Sunday, April 24, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

When you don't know how to drive a manual/standard at the ranch

So this may sound naive and embarrassing, but I have neither driven nor even had an opportunity to drive a manual/standard vehicle my whole life. You see, living in New Zealand, everyone around me had an automatic operating vehicle. Thus, all the driving lessons and actual driving I've done since the age of 16 has been on automatic vehicles. But guess where the best place to drive your first manual/standard car is? Well none other than in a dude/cowboy ranch in the middle of nowhere, five million miles away from home. Here at Chilcotin Holidays Ranch, we're two hours away from the nearest town, and so you learn how to be resourceful with what you have around you. And as we prepare for the spring season, our manager had the amazing idea of putting me in charge of harrowing the front and back pastures to prevent all the horse feces from killing the grass in the ranch property. Basically what I did was attach a harrow onto a car and drive it around the pastures multiple times to spread out all the horse feces as opposed to letting them pile up. Look at the photo, and you'll get a better idea of what I mean. I mean it doesn't sound hard at all, it's just that the catch was that I had to drive a manual/standard car for the first time ever.

So it didn't start out too bad, I rode in the passenger seat and learned where the clutch was and where you switch gears. Then we drove around the pasture once. Then it was my turn to drive. That was a bit quick I thought. But then I thought, I can already drive an automatic, so it must not be too hard. As I stepped on the clutch for the first time I started thinking, 'Why the hell are we moving backwards?'. And that was only the start of what would be a confusing afternoon for me. I definitely was not expecting this to happen when I stepped out of the office 5 minutes ago, hoping to catch a few minutes break from the computer screen. Soon after, what followed was me reving up the engine too high, being reprimanded everytime I would have my hands on the car keys too long when starting the car, and the car coming to a halt a couple of times when I was driving too slow. Most memorable was when the car stopped right in front of the chicken house as I was turning. I was worried that I'll drive straight through the chicken house and run the poor chickens over. Thankfully I was not that bad at driving, and managed to harrow through both the front and back pastures that afternoon with no crashes, accidents or reasons to run away from the ranch forever. All's well that end's well I suppose. Another testament that there truly is never a boring day here at the Chilcotin Holidays Ranch.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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