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We started our trip by leaving 3 hours late.
I hit a wicked storm on I-70 this side of St. Louis. I thought, ‘wow, look at those clouds’. As soon as I reached the lighter clouds on the far side of the front it was exactly like someone threw a big bucket of water at the windshield (and kept pouring). I couldn’t see a damned thing. I pulled over to wait for it to lighten up a bit. Meanwhile all the big trucks and idiots in SUV’s went roaring by. I knew they were all driving blind. Crazy. I had to drive for a 1/2 hr afterwards with the windshield wipers on high just to see the road. Too late, cold, and wet to camp in a strange place…I chickened out and checked in to the Super 8.

Next morning…kinda late…flurry of packing. I have to get there in time! To wait for hours while all the cattle runs go first. Really wish somebody had told me. Advanced sheep went first too. I was the last run of the morning. Mesa did great with the pens, alleys, & sorting. We’ve been working on it a lot because she tends to be pushy there so her sheep are rarely calm. We only lost a 1/2 point in this whole part of the course. She even left them in a nice settle while we went out for our outrun. Her gather was nice, then she decided she’d rather drive than fetch the course. Then I started giving her the wrong flanks. I thought we were quite messy in the field, but when we came out everyone said we were wonderful. Repen, she split leaving left one behind as we moved through the second gate. First place.

Afternoon, different judge. I was very careful to give correct flanks and had to make her believe me at first. I pushed her out a couple times to make her stop pushing on me. We fetched the whole course calmly with no funny business. I was very much more pleased, but the judge wasn’t! We lost a lot more points this time. The pens, sorting etc was still great. I don’t really understand why we lost more points. Our field work was much more controlled and gentler on the sheep. C’est la vie. I felt much better about it anyway. Still first place.

This night I had a pleasant camp out….leisurely awakening, long walk with dogs. The entire past week was an intensely busy and unpleasant experience. I had enough of rushing about…I nixed my former plans to return to the trial. Instead we took a relaxing drive through Missouri on back roads to Columbia. Lunch and a long walk in a giant park. We also hiked a little on the Katy Trail before jumping on I-70 for Kansas City and Cow Camp.

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