A quiet morning with nothing on the list but cleaning… so when I went to let my chickens out into the 7˚ weather, I decided I’d sneak into my studio. Minutes later, a fire is in my wood stove and an extra heater is plugged in. I had grabbed my GoPro thinking I’d try an experimental time lapse of me drawing… and the battery was dead. I hadn’t hardly done anything with it, so I must have it on a wrong setting or I didn’t really turn it off! So much for that experiment.
I drew something anyway…
Then I moved onto something practical, nailing trim boards on my ceiling. Within minutes, Vernon shows up and asks me to accompany Brandon to the badlands. Vernon is still “off” from his bout with stomach flu and Daniel is staying home because Tess now has it! I’m so dreading when I catch it! Anyway, I said I’d ride along for backup and gate duty.
The badlands trip is on a rotation with everyone who has cows out there… Every day someone has to go out to the scattered water tanks and break the ice. While the water flows through the pipeline… and it’s warm enough underground to keep it from freezing, there is no heat at the tanks, and overnight they can be frozen with 4″ of ice.
The second one we came to had a problem. The float, which is what allows the water to fill the tank, had a hole in it. Brandon fortified it with empty water jugs from the pickup, and refilling some air in the float. Needless to say, his hands were painful when he finally finished tying knots under water!
We covered many miles… and only had to retry two hills because of the deep snow! The next storm stayed along the horizon most of the day… giving the sun a watercolored effect.
We made it within a mile of home before the snow really started coming down, and counted ourselves lucky. Six more inches out there will make it tough going for a pickup… Snowmobiles will be the way to go… and if the wind doesn’t clear the ridges, we may be bringing the cows home soon.