October 31, 2010

Building Bridges and the Story of Dead Man

During the winter we keep our yearlings in a little pasture behind the krell.  Every morning we have to ride out and herd them into the krell to eat.  This pasture is divided by Dead Man's Creek.  Legend has it a young cowboy who worked in this area was on his way into town.  He wore silver spurs and carried 6 silver dollars (his month's wages).  Along the way, robbers overcame him.  They shot him, but then they got scared.  So they buried the cowboy along a creek with his silver spurs and 6 silver dollars.  They planned to come back for the silver when it was safe.  But time passed and they never got a chance.  On his deathbed, one of the robbers confessed to the murder and the missing loot.   Folks started calling the creek Dead Man.  For years, people have searched for the dead man and his silver, but no one has ever found him. 

Here is Dead Man's Creek

Anyway, back to the yearlings.  When the cows get on the other side of the creek, we either have to go all the way around, or else we have to risk crossing the creek through the creek bed, which in the winter is usually full of snow and mud.  It is sooo not fun to be stuck in the snow.  Those 4-wheelers are surprisingly heavy.  Also, my father-in-law, Bud, likes to build things.  So he commissioned our hired man, a welder by trade, to construct a lightweight bridge. 

This is the spot they decided to put the bridge.  Pretty much impossible to cross with a vehicle.

Bud and his wife, Bertha, loaded the bridge on the pickup trailer.  Bertha drove the loader, Bud drove the pickup.

Bud backed up to the creek.

He kept backing up until the bridge rested on the other side of the creek.

Bud directed Bertha to drive the loader over to the front of the bridge.

He chained the bridge to the loader bucket.

Bertha lifted the bridge up, while I drove the pickup forward.  She let the bridge down, and it rested on the ground.

The baby and I tested the bridge (she was tucked inside my sweatshirt).  I'll be glad to have it this winter when I'm gathering those yearlings!

In the meantime, I'll keep my eyes open for those silver spurs and 6 silver dollars...


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