Posted by: highmountainmuse | January 15, 2009

Town trip

a solitary snowmobiler on the road to our home

a solitary snowmobiler on the road to our home

 

I made it town yesterday, and that’s always an interesting adventure.  Just getting there is often the most exciting part. Alan, the Shepherd, has had an infection in his nose, and after nine years without a vet visit, I figured it would be worth the effort.

 

And there was some effort involved.  Boy, I should have taken a picture.  It was a sight to see!

 

Our truck is parked 6 ½ miles down the “road,” and we normally snowmobile or cross country ski to get to and from our ranch to the parking area.  Well, with a 13 year old dog, walking from the ranch to the truck can take a long while – probably at least 2 ½ hours just to get to the truck.  Then another 2 ½ hours driving to the vet.  So, we decided if we could snowmobile Alan out, we’d save 2 hours. 

 

Bob’s old dog, Bomber, was a pro at riding the snowmobile.  Some dogs won’t get on the machines without wrestling; other may actually enjoy it, others tolerate it. Bomber tolerated riding, until she got a “mom” (me) to walk with her so she didn’t have to climb on board any more.  Alan less than tolerates riding, so we needed to figure out a plan here.  Bob’s the “plan man.”  And of course, he came up with one that worked!

 

Onto his work snowmobile, a big bulky snowmobile equivalent to the draft horse of the snowmobile world, he hooked up the large tub sled.  For those who haven’t seen these sleds, they are really shaped like a huge bath tub, bright yellow fiberglass, with hard plastic runners like skis underneath.  This tub sled is so huge we hauled the sheetrock for our ceiling on it, and have hauled hay for our horses in it.  We’ve even put down a few straw bales along the bottom and used it for a snowmobile drawn hay ride for guests. For the most part, we use it for bringing in guests’ gear or our groceries.

 

Anyway, Bob hooks up the tub sled, and in it, sets up a green plastic lawn chair in the middle, bungeed down to at least prevent it from flying out.  In front of that, he’s got a soft layer of “bedding” – an old sleeping bag. 

 

The plan was for me to ride out on the chair, backwards so I did not get whipped in the face with all the snow kicked up from Bob’s sled, and holding on to the dog to keep him from jumping out.  He’s 88 pounds (I know this for a fact now that he finally had a proper vet visit and was put on a scale), so I had to hold him pretty good, and hope he didn’t lean to far to the sides where he not only risked flying out, but tipping the sled and sending us both out and onto the hard packed snow.

 

So, there we go, heading down the “road,” riding about 20 miles per hour (I’d yell to Bob to slow down when he’d go any faster, as the tub sled would start bouncing around and flinging me and Alan around the road, backward and out of control…).

 

And we made it.  There yesterday, back today.

 

Thank goodness for Bob’s crazy ideas.  And thank goodness I trust my husband with my life… again.

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Responses

  1. I can understand why you couldn’t get some pictures. You didn’t have anymore arms.

    Your writings always have me wanting to know more. I am sure it was daylight when you headed to the vet. Did you have to travel back home in the dark? Are there other ranches nearby if you need assistance?

    While the pictures are beautiful, it also is a little frightening.

    Brenda

  2. Good point, Brenda. Guess I shouldn’t feel so bad about not being able to juggle the camera too, but it sure would have been funny! For town trips, often one direction or another ends up being in the dark. But “often” is only about once a month for me – I just don’t find an excuse to go to town very often, and find many excuses to stay home! There is a neighbor 6 1/2 miles away who is there part time in the winter. Otherwise, it’s about 18 miles down the road to get our nearest neighbor. But mind you, in the summer, the mountain is abuzz with tourists and folks spending time in their vacation homes. Many of the tourists and our guests are about the best “neighbors” you could ask for – really great, thoughtful, caring people. Although I love the peace and solitude, it’s true, a good neighbor is a very wonderful thing. I’ve been thinking on this subejct a lot, I should write more about that soon.

  3. I just wanted to let you know that I as I read each of your and Forrest’s postings it takes me into a state of mind like no other. . .The peace and solitude of the mountain life that I long for is brought into perfect clarity.
    Its such a joy for me to be able have a connection to you guys, and the little piece of heaven in the high country that can be found on USFS 520. One day I hope to spend some time up there in the winter season, but for now I will live vicariously through you and your family’s experiences and thoughts. Thank you for that. Im glad to hear you got alan to the vet! Is he doing ok?

  4. Russell, that’s one of the most important reasons for us taking the time to write. We’re missing a sense of community, and are honestly grateful for some of the wonderful folks here in the summer. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, so stay tuned for more on this subject. But tell you what, every time you think you have life figured out, there come along some changes just to keep us on our toes and to remind us to open up our eyes, pay attention, and enjoy it all. There’s so much to enjoy. Glad you’re reading these, and glad to have you for a neighbor. Oh, and Alan is doing good, thanks for asking. gg

  5. Oh, one more thing… I snowshoed the loop behind your cabin a few days ago, goes along the back side, and a tree had fallen sometime since early autumn, a big one, landed with it’s upper tip just touching the window sill. Didn’t break the window, didn’t even rip the window screen. I smiled and came back to tell Bob and we decided you folks have some good luck there.

  6. I was laughing out loud picturing you and Alan hanging on for dear life! Then I really got tickled thinking about Willie and I trying to do it! How did Alan like the vet?

  7. I think it would have been far more dramatic if we saw Willie riding in the tub sled! Now I’m chuckling thinking of that. Alan did fine – he had no fear of the vet, because the last time he was there was 9 years ago. Nothing to worry about if you don’t remember, I guess. (Ignorance is bliss, even for dogs?)

  8. THIS STORE REMINDS ME OF HOME . WE LIVED ON A STEEP ROAD AND IN THE WINTER HAD TO TAKE THE TRACTOR WITH A LITTLE TRAILER TO THE BOTTOM OF THE HILL TO THE CAR . THE RIDE WAS ABOUT A MILE . IN THE MORNING I WOULD RIDE MY BIKE DONE TO CATCH THE SCHOOL BUS AND MY MOTHER WOULD MEET US AT THE BOTTOM AFTER SCHOOL FOR A RIDE UP THE HILL BEHIND THE TRACTOR . THE RIDE DOWN ON BIKES WAS SOMETIMES WILD . KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK IT BRINGS BACH GOOD MEMORIES

  9. We’re spoiled with snowmobiles! It makes the ride to the truck really easy, not quite the thrill I bet your tractor or bike ride was! Unless the boys ride across the ice of the reservoir, and that makes me very nervous…


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