Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

About Girly Things - Like Driving the Skidder

So Chilcotin Holidays is home to 37 horses. The thing is that every two days this time of the year they need to be fed. In order to spare the pastures for summer grazing, these 37 horses we feed them hay bales. That’s why new hay bales have to be brought to the ranch before we run short. Last week was one of those days when the hay truck came to visit us for a new load. It was a big truckload and for this reason, everyone got the chance to put their hands on the tractor after some brief instructions.

Some days passed, the old bales were fed, and it was finally time to get the new ones into the hay corral. I’d never driven a skidder before, so I was briefed about the different functions of that huge vehicle. After that, the guy who was in charge for getting the hay up the hill showed me what I was going to do by doing it himself first so that I could watch and mentally prepare myself for it. The task was to pick the hay up with the fork of the skidder’s shovel so that the bale wouldn’t get damaged or fall off, which turned out better than expected with the helpful and detailed instructions of my “co-driver”. Backing up and getting the right direction turned out harder than I thought because the skidder reacted completely differently than normal cars do. The steering wheel turns the rear tires. The next challenge was to fit the skidder through the gate into the first pasture. I’d always thought that those gates looked huge. Now I know why. Anyway, I somehow managed to fit it in and was ready to go. Driving through the pasture over little creeks was kinda fun and with the next gate, another challenge awaited me. It went better now because I slowly got the feeling for directing the skidder so a new pasture and the last gate that led to the hay corral were passed and the next step was to put the bale on the ground next to the others that were already there. When we were done with that, we drove the way back, passing the horse pastures and gated, directly heading to dinner. That gave me another challenge to solve as the driveway is not significantly wider than the gates. However, without having a hay bale in front of my eyes, it was easier to get the job done and after passing the last gate, I “parked” the skidder next to the shop and we went for dinner.

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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