Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › The Front Porch › Stories, Poetry, Jokes, Etc. › Todays adventure in Ox Logging
- February 25, 2015 at 6:20 pm #85036BaystatetomParticipant
I am working a on a unmaintained road. The town plows about ¼ mile into the one house and then I trudge through the snow with my team another mile before getting to our timber. My plan is to bunch logs along the unplowed road and then hire a skidder to pull them all up out of there. My oxen will drive from behind if they know the trail but we have just started this job and cutting so selectively we haven’t used the same trail more than a couple times. So in other words I am doing a lot of walking. My oxen are also quite fast as far as oxen go so I am not really walking!
So today I am down in there more than a mile from the truck and trailer, making good progress and filling my landing at a good rate despite the deep snow. I hook onto the last log of the day and tell the boys “Okay last one”. They will often pull logs from the stump to the main trail on their own. I just hook up, get out of the way and let them go. Well, with this last log they did just that, except when they hit the main trail they took a north turn and kept on going. I wasn’t too concerned. There is a small pine tree on the landing that they like to chew on so I figured I would see them there……Nope not only did they head out on their own but they ran over my lunch box on their way. I did get a quick glimpse of them as they crested the hill, not running uncontrollably by any means but moving quicker then I could loaded down with a chainsaw, lunch box and an empty gas can.
As I continue to chase them out I start thinking of what I am going to find. Either they will be crammed into the trailer, yoke, log and all.. I left the door open, or they will be beside the truck licking all the salt off and probably scratch the hell out of it. Again no such luck, all I found was a set of tracks going around the truck and down the road.
Now I am little worried, I fully expected them to be waiting for me there. At least I was at a point where I could drop the saw and gas jug. When I hit the end of our little road I can see by the brown streak left by the log that they have turned to the right. When I got out into the road so I could see, all there was to be found was that brown mark from the log heading out of sight! And I could see ½ a mile easy. Do I run back for the truck or just run after the team on foot? I am in good shape, I can crank out a 7 minute mile no problem. So I just took off down the road on foot. Granted my 7 minute mile was a bit hampered by completely soaked through steel toe boots, chainsaw chaps and flannel lined Carharts. About 5 minutes into my afternoon jog I ditched my sweatshirt onto somebody’s mailbox. After cresting the next hill I got sight of them, again not running just moving at a quick walk. From several hundred yards away I yelled out WHOA. They stopped in their tracks, looked at me over their shoulder and let out a beller, as if to say “its about time you said whoa!” I yelled again Haw, Rock, Star Haw. They turned fully around and headed back. Of course now is the time they decide that they really can’t move without me and they just stand there waiting for me come get them. I resisted the urge to kick their asses and instead just gave them a scratch on the chin for stopping when I yelled whoa and then walked them back to the trailer.
They went a mile out of the woods and a mile down the road with a log behind them, passing 4 houses on the way. I don’t know if there was any traffic before I got there. I sure would like to know if anybody saw them and what they were thinking if they did!
Again they weren’t running crazy they just moved so much faster than me in the snow that they got too far ahead. That is the last time that I tell them it’s the last log until I am standing in front of them with my whip.February 26, 2015 at 1:59 pm #85039Does’ LeapParticipant
Good story with a good ending! Glad it worked out OK for you and your team.
GeorgeFebruary 27, 2015 at 5:03 am #85045CharlyBonifazMember
still laughing … thanks for the story, I bet it wasn’t funny while running after themMarch 26, 2015 at 12:40 am #85272Dylan KeatingParticipant
Thats a great storyMarch 27, 2015 at 9:47 am #85276j.l.holtParticipant
Like I say of all my adventures,,,”that aint no story,thats the truth”.
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