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Talked a little bit with the
Old Rocket, AKA Check Lindner, the other day. Regular readers will remember that he was
training for an ultra-marathon, the Arrowhead Winter Ultra. He told me that by
the time this newspaper hits the newsstands, he should have completed the race
on his bicycle, riding 135 miles over 2 days on snowmobile trails. The race
started Monday morning, February 4, south of
The Old Rocket will be
among 53 who started the race this year. He's been in training, taking a two
day, 105 mile trip across the
I was over at Trapper's place the other night for something or other. I happened to get there as he was pouring himself and the Missus some "long-milk". I'm not sure what it is except his recipe comes from the old country and when he drinks it, it leaves strings on his beard. I'm guessing that's where the name "long-milk" comes in. Seeing me, he poured an extra glass and invited me to participate in their nightly constitutional. Fortunately, a visitor had left some cookies on the table, by taking a sip of the thick, bitter drink and immediately cramming half a cookie in my mouth, after three or so cookies I was able to get the drink down.
Congratulations to the Old Rocket,
Chuck Lindner, for finishing the Arrowhead Ultra last week. I talked to him
while he was convalescing from the race in
Daughter Alyssa made one of her visits to Trapper's place and described the happenings to them. When Trapper's Missus heard about the impending move of the heavy objects, she must have figured Trapper needed some exercise so she sent him over to help. He arrived after I'd lifted the freezer up with blocks and a wonder bar and slid the cart underneath. We rolled the freezer away from the wall, moved the piano into the house and over to its new home. As usual, it lost 3 of its 4 castors during the move, but we got those put back in OK. The cart worked great, we easily rolled the freezer out to the porch and maneuvered it into the corner, then Trapper retrieved the cart while I lifted the freezer with the bar. We celebrated with coffee and fresh cookies the little girls had made, then he went back to report to the Missus.
This is a really tough job. Just after sending in my articles for last week, it was a Sno-Cat trip to the Angle with Trapper and David Johnson, riding some of the latest in technological advancements coming from Polaris. Quite a switch from the old PoleCat, like riding a magic carpet in comparison to that. I haven't moved it out of the shed since.
David was riding his FS IQ Touring.
He'd given wife Eleanor's 600 IQ Touring to Trapper for the trip and had swiped
son Mitchell's new '09 FS Widetrack for me. He must have figured my
considerable girth required a big one. It was comfortable, a great touring
Eleanor suggested we bring a compass along. Trapper and I didn't have any and David's was at the Angle, the macho three of us decided that we'd not need it anyway.
Visibility wasn't the best. Since we had no compass and no trail came into sight, we found an occupied fish house and asked the owner where the trail was. He directed us back to the one we'd crossed.
The rest of the trip went well. David is a tough fellow, not too many around that celebrate their 85th birthday by guiding a 150 mile overnight snowmobile trip. He passed muster as a cook, steak for supper and pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Lots of deer and birds around the cabin to watch as we relaxed. Neighbor Tom Kastl came over and enjoyed breakfast with us.
Temperature at the Angle was 20 below on Wednesday morning. We'd worn plenty of layers so it was good riding. The lake trail had been groomed so the trip back went much faster. The sky was clear so we could actually see where we were going.
When we got back to
As usual, something happened to Management's vehicle while I was gone. The van stalled on her when she was coming home. Evidently she held up traffic at a major intersection in Warroad for a while. She said one of the Transit drivers named Mike helped her out and the Border Patrol provided emergency lights until Lee Olson of Warroad Motors came and towed her away.
Trapper, whose second career has become taking me somewhere in the Chevy pickup to rescue an old Ford for me, took me in to Warroad to bring the van home. We started up the van and, while it warmed up, took the opportunity to visit Lake Street Floral, it being February the 14th. I procured a rose for Management and Trapper picked out a potted plant for the Missus.
Made it home OK, after a
little sleuthing, decided the problem was a water leak. I'd changed the water
pump a month earlier, a couple of bolts had loosened up and, when the coolant
level gets too low, the electronics don't work properly, causing the stalling
Management liked the rose, Trapper said he made lots of points with the potted plant. Thursday night was a good night at Roseen's corner by all accounts...
Management's parents came up for the weekend. I'd called father-in-law Paul when I'd found out about the Fishing Derby, it was an easy sell to convince him to attend. It was harder to convince Trapper, but he did agree. Anyway, Saturday morning dawned bright and warm so we loaded the fishing equipment into Trapper's Chevy pickup. Trapper wanted to bring the chainsaw along to cut a trench and do some trolling but we were able to talk him out of it. We made our way to Springsteel and followed the long line of pickup trucks heading out onto the lake.
The folks at Springsteel
and the Chamber put on a great event. A veritable village sprung up on the ice
starting a 11:00, wind shelters of snow, cardboard, OSB and sundries other
items dotted the
Paul set up the fishing lines for the two novices, we weren't particularly successful. I did pull in a small perch but it wasn't big enough to weigh for the contest. The other two didn't get anything. They said I couldn't count the perch because it was too small. That hurt. I told them I'd eaten smaller brook trout.
Trapper's Missus was the big winner, staying at home she won a wildlife camera.
Another week in the great north, see you next week!
Sometimes a person does
something and has a totally unexpected result. Such is the case with Abby the
dog. I first met Abby at Mike and Kitty's home; she was a pudgy, 4 year old yellow
lab cross that was the family dog. I didn't pay much attention to her, petted
her a few times in passing as is my habit with friendly dogs. The couple were
In the summer of '07, we lost our Springer spaniel to old age, however with our move north we weren't looking to get another dog just yet.
Mike and Kitty were also
good friends. They had to move south to
I called back and this time talked to Kitty. I said, "We can take Abby. We're heading north within a few minutes, does Abby ride well?"
We picked up Abby along with 50 pounds of dog food and a big pillow for her to sleep on. She hopped right in, by the end of the week, she'd happily ridden about a thousand miles. I figured she'd be the girls' dog but she decided almost instantly that she was my dog, or I was her human, whatever the case may be.
She may look pudgy, but she could easily run 4 miles along with us as we rode bikes so I forgot about a diet for her. When I come home, she squirms and squeals with delight whether I've been away 10 minutes or 2 days. While she is inquisitive, she generally stays put, within command distance. She has a few bad habits, she likes to jump up on people and doesn't listen if she is chasing a cat or something like that.
Management says that if Abby is sitting outside the bathroom looking at the door she knows who is inside. I generally take her with me most everywhere. For one thing, she is so disappointed if I leave without her. The other consideration is that she nearly always behaves well, either sitting in the vehicle waiting for me or else just staying with me as I work in Clayton's shop or log with Trapper. She seems to have a sense to stay out of the way most of the time. She's also learned to be quiet around the horses we've worked with at a couple of places.
The other morning, her desire to be with me was almost fatal for her. I made the early morning trip for coffee at Trapper's and we decided to measure up his building to figure out what length material we needed to construct an insulated shop space. Abby and I went home to get a tape measure, when we came out Trapper and daughter LaRae were over at the barn. A cow had just had a calf so I walked over there to see if I could help. I left Abby at the gate and told her to stay there.
Trapper wanted the cow and calf to go into the barn so we got them moving in that direction. The cow, a big black baldie, understandably protective of the newborn and not amenable to being moved. She charged us a couple of times but, using a gate, we moved her into a chute leading to the barn and LaRae went into the barn to prepare the pen.
Somehow Abby figured out where I was and how to get to me, she soon came running out the door of the barn toward me. The cow saw her and instantly whirled and charged her, butting Abby and rolling her into the wall of the chute. Abby was yelping, pretty much helpless. I kicked at the cow, she charged me a little and Abby got up and headed out of the pen.
We got things calmed down a bit and the cow started moving towards the barn. Trapper had a bat, I told him to keep the cow at bay and I would carry the calf into the pen while he kept the cow away. This did work, after a fashion. I carried the calf into the barn, but before I could get it into a pen, I heard a ruckus behind me. Abby had followed us, when the cow saw that, she took another run at her and butted her up against the fence again. After getting loose, this time Abby hightailed up to the house. I'm sure it was quite a lesson for the former house dog.
I deposited the calf in the straw in the clean pen and we herded the cow in and chained the gate. Abby seems to be none the worse for wear, hopefully a little wiser. Kitty says Abby is a terrier/yellow lab cross, from her toughness I'm beginning to believe the terrier must be bull terrier or something like that.
We never did measure up the building, left that for another day. Abby may not be perfect, but she's my dog, or I'm her human. Not sure which, but I know her home is right here.