Working on the Ranch

By Burton Buer

One of the first places we stayed during our RV trip was my uncle and aunt’s ranch in Wyoming. While we were there I worked for my uncle as a farm hand and did a lot of things on the ranch. I really enjoyed it!

One of the biggest projects I helped with was tearing out an old wooden corral. Scott and Travis were a couple other guys helping out and together we used sledge hammers and crowbars to rip the poles off the rail road tie posts. We then piled all the wood up multiple times because the cows would come from the pasture and knock down the piles for some reason… Anywho, After we finished knocking down the fences, which took a couple days, we brought the bobcat in and loaded the wood piles onto a flatbed trailer. After that we would drive the trailer down to the wood dump and heave all of the wood off the side of the trailer. We did this many times, because there was A LOT of wood!

 

The next day we pulled the railroad ties out of the ground with the bobcat. First, we attached a chain to the bobcat’s forklift, then the driver of the bobcat would bring the chain close to the tie, and we would wrap the chain around the tie a couple times. After that, the bobcat would pull the tie out of the ground like it was nothing! Later we moved the railroad ties down to the wood dump as well. They were pretty heavy on one side because they had soaked up a lot of ground moisture.

Another project we worked on together was tearing down and rolling up old barbwire fences.  The barbwire experience got better as it went along, it just takes practice to get good at rolling up barbwire. Also, the first day I didn’t have gloves, and flesh and barbwire don’t really mix very well. But, it got better as we went along, and I enjoyed it -especially seeing the rolls of barbwire roll down a hill and into the dump hole! Well, actually the first few rolls didn’t roll, they leveled the sage brush. The place where my uncle told us to dump was down a sagebrush-covered hill, so we had to push and shove the first rolls down and flatten the brush.

Some of the other things I did were spray weeds with a backpack sprayer almost every morning, brand calves, burn old bee boxes and larva shells in the cow pit (the cow pit is where they put all the dead cows, so when you burn something, it reeks), sort cows in the corral, help burn a cut hay field, and drive for the first time. I drove a pickup truck pulling a horse trailer for about 10 miles on gravel roads and on a steep mountain side! It was awesome!

When I wasn’t working, I had a ton of fun playing with my little cousins, and my other cousins when they came up to visit the ranch. We rode bikes in the machine shop, did wagon rides, swung on the tire swing, and jumped on the tramp. It was a blast, and I loved being around them.

 

I had been looking forward to working on the ranch for a long time and I had a great time.

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