Monday, 22 August 2016

Into the Beehive State

After surviving the hailstorm, I made my way to the Diamond X Ranch off Highway 150 to Evanston.   Kim Proffit and partner Jill Adams helped me settle the horses into a grassy paddock and invited me into their house for a drink and nibbles before driving me down to the main ranch house where I was to stay with Kim's parents Don and Claudia Proffit....
 ... a delightful couple who still actively run their large cattle ranch and gave me a warm welcome.
  Monday June 13th   There is a marker for the Bear River Pony Express station at the entrance to the ranch, and Claudia took the photo below for me....
 The station was actually a little further down the road by the Bear River.  It is thought possible that the wooden barns in the photo below may in fact be the original station buildings...
The station was run by a Mormon Mr Myers.
Crossing the Bear River..
 Burton describes the willows and cottonwoods which lined the river at this point and which still abound. From here the Mormon, California and Pony Express trails climbed over the hill ahead on what is now private land.  We would have to ride down the Bear River valley via Evanston, though it would be a chance for some quick shopping.
Mo was not at all impressed by this green monster...
but apparently Lady is well acquainted with dinosaurs.
Quick stop at Evanston Walmarts for food, and also pain killers as I was beginning to suffer from toothache..
.
 Then we traipsed up the Yellow Creek valley to re-join the trails.   Looking back at another important trail landmark - The Needles, a ridge of prominent rocks which can be seen on the skyline  in the photo below..
 The trails came round to the right of the ridge which is in Wyoming, before climbing up the hill where we are standing which is in Utah, marking another milestone in our journey.

Our accommodation for the next two nights, an empty ranch forming part of......
Ranch manager Jeff Young said I could use the central workshop, and to my relief it had working electricity so I not only had light, but could charge up all my equipment. The buildings were on a large fenced plot with plenty of grass and a small creek running through, so ideal to hole up while I sorted out my toothache which was getting worse by the minute.
Luckily local NPEA ride captain Ron Atkinson came to the rescue, sorting out a dental appointment with local dentist and Pony Express re-rider Nathan Lester for the following morning. Not before time as I had very little sleep overnight with the discomfort.  Local rancher's wife Alta Barker ran me into town, Nathan extracted the problem cracked tooth (for free, umpteen thanks!) and Ron dropped me back at the ranch.  I took a day off to recuperate and spent most of the time sleeping it off.

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