons, and each other. I visited with Big D a moment and she was fine. She too was pondering what our future held and mentioned she had all her based covered as long as she had her help nodding at James & Naomi. Both seem to stand a little straighter with confidence when she said that and both smiled contently at me, then got back to taking care of their tasks.

 

We headed out again and the trail continued to climb, a turn here and another hill, another turn, another hill. As we progressed the trail became slimmer and the hills steeper. At one point it was all anyone could do to stay on the mountain path. The chill in the air as we continued to gain altitude was noticeable. After pulling out our thick coats and sweaters, I sat back and continued to work on my doily, planning dinner for tonight. Rice and something.... maybe chicken rice casserole and mix in a cup of peas.

 

Again my mind began to wonder...I hadn't even thought about rice. When it's used up, where would we get more? Could we grow it? What would the soil be like, how much work needed to be done just to clear an area for the garden? Would our plants and seeds we brought like the climate? What type of plants and berries grew naturally there? Would there be any fruit trees, nut trees or maple trees? I had saved the seeds from the apple I ate and wondered if they would grow.

 

As the sun began set, the road widened and another turn opened into a grassy field. I could see the the lead wagons turn to the side and begin to circle. DH was beat from wrestling the reigns all day and I knew he could use a cup of coffee, warm sponge bath and a good hearty meal. When we stopped, I hurried to unhitch the oxen and released the rope several feet for 'Little Lady', then took the chicken & turkey cages and set them next to the belly of the wagon, a little shelter and fresh air, after pulling out the bbq and quickly starting a fire. I thought back to our little test and really appreciated the bic lighter I used to start the kindling. He's promised to teach me how to use a bow to start a fire when we run out of the lighters.

 

As dusk came upon us, everyone was into the swing of taking care of their tasks and socializing around the central camp fire. I think Chef started it today, seems like it's his pots on the grill over there. Silently, I sat there listening to our group, as I stirred the chicken, cream of mushroom soup, peas and rice with a little bullion and minced onion, making sure it wasn't burning. My dearest was in the wagon resting waiting for me to bring him something to eat.

Edited by Annarchy
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Whew! What a day, I am so glad the teams have tough skin because of they sure took a beating today. There for a while I wasn't sure we were going to get through the pass and then Mother's wagon wow, how they got her wagon through there I will never know. It was touch and go there for a while. Mr. Hughes was right we had to double team some of the animals wagons to them over the “hill” and through the pass. Then we had to hold them back going down hill. I am not sure if we up or down. All I know is it was a shake, rattle and roll day. I am so glad we took the time last night to secure everything in the wagons or we would have lost some of our load today. Mother's group wasn't the only one having problems today, we almost lost our cattle cart today but quick thinking on P&W part they hitched up in sled form and pulled it behind one of the horses. N walked the horse through the pass and down the trail so it went rather well. I guess those cable ties did come in handy.

 

I know this much I can't breath the air is way too thin, I come from a really low elvation - 375 feet if that and here we are at what 3,000-4,000 feet P is getting nose bleeds again, he hasn't had them since he was a kid. All I can say is....ARE WE THERE YET?!?!?!?!

 

Looks like the animals will have green grass again tonight but Mr. Smith said we need to be on the look out for wild animals. They had seen tracks in the area, so they are posting extra guards tonight and grazing the animals closer to the wagons. I noticed all the dogs were antsy tonight they must smell the predators.

 

At lunch my family started discussing how we were going to build our new homes. Then this evening during dinner we continued the discussion. SF said from what research he was able to do before we left and what Mr. Smith and Mr. Hughes had said we will have to do soddies or adobe houses. He said that if we build a small house we should have enough tin for the roof of the house and barn. He doesn't want to put windows on the north side of the house so we will only have 4 windows. I know P&W have been doodling with designs and both say they are going to build just one room cabins with lofts for now. Since it just them. Now if the other two were just as practical, A keeps talking about what she wants in her new house. She is going to have to reign in her desires or she will be sleeping in the barn come winter. I actually think that is W's plan is to build a barn with quarters on the back for this year and then next year build a house. He is hoping by then he will be able to travel up in the mountains and get timber to make a log cabin. It was funny to see reality hit the guys when they realized just how long it was going to take to get thing going and what the number one priority was...A GARDEN..

 

We also discussed other things like broken shoe laces and what we would do and how we would made do once things were gone. I had to inform him that if our crops failed this year we would be in a serious situation. That about all we had left was dehydrated food. He grinned and said he guessed the first thing he would build is a smoke house since Pork Chop, Ham and Bacon (the piglets) would have to go by fall. I told him I was talking with a couple of the benefactor families and they had sheep, I had been talking to them about trading even once we got to our new land. Actually the wife approached me about trading for a pig. I am hoping the other family with sheep will be willing to trade for a pig also, I would like to have one from different stock so that I will have a good breeding stock to start with. Between the pigs, chickens, sheep and goats I am hoping to keep my family fed this winter. I am not sure what the hunting will be like since there are so many of us.

 

I am so proud of the guys they have it figured out, if we get 2 plots of land next to each other then 2 plots of land behind that then we can share pasture land and have bigger pastures. N said that way we could have larger gardens and plant bigger gardens of corn and wheat. SF and I just looked at each other and grinned; for city boys they are catching on.

 

We also discussed possibilities for a cottage industry and what we thought would be something that would be in demand. We discussed blacksmithing, gun smithing, milling, and other things that we will need in order to survive. Each one of the boys have good ideas I hope it works out for them.

Well it is time to get the animals settled for the night. The goats are enjoying being out but we are having problems keeping them off the side of the mountains and on the trail.

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{ OK...IRL I’ve been FLATTENED in bed.... :yuk: and haven’t been able to do ANYthing. As I mentioned in Comments, I’ve been trying to do this hypothermia storyline for the past several days but...whooooeeee. I’m a bit better today so hopefully I can finish and post this today. Anyway...heehee...sitting here typing is better than running around doing all the things I've gotten behind on these past couple days... ;)

Soooooooooo to make this fit with storyline so far....I am posting this for

 

 

TOMORROW...SATURDAY MORNING. Streams are plenty and we've camped by really nice big one last nite.

 

MtRider stretches all the way backwards over the saddle till her head nearly touches Midnight's tail. Ohhhh, it feels good to be outside again instead of laying rather helpless with MS fatigue in the bouncing wagon these past days. Feeling “my normal” again today. :cele:

 

We’ve just left another lovely stream-side campsite and are heading upwards again. Gotta go up before we can go down into our Valley. While we won’t be going upwards as high as our Colorado home was, we began this journey from a lower elevation and these “hills” seem pretty big anyway. Others are beginning to feel the altitude but hopefully that won’t be bothering MrMtR and I so much. We were in the low lands long enough to lose our extra supply of red blood cells but our body is used to manufacturing the larger amount....that should count for something, shouldn’t it? I hope we don't have quite so of the narrow passages today but..... :shrug: MrH did pick the very BEST way up here.

 

Suddenly MrMtR bangs his hand on the wagon seat. I glance around for danger and then look over to him driving our wagon. “What?”

 

“I forgot the fish!”

 

“What fish?” I’m confused. :blink:

 

“I was up early this morning and caught ten trout. They are on a stringer tied into the bank....just past the log that was down there. When we were moving out, I forgot to grab them.” He was annoyed to have left behind not only a good metal stringer line but also a supply of protein for this leg of the trip.

 

“You caught TEN? WAY TO GO! :bounce: I”ll just take Midnight and go back and fetch them. They aren’t that far back."

 

“Well, be careful. You have your decent handgun? Take the rifle as well.” He reached inside the wagon for it and checked the chamber. He handed it to me and I slid it in the scabbard.

 

“I won’t be long”

 

As I rode back thru the wagons, I smiled as I saw that the B wagons and our group were now intermixed. I waved and even stopped to chat at a few of the wagons. I passed the last of the herders and mentioned to a Cee Gee son [i keep getting them mixed up...one of the two older ones... ;) ] about my mission and that it wouldn’t take me long. About 15 minutes back to the campsite....a few minutes to find the stringer and another 15 back.

 

:wacko: ....funny, it just never occurred to me to bring a second person....as I would have undoubtedly told anyone else. That’s the thing about the wilderness. You can’t think “civilized”. 15 minutes away is nothing while in civilization. :shakinghead: Out here is different.

 

 

This was a beautiful day...especially seemed warm after those awful blizzard days. I had opted to wear jeans, a couple layers of a tank & T-shirt. I had a down vest tied on the back of the saddle but was just wearing a lined nylon athletic jacket. Leather gloves were in the jacket pocket because the sun was strong up here at this elevation. If not for the striff breeze, I’d be down to the T-shirt. It offered just enough chill altho the thermometer reads 56 degrees. I unzipped the jacket so I wouldn’t overheatin the direct sunshine. I still wore wool sox and my Thinsulate/water resistant ankle boots. They have such a good tread for this rocky area but I’m thinking of changing to tennis shoes this afternoon. I don’t need my feet starting to sweat. Just a leather cowboy hat and, as always, my sunglasses.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed my ride back down the trail. Wow, we do make an impact as we pass thru. But our campsite is always cleaned up; campfire pits buried and raked over; most sign of us gone to the casual glance. We even try to disperse the animal manure. I got off of Midnight and and led him as I surveyed the banks of the stream, looking for the metal stringer with it’s bountiful catch. The fish are kept alive and fresh this way. The safety-pin-like devices [several on a long chain] runs thru the natural opening of the fish gill and then locks closed again. Done gently, the fish will be alive for quite a while if the actual catching of them on the hook was not too brutal.

 

OK....I’ve been back and forth...just where WAS DH fishing this morning? "By the log", he had said. Yep, just like him to notice HIS log but not that there are other logs here too. :tapfoot: Did he have on his waders and cross over this stream? It’s running fast enough with this snowmelt that I wouldn’t want to try to wade across this current. No, it’s got to be here on this side.

 

Finally I found it. Figures...upstream a ways. I tugged it loose and secured it in a waterproof sealed bag with some water in also. To keep the trout fresh, I hoped. They’ll need to be cleaned and cooked soon. Wonder if we’ll stop for lunch?

 

A large buck darted suddenly out from the nearby bushes and startled both me and Midnight. She swung around with her rear to face this potential attacker and..........

KNOCKED ME CLEAN INTO THE COLD MOUNTAIN STREAM. AAAAAACKKK!

 

 

A dozen thots jammed my mind at once. Get up QUICKLY. This is very BAAAAD. Too coldToocoldTooocoldToocold. Dumb horse!

 

It was fortunate that I’d slipped backwards and land still sitting, just near the shore. I *think* it only took me a fraction of a second before I was scrambling out on my hands and knees up to the top of the bank. The damage was done though. I was soaked with near freezing mountain stream water from the waist down. And that MERE 15 minutes away from the rest of the wagon train seemed deadly long with the sudden change of circumstances.

 

I glared at Midnight. And if a horse can look sheepish...this one was saying “baa”. He was crowding near me rather than getting all stupid and trying to run off. WELL, if he’d run straight to the wagon train, that might have been better. Riderless, it would have been a sure call for help. But if not, I need to keep him, so I grabbed the lead rope. DH’s now infamous log had a branch to tie off the horse. I was hurrying now before I lost the ability for fine-motor things like tying. I made sure it was a pull-loose knot too.

 

By now I was shaking violently and had trouble moving correctly. I sat and began to I rip at the laces of my boots and got them loose. Had to tug VERY hard to get them off each foot. Wet boots and especially soaked sox are very hard to remove. I tried to tug one sock off from the toe and it just stretched and stretched. With the violent shakes, I just could NOT manage to pinch a piece of the sock higher with my fingers. I could not feel my feet or lower legs.

 

Ok ...Can’t take the time to reach under the pant leg of my jeans. Well, freezing wet pants have to come off too. I unbuckled/zipped and lay back to try scrunching out of those wet pants. I decided to keep the undies...wet as they were. :blush: I peeled down the jeans over my legs and finally got them down to those stupid wet knee highs. I grabbed the jeans and pulled with all my strength and finally one leg popped off of my foot. The sock attached. I pulled on the other leg and it came free but I had to peel the sock off the rest of the way. I had to rein in my tendency to become frustrated and IRATE :motz_6: at a sock. I was scared but needed to stay calm!

 

Whew...even with the wind, that feels MUCH better already. My goose-bumped skin is drying and the sun is warm...sort of. But I am in serious trouble. The bottom of the tank, T-shirt and jacket are all soaked. The arms of my jacket as well. If I had gone all the way under the water, I might have been so shocked by the extreme cold of a mountain stream that I could have lost my breath and drowned. Saying prayers of thanks and for HELP, I took off the wet jacket reluctantly. I wrung out the bottom of the wet Tshirt and only a bit of of the tank was wet. I looked up at the down vest tied to the saddle and hoped I could undo the knots.

 

I was racing the clock before I would get so chilled at the core of my body that I could no longer think straight. As the body cools, more blood is pooled to the center torso in order to keep vital organs functioning. But less blood to the head means sluggish thinking. Movements were already impaired. I was scared to move on my numb feet and legs for fear I’d damage them. I pulled out of my utility belt pack [separate from my pants belt] ..the emergency mylar blanket. Got it wrapped around the lower half of me like a long skirt. I was rubbing my feet but concluded that I just needed to get back on the horse. If I had been truly alone, I would have begun a fire. But I made a choice in that moment: To attempt to run back for the help of others rather than try to maintain my body functioning until they sent someone back to find me. I didn’t think I had the time to wait...and...I haven't had the best luck starting fires lately. :( I was thinking "Who among us knows about frostbite and hypothermia?"

 

Frostbite is simply having frozen tissue. At 56 degrees, I was not as worried about that. But I was already well into the second stage of hypothermia. [hypo = too little & thermia = heat] This is exactly the sort of day that hypothermia is so common....with just this sort of accident involving getting WET. Getting wet and being in a chill wind. Sucks the basic body heat right out of you. I was dressed for the warmer temperatures and not protected from this situation.

 

I was already shaking so violently that I could hardly maneuver my own body. MS was NOT helping that, of course. I knew, from several other unfortunate experiences while fall and winter camping, that this will increase as the body tries to warm itself. Because of the dunking, I’d skipped right over the first stage of normal hard shivering and ‘can’t get warm’ feeling. I knew better than to try sticking my tongue between teeth that were near to breaking with their chattering. It would *hurt*...yes, I’ve done that before. My jaws were already aching from the spasms of hard chattering.

 

While hunched up trying to draw warmth from the shelter of the mylar blanket, I fetched up both socks, wrung them out as much as I could, and forced them back on my feet. Yiiick! Had them been cotton, I would have left them off. I emptied each boot and forced them onto my feet as well. If I can get any circulation down there, they might stay all right. There is no reason to wear the soggy cotton jeans. Unable to hang onto everything, I put the half-wet jacket back on as well.

 

I had to hang onto the stirrup to help me lever myself back to my feet. I still could not feel them AT ALL. I’ve experienced this before. The time I rescued ****IRL - stooopid choice, btw*** an injured duck by wading into my mostly ice-covered pond in boots that were too short for the deep water. Similarly today, my legs honestly felt like I’d had an amputation below the knees and I might be balancing on wooden peg legs. I was swaying a bit while I tried to untie the down vest. :motz_6: After a few attempts at the knots, I gave up. Too much shaking and too much fumbling. Another tough choice. It would be good to have immediate better core-warmth but I was taking a risk of falling over before I ever mounted the horse. Sometimes you have to make the call and pray it’s the right one.

 

I slung the wet jeans over the saddle horn and down either side of Midnight’s neck. He didn’t flinch. I pulled the lead rope knot loose and slowly...with some stumbling....positioned myself high enough on the log to set my left boot into the near stirrup. I tossed the lead rope over the neck next to the reins, tied together and laying at the saddle horn. I reached up to grasp the saddle horn with both hands and *hauled UP* while I said sternly, “WHOA!” to the horse.

 

My numb right leg swung and caught on the horse's rear, not quite clearing over completely. Standing now on the left stirrup, I reached back with my right hand and shoved my leg on over. [i’ve done this maneuver IRL due to MS ] I reached down to put it into the right stirrup properly. Midnight never moved. Roan would have danced right out from under me. GOOD Midnight. I tucked the mylar blanket sideways around my legs and rear securely...closing in what heat still might be allotted to my legs and blocking the wind. The blanket did not cover my lower legs well but I made myself stop dithering over improving that. I don't have the TIME! The wet wool sox were pulled up to my knees and I wondered if I’d be better off with or without their wetness. I left them up, having heard for years that wool can insulate EVEN when wet. I couldn’t give testimony to the theory cuz I couldn’t feel that part of my legs...AT ALL.

 

I made one more attempt at the down vest behind me and finally, by twisting my fingers into the material [less reliance on my non-grip fingers and more on the friction of the twist] I was able to pull it from the loosened knots. I quickly removed the jacket again, laying it carefully across my lap. I shoved my arms into the vest and despaired of even attempting the zipper. I put the nylon jacket back on ...it will break the wind and my shirts are mostly dry. Cannot zip up the jacket either so I pull it tight closed with my left arm as I’m leaning forward.

 

The shaking is getting somewhat less.....and I am dimly aware that it is a bad sign. It means my muscles are wearing down and cannot put forth the effort to warm me with this automated method. I do something one NEVER does while riding horses. I wrap the reins around my right hand securely as I can ...else I cannot hold them at all. I urge Midnight forward. I try to stand in the stirrups a bit so that I know I’m still in them. I lean forward and grasp the saddle horn as well as I can manage. I flap my legs and hope this trained horse will understand from this awkward action, that I want to move faster. He moves into a jarring trot [though usually I’ve marveled at his smoothness] and I’m nearly pitched off. Whether by his own instinct or by my panicked clamp of legs to his sides, he rolls into a smooth canter. We are heading back up the trail.

 

There is an increase of wind chill while riding at a canter. I belatedly realize I should be wearing my gloves but figure they would hamper my ability to grasp the saddle horn. I can hardly feel it though I'm clutching it with both hands now. Midnight will have to steer himself. Then I am wondering if I should go back and grab the bag of fish, since the camp is running low on supplies. :wacko: I catch *that* error in thot, remembering that I DID secure the fish bag to the saddle and it was bouncing just next to my right leg. I also realize my initial instinct was correct...I SHOULD be wearing my gloves. I spend a minute laboring over the choice to stop the horse so I can dig them out of the jacket pockets and put them on or ...just keep hanging on as we get nearer to folks that will be thinking clearer than I am. I kept riding...tho it may have been from complete indecision rather than ability to make a choice.

 

I know I am becoming disoriented when I thot for a moment that I was tangled up in bed covers and tried to get up. Midnight slowed while I righted myself and then he cantered on. I could not determine how close we were to the back of the wagon train. I thot of my emergency whistle and, belatedly of the radio. But no, I had thot of the radio earlier and had decided against digging it out of my utility belt pack cuz it was likely wet and because of the granite hillside between the site of my plunge and the wagons. I think that’s what I thot. Oh God...help me hang on until we get there. :o

 

In truth, I could not have moved my hands now. The muscles were so in spasm, locked into position onto the saddle horn. I was leaning so far forward that I nearly banged Midnight’s mane with my nose. I am still shaking but I’m so tired that I just want to drop off the horse, lay down, and go to sleep. I am not aware that the sun has gone under some clouds. I am no longer watching the path ahead. Just too tired to lift my head. Too tired to care. I am mesmerized by the path dashing past in a blur beneath the black, swift-moving hooves. I begin to count....a trick I’d learned when trying to endure pain. I lost the count a few times but made myself focus and start over. I did not even see as we approached the herds at the end of the wagon train. I was not aware when Midnight did not even slow down as he cantered past herds and then wagons. ...going on to OUR wagon that he now calls home.

 

 

 

Now my fellow wagoneers....what will you do? I am conscious but WAY beyond the ability to help myself. Here are some references [from the books in the medical wagon? ]. The tips at the bottom of the last three links include this statement:

 

Hypothermia can strike in any season, especially in the high country. Keep a close eye on the weather wherever you go in the wilderness, and adjust your plans as necessary to avoid the risk of hypothermia.

 

This is a general one about hypothermia and boating accidents:

http://www.enter.net/~skimmer/coldwater.html

 

The next three are geared for a cold weather emergency while in a remote location.

This is for treating mild hypothermia:

http://www.ehow.com/how_6316_treat-mild-hypothermia.html

 

This is for treating moderate hypothermia:

http://www.ehow.com/how_6317_treat-moderate-hypothermia.html

 

 

 

 

This is for severe hypothermia and if I get to this stage.....you will likely be making a grave due to no emergency room care available...so stop reading ..............

http://www.ehow.com/how_6318_treat-severe-hypothermia.html

 

.........and somebody get me off this tired horse. He’ll be overheated and prone to taking a chill too so someone take care of Midnight after his life-saving run.

 

...don't forget the fish...

...and my wet revolver....please?

 

 

 

 

 

 

MtRider ...[iRL...I have been in MILD hypothermia several times. I have been in MODERATE hypothermia a couple times. Never in SEVERE tho. ]

Edited by Mt_Rider
trying to fit into storyline... lol
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Well it's been another one of "those" days again. :o We had a good rest last night and a half way decent meal. Most of us enjoyed the fire and each others company, all talking about what kind of house we wanted to build, what we would be planting in the gardens and such as that. Most of the guys went over the fine points in the building, leaving us ladies to figure out how we wanted things set up inside for ease of use mostly. Seems that we will all be living in soddies the first year or so until we can get the barns built for the animals and the gardens going good. Since the animals are our food, we really do need to do the barns first, then the houses. Besides that, many barns can have a room or two made inside of them to live in until a house can be built. I know many friends of mine have done it this way for years still in this day and age lol.

 

Well we set off this morning okay, early as usual. Everyone moved out just fine and there was more of the same up hill and down, then up hill and around a bend then up hill again. I sure don't know how they got Mothers wagon through those really tight passages, but now I am thinking there was a reason for it and that reason was to save another's life.

 

Not too awfully long after we left out of camp (about the second up hill again lol) I saw Mt.R. ride by our wagon going back the way we came. I gave out a "hello" as she went by and a wave. She sure looked like a woman on a mission lol. Didn't think much more of it for awhile. Hubby was doing his usual He-man driving of the wagon and getting the oxen to listen to him without stalling or balking at going around those tight places. I don't think I have the nerves of steel it takes to do that. :0327: I started kidding the hubby about it when I saw Mt.R. ride by again on her horse but she didn't look right? She was sort of slumped over in the saddle and looked like she was barely hanging on.

 

This isn't right! I told hubby to hold up the wagon. Someone else must have seen her too because whistles started blowing up ahead of me. I jumped out of the wagon running up ahead as fast as my fat little legs would carry me, which isn't too fast. Someone up ahead got her horse stopped. I got there just as someone asked her what was wrong. I thought it was her MS again so I hollered out to pull her down of that horse right now and get her into Mothers wagon. So a couple of the guys did just that with her mumbling the whole while. Huh? I couldn't make out what she was saying...something about shooting a fish on her horse??? <_<

 

They got her into Mother's wagon and they were promptly shooed outside by Mother. One of the guys said she feels like ice! Oh shoot, she's wet and cold! We got her clothes off of her, or what was left of them as fast as we could. Then someone came up with a stack of quilts. We got them wrapped around her after putting her on the bed. Up on top of her and around her head. All you could see was her face. Someone handed in a bunch of those chemical hand warmer packets. We activated them and stuck them down around her feet, up by her head and under her arm pits trying to warm her up quickly but not too quick. That would just send her into shock and we would run the risk of loosing her. I asked if someone could make some warm tea for her please. I no sooner asked then someone handed me a cup. We got her to sitting up so that she wouldn't choke on it. It was hard because all she wanted to do was sleep, but without warming her insides too, we wouldn't stand a chance of getting her back.

 

By now, Mr.Mt.R was there in the wagon. Someone sent word ahead what was going on and rode him back to Mothers wagon. He was a big help since he knew more about hypothermia than the rest of us combined. He told us we needed to fix something high in carbs for her to replace what she had lost shivering. Mother and a few other ladies set into making that for her. I just kept watch on her. She felt like she was starting to warm up to the touch, but she was still not making any sense and just kept mumbling about a gun, her horse and some fish and a duck? Or a buck? I don't know, it wasn't real clear with her shivering again. I put another quilt on her and checked in on the chemical packs. The ones we had put in there were now just barely warm, so I activated a few more and replaced the ones around her feet and up under her armpits and stuck one behind her neck too. At least she was shivering again, so I was happy about that, but she was still sleepy and not responding to us well.

 

Mr.Mt.R was talking to her, trying to get her to stay awake and see if she would make any sense. Mother handed him something in a cup to feed to her. We all helped hold her up in the bed, making sure to keep her wrapped up tight in the quilts while he fed her. It was tough keeping her awake enough to eat so he could feed her. Every time she wanted to nod off, I pinched her a good one and that popped those eyes back open! LOL and it would probably be the ONLY time I could get away with doing that.

 

I reached in the quilts again after Mr. Mt. R. got done feeding her. Her skin was now warm to the touch, but not hot (frostbite). That was good. And she seemed a bit more with it now too. Plus she was getting really irritated with us for all the fussing about over her. Wow, I was glad to hear that lol. I figured if she was getting short with us, then she was getting better. (being irritated is a good sign of mild hypothermia) I checked the hot packs and they were okay. Best to shoo most of us out of Mothers wagon and let her get some rest. Between the hypothermia and the MS, she was sure going to need it. And she would be out of that saddle for a few days too. So I told Mr.Mt.R. and Mother that if they needed me to send one of her GS back to get me and I'd be there directly.

 

Someone grabbed her horse and tied it to the back of Mothers wagon. I don't know what they did with it, hopefully someone took care of it because if Mt.R was like she was, then I bet the horse was in trouble too. I cant wait until we get stopped tonight to go check on her! Yes, we had to keep going. We got her into Mothers wagon and somewhat stable, someone is driving the Mt.R.'s wagon for them while he stays back with her. But we couldn't leave the entire wagon train up there on the side of a cliff for the day and the night. We had to keep going and get to where we could stop for the night where it was somewhat safe. Well as safe as one can be out here.

 

And that's another thing I have been thinking about this afternoon as we rode along. Just what was it that was so darn important that she had to go riding off like that on her own ALONE out here in the wilderness?? I sure hope it was something life or death! And I am going to find Mr.H. tonight. We need to talk. I don't see a need for anyone else to ride off alone like that while we are on the trail. It's just too darn dangerous for anyone, male or female. And I know we are going on this trip because we want to get on our own away from the world and all that, but there are some rules we are just going to have to set down just to protect our own from harm that could be dangerous as all get out. Maybe if Mr. H. suggested it to everyone that they not ride off alone, it would do some good. I know Mt. R. knows better than to do that. I wonder what it was that was so important? Did we forget something back at the camp?

 

Okay, I have got to get back into the wagon and look up something for dinner tonight. The shadows are getting long and I didn't have any time earlier to do it. But I had to write this all down first and get some of the adrenaline out of my system...must be about time to stop, so will write more later...

 

Q

 

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Well, needless to say everyone was talking about Mt_Rider today when we finally got to stop for the noon meal and rest. Glad to hear she is doing better and I think we all learned a lesson about how fast the cold can overtake you. We will all need to keep this in mind come next winter when we are on our homesteaders. The storms out here can come up fast and be very cold but some of us will still have to feed and milk our animals in unheated barns.

 

Back on the trail again we are taking turns helping out driving Mr_Riders wagon so he can spend time with Mt_Rider as she slowly gets better. So glad we had people that knew what to do when this kind of thing happens.

 

Looking forward to getting to tonights camp so we can eat and visit before getting some sleep.

 

:AmishMichael2:

 

 

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The day started out great but has gone down hill since then. When I saw MtR's condition I knew she was in trouble. Q was right there, bless her, and between her and Mom and I, we got those wet clothes off her and into the quilts. Before we got her even covered Mom had the stove going with water heating, not just for tea but for the warmth it could give. God bless our instant LP gas.

 

I got out my special warming tea with black tea, cayenne pepper, ginger, and elderberry flowers in it. I laced it heavily with honey and we managed to get some of that into MtR. All those things are warming and stimulating. I was really glad when Mr.MtR showed up so promptly and took over her care. I was able to concentrate on getting hot food ready for her as soon as she could take it. I knew they wouldn't want to feed her until she'd warmed up some as the cold stomach doesn't produce enough enzymes to begin to digest food. It's the same reason you never feed a chilled animal, baby or adult, anything but warm clear liquids without first warming them thoroughly. I only wished we'd had a tub full of warm water to put MtR into. That has worked wonders for baby animals in the past to bring them around slowly.

 

I opened up a jar of chicken broth and brought it to a boil. Then I slowly added a small amount of slippery elm powder and whipped it until it dissolved and began to thicken. Both are very easy to digest for cold stomachs and extremely nutritious. I turned it down low and let it simmer until it was needed.

 

I was glad to see that someone had managed to rub down MtR's horse and now had a blanket tied onto him. He was still tied to the back of our wagon. DD showed up within an hour and made her way to the front of the wagon, prepared to drive and within a few minutes after that we were moving again. It made it difficult to keep the stove going with the movement but by that time it was nice and toasty in the wagon and MtR was getting testy. A good sign and I figured she was warming enough to turn it off. Having had hypothermia myself in the past I knew she was going to be in some serious pain afterwards and more especially with her MS she was going to have trouble with her body not responding to the brains commands. She was going to be in for a tough time of it.

 

By ten she was doing better and resting but not comfortable. I told DD I could take over driving but she said she was fine with it so I just settled beside her on the seat, leaving Mom in her rocker, and MR.MtR beside MtR on the bed helping to keep her warm with his own body. When I checked back an hour later they were both sleeping.

 

How they slept through some of the tight places we went I'll never know. We had pulled everything off the outside of the wagon we could and had even removed the strange looking mirrors that had been on the sides but we still scraped in places and a couple of times I thought we would go over a ledge but with DH leading the horses and DD at the reins we did fine. We didn't dare stop if we were to get off this bad stretch by nightfall but I kept hoping we wouldn't lose one of them off the bed. I'll wake them at noon to make sure that MtR gets something hot in her again and then she can sleep more if she's able.

 

For now, it's just good to set and let someone else do the driving.

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Well we were up early this morning and ready. We will still discussing sod houses today. I walked over to the library wagon last night to see if they had anything on sod houses but it someone had beat me to it. Seems we all have the same idea.

 

I got the laundry in the barrel (well garbage can actually) ready to slosh today. We have another day of climbing. I am not sure which is worse the uphill battle of getting the teams to climb or the downhill battle of holding them back. SF looked over our "stuff" last night and he seems to think it is handling the shaking, rattling and rolling rather well. He and W did add a couple of extra straps to the cook stove just to be on the safe side. But then again if anything moves in that wagon it will be a miracle it is our Jenga block wagon.

 

The water barrels were refreshed this morning and I was able to get bread baked also. It is not sourdough bread but we will have regular bread for sandwiches today. Wait was that gun fire? Let's see there is P, W & A but no N. Where is N? Has anyone seen N. Just as I was about to go into panic mode SF told me that N had gone out with the hunting party earlier this morning. One of the guards had seen a herd of deer just over the ridge and waved some men over. They were going to try and take a couple of them down so we would have fresh meat. Why is the mother always the last one to know these things? :0327:

 

As we finished hitching up the teams the hunting party returned. It seems they each were able to bring down a deer so there are about 6 deer that will need to be processed tonight. Chef is so happy he said even if was venison (it seems venison is not his favorite lol.) Mr. S asked if there was room in our freezer for the meat since we would not have time to make jerky and I told him yes it was empty so it should hold a good bit. W has gone to hook back up the inverter system so that the freezer will be cold and ready for the meat tonight.

 

As we pull out I noticed Mt.Rider is saddled up and riding today. I know she has been riding in the wagon lately because having problems with her MS. I think she will be glad to be off the trail as soon as possible. I wonder how much of the flair ups of her MS are caused by this trail ride.

 

Well here we go...Wagons HOOO....

 

As we all start out we fall in behind Q which is behind mother. SF & N is on horse back and P & W are driving as well as myself. Mr. Smith seems to think that we need more adults with the animals now since we are getting in to cat territory. SF was riding beside me giving me last minute instructions of how to get through the pass when Mt.Rider passed us. She was headed towards the back wagon train. SF and I looked at each other it struck us as strange that she was headed in that direction. Oh well must be just making sure everyone was moving out.

 

The first wagon was going through the pass when Mt. Rider came back by me. Something was wrong, she did even answer me when I called out to her. I whistled at SF to catch her she really looked like she was about to hit the ground. I heard Q yelling also. N road up just then and I told him ride on up and take over the wagon from Mr.MtRider send him back here it looked like Mt.Rider was being put in to Mother's wagon. I sure hope she was okay. Mother and Q had pulled over and motioned me on. I knew she was in good hands. SF had her horse tying him to the back of Mothers wagon. Here comes Mr.MtRider on our horse. I stopped long enough for SF to tie her to the back of our wagon.and toss the saddle in side.

 

Alright Raja it looks like it our turn through the pass. Come on boy don't fail me now. Just as I got through the pass SF rode up beside me. It seems that Mt.Rider had gone back for some fish that Mr.MtRider had forgotten and the best they can figure she fell in the stream. She is suffering from hypothermia When he said those words my heart sank. Hypothermia is not good and on top of MS is a double danger. SF told me we would be stopping for lunch in about an hour and we would know more then.

 

As he rode off mommy mode kicked in and I was fuming at Mt. Rider. She broke HER VERY OWN #1 RULE!! NEVER EVER LEAVE CAMP ALONE ALWAYS TAKE SOMEONE WITH YOU! What was she thinking and for a few fish. What was Mr.MtRider thinking letting her go out alone?!?!?! That's it she is grounded she can not leave camp anymore. Darn her hide. :motz_6: I calmed down by the time we stopped for lunch. But I was still upset with Mt.Rider for putting herself in danger like that. Mother assured everyone that Mt Rider was going to be fine but she cautioned us to stay together and not leave camp alone. She too was miffed at Mr.Rider for breaking her own rule.

Edited by mommato3boys
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