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LJWorld.com weblogs Dakotah Drives

Dakotah - Bumps in the road

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http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Feb/20/california-state-seal.jpgThe California Vehicle code is a mighty work. It contains thousands of laws governing the operation of seemingly every possible conveyance, and in as many pages. I was not surprised to learn that the law actually permits those who travel by horse, or drive a team of horses from the perch of a Calistoga-type wagon, do so with the blessing of law.“…tell that to the one behind the badge”, said Dakotah as he traveled through a residential area of Escalon, California yesterday. “…I was trying to avoid the heavy traffic caused by my coming through town, so I took a side road on the outskirts of the city.”Escalon, California is, by any standards, a small rural town just off Highway 120. By motorized travel, Escalon is about a ten-minute drive north of Modesto; however, by horse-drawn wagon, it takes about three hours. The road to Linden, California (Dakotah’s destination for the day) runs right through Escalon, so travel into the city is unavoidable.http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Feb/20/patch.jpg“Just before I came to the city (Escalon, CA) I noticed that no one was passing me, so I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw that a police officer in a patrol car was behind me with his yellow-flashing lights on. So, I made a right turn to take a street parallel to the one I was on and I noticed the officer follow me. As I came to a stop sign, the officer pulled alongside me, waved, took a picture from his car, and then drove off. I thought, there goes another happy customer”As Dakotah drove his team, several residents came out to the street to greet him. I chuckled as he recounted the story, “One lady came out; an attractive woman about my age, and said ‘I’ve got a whole house full of women, you want to come in for a while?’ I just smiled, said thanks, but told them I had a long drive today”After five-minutes or so, a code enforcement officer for the City of Escalon pulled alongside Dakotah. “I don’t think she was police, but she had a badge. When the badge shows up, I get a little nervous, cause you never know what’s next” Dakotah said.He went on to say, “she asked me where I was going, so I told her I’m just passing through. Then she told me that city of Escalon does not allow horses on city streets. When she said that, then it made sense to me why one gentleman, who pulled alongside my wagon in his pickup truck, asked me if I’d been arrested yet. I told her I was just making way out of town on my way to Linden and would be out of the city limits in a few minutes. She took my name, then got back into her truck and pulled a block or two ahead of me. She appeared to be watching to see if I was really leaving.”Difficulty in traveling the county is not reserved for wagon-teamsters alone. Dakotah mentioned his conversation with a couple of 18-wheeler Teamsters "...there are so many ordinances where big trucks can't park, that I don't know how they get along. They (the truckers) bring the food and supplies we need to live, but it's like 'thanks for bringing the goods, now please leave' after they've made their delivery. When did folks get so uptight?"After twenty-six years on the road, Dakotah continues to wax philosophical; "it's all about building character; it ain't easy to do, but we'll be better off if we take time to think about what comes in our path before we start getting all worked up about things we may not have any control over."http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Feb/20/JR_Gets_New_Shoes_web.jpg(Photo by Don Wilson)The new member of Dakotah's team, a six-year old quarter-horse mix named J.R., is learning the rigors of traveling on the road. "...oh, this horse is soft. We covered fifty-miles these last two days and he (J.R.) was all foamed up with sweat. But I'll tell you one thing, I put a new set of shoes on him yesterday and he just stood there like a tree with no problem. I had him done in about thirty-five minutes. It's a little too soon to know if he'll be able to pull, but I'm hopeful"Dakotah is scheduled to be part of radio show on Saturday morning called "On The Road" with Greg Wray on KFIV, Modesto (www.kfiv1360.com) at 7AM. His cell phone battery may not allow him to be on the air long, but it should be an interesting program where Dakotah can answer questions from listeners.http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Feb/20/100_4467.JPG(Photo by Jennifer Edwards)On the road, is where I'll beSeeing life, as it can be seen;Living daily, in front of me.On the road is where I'll be.Drive on, Dakotah

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