Utah Travelog - continued

Day Two - continued
By early evening just west of Lincoln, Nebraska, we arrived at our second Morgan farm that has graciously offered Raker a stall for the night. Itís still light enough to cast oneís eye on the endless sea of fields ready for spring planting. This is farm country in a mammoth way.

The rig pulls into the Gallaghersí homestead as Jeanne and her two young lads welcome us. Her husband will join us shortly and Raker is unloaded. A light drizzle dampens the ground as Raker is led into the five stall barn. His special guest stall is deeply bedded in soft shinny wheat straw. Now thatís what I call good quality straw!

Jeanne shows us her small family of well-bred Morgans. She is one of those people who uses her Morgans; her speciality being reining! She leads us to the stalls of her two expecting mares, one that is due possibly tonight. She is a Townsend T Edition daughter and is lovely. Jeanneís older mare, which is now over due, is by Music Man, again another very pretty girl. Jeanneís claim to fame in the Morgan world is through her exceedingly rare gray stallion. Unfortunately, he is not at home, but living with a trainer in California who is preparing him for competition and with any good luck, the Grand National.

Jeanne is impressed with Raker when we pull his sheet off for her to inspect. She agrees that he would be an excellent prospect for cutting or reining. And those looks of his will certainly turn heads. Sorry Jeanne, but heís sold and thatís why heís going to Utah.

Jeanneís boys are quite intrigued with their visitors from the land of the maple leaf. As Jeanne says, you can tell they donít have company too often, so our arrival is a big happening. Little Jessie has spent quite a bit of time cleaning his room so that he could show us "his stuff". There is nothing shy about the boys and we enjoy their company too. It seems that everywhere we drive in Nebraska, people just naturally smile and wave. They are certainly neighbourly folk in this part of the country.

Day Three
After a peaceful night, we return to the Gallaghers. Looking rather worn and tired, Jeanneís night vigil has not been fruitful. Much to her disappointment, no foal has arrived. Raker is wrapped in his stable bandages and loaded in the trailer. He is ready to rock and roll once again. Our next destination is Laramie, Wyoming and Mears Morgans.

Big Blue is rolling along at a comfortable 75 mph, the speed limit in these parts. The long expanse of flat land and crop is slowly changing to gentle hills and cattle ranges. We are now heading into cow country, although still passing through Nebraska. The weather has warmed and the sun has come out. Raker still canít figure out when we will ever get to this horse show. At every stop heís offered water, but curiously, not allowed to unload. At least his box stall allows him some freedom to ease the tripís long endurance. The CB still garbles away messages to lonesome long haul truckers. No smokey in the bushes today, or bears at your back door, just a clear run on a straight road with blue sky above. All the radio stations pump out country and western in these parts, so if youíre not so inclined to prefer its twang, you had better pack some alternative music cassettes or CDs, or at least a good book. Cowboy range it is and youíre cradled in its frontier magic. City slickers and sissy folk are out of place here and just pass on by. Road signs flash by; exit Boot Hill, exit Yellowstone, and so on.

At last we begin the mountain range climbs as we enter the magnificent state of Wyoming. The views and vistas, mountains, valleys and grasslands rise up before you like an artistís canvass. Natureís own immense rock sculptures thrust through the red and tan soil, in a region devoid of trees. They stand guard to this wild country as you climb to the highest level at 7,000 feet on the mountain range highway before descending into a long canyon. It is simply breathtaking and at the same time, humbling. Signs warn a constant reminder of possible high winds as you continue your journey west.

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