Monday, June 08, 2009

A quick getaway

After the long and difficult start to 2009 we decided to try a little mini vacation, which we felt was much deserved. Of course, our version of a vacation does not involve much rest! It all started when the place in my heart for a dog that had been vacated by Hank three years ago was finally filled when we decided to get a livestock guardian dog to watch over the chickens. Too many losses to raccoons (and events that resulted from those losses) convinced even Chris that a LGD would be a useful addition to the farm. The dog will warrant a post of his own, but for now just know that the dog I found for us was located near Pratt, KS, a 9 hour drive from home. Never missing an opportunity to turn an errand into an adventure, I felt compelled to see what else was going on in or around SW Kansas and lo and behold I found the annual steam tractor show in Pawnee, OK just a couple of weeks away!

So at the end of April we set out for a "quick" trip to OK and KS, squeezing in two half days of steam engines between three long days of driving. We picked up the dog on the third day and by day four we were home.

The weather was horrible at the steam show but the sight of up to 10 steam tractors all under steam at once, driving around the grounds, was well worth it.

On day 1 we were totally unprepared for the thick mud, rain, and brutal wind. We only lasted about an hour. By day two we were ready for anything! This was Chris' first major outing since his injury and he did amazingly well given the conditions.

This little quarter-scale tractor (I think) was Scotty's favorite. He talks about it all the time to this day.
This Minneapolis engine was Chris' favorite. They had it running at full steam which was quite impressive I must admit.
It was a nice break between a tough winter and a busy farm season. Chris and Scotty are talking about going back next year!


Alan Post said...

We haven't had a single chicken or rabbit lost to wildlife since getting our livestock guardian dog.

Alas, the dog herself has killed some of our rabbits and chickens, which frightened me terribly as it happened, but I suspect now was as much growing out of puppyhood as it was a trend that will continue.

All told, I'm very happy to have our guard dog, and the training we've invested, while small, has been well worth it.

yarrow said...

i'm excited to hear about the dog! what kind is he? We have not had any predator problems at all since we got Thistle.