Sunday, January 3, 2010

Watergap

When I was growing up, we used horses for a lot of work around the farm – moving cattle, checking fences, whatever. Horses were a good all-purpose tool (in addition to making a little girl very popular with the sleepovers, I might add).

These days, with Mr. HH and myself living off the farm most of the time, there’s just too much upkeep for horses, and a lot of the old farm work has been turned over to the Grizzlies. The Yamaha Grizzly ATV’s, I mean. These are not some wimpy three-wheelers you ride around in circles on a dirt track to get muddy for kicks.  These guys are real working machines, with differential lock, 4wd, independent suspension, and a power wench on the front. They serve every purpose from cattle herding to fence building to hanging up deer in the barn for dressing (very useful, that wench is).

Take this weekend’s watergap repair, for example. Although he looks pretty silly standing up there, he didn’t get wet, now did he?

New Years 2009 081This is the all important planning phase.  As in, “Now, how high can the panels hang before the cows walk under them?”, and “No, I really think YOU should be the one in the water.” Also Dad with, “Why didn’t you tell me to bring my coat, it’s freezing out here!” Why didn’t they plan before Mr. HH climbed up on the front of the ATV while it was parked in the freezing water? I honestly don’t know, but if you hang around this crew long enough I think you’ll find that’s a common question we ask ourselves.

Now, the tricky part is that center panel, where one person can stand on the jagged rocks on the side (courtesy of the county construction crew, thank you), and one person has to stand in the middle.  The key is to finish before the Grizzly finishes sinking into the mud. Notice here the back tires are already pretty far in.

New Years 2009 088

Again, why didn’t they bring the other Grizzly? Another excellent question. Well, because Dad was in the tractor for the original purpose of this mission, which was moving pipe. And why am I not helping? Because I am heckling from the bank, of course. Oh, and I wanted to make sure I was poised and ready with the camera for the inevitable falling into the creek by one of them.

New Years 2009 084

But either my excellent advice from the peanut gallery or the presence of the camera seemed to have cheated fate this time.

I know, I’m disappointed too.

Don’t worry, I hear next weekend they are planning on using the hay spears on the tractor to pull up corner posts.  Maybe it will be near the river this time!

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