• My latest book available in paperback and eBook formats

  • Available from Amazon paperback or Kindle

  • Updated w/double blind study results. Ebook or paperback

  • New updated edition available NOW!

  • Recent Posts

  • Tracking Footprints

  • Archives

  • Top Posts

  • Pages

More Snow Fence talk

When you have a pacemaker, you’re not supposed to use a fence post pounder.  At least that’s what JB, my 85 year old neighbor tells me.

“The poundin’ could break one of the wires.  But I can drive it with my sledge hammer.”

Fence post pounder with sledge nearby.

I spent the day finishing my snow fence with JB.  He’s done just about everything in this country.  Fencing large tracts of ranchland is just one of his specialties.  Its not a long run–we just had 30′ left of fencing to do, but it took several hours.  JB would start the posts with his sledge, and if I didn’t stop him he’d drive them all the way in.  Otherwise, I’d finish up with the pounder.

The hill where it drifts onto my driveway

The hill where it drifts onto my driveway

“I can use one hand.”  he’d tell me as he pounded along with me with his right hand.  I could feel he’s way stronger than I am, even at 85.

After a few posts he’d say “Let’s stop and catch our breaths”.  So we’d sit down and he’d tell me stories or jokes.

“You ever seen a sidehill animal?”

“What’s that?”

“Its’ an animal that has legs shorter on one side than the other and goes up the mountains always in the same direction.”

I thought for a moment.  I’m pretty gullible but not that gullible!

“I was working on a dude ranch and told that to one of the guest kids.  He went and told his dad he’d seen one of those animals.  His dad didn’t say nothin’.”

JB showed me a way to stretch wire without a stretcher.  Of course, they’ve been making barbed wire fences before wire stretchers were invented.  He showed me with a crowbar, and with a hammer–two ways.

Double row.  Trial and error.  We'll see how it works this winter

Double row. Trial and error. We'll see how it works this winter

We took another rest.  “What I know could go in a little book.  What I don’t know could go in a big one!”  We talked about wild horses.  I told him that I thought the wild horses on the Pryors were ‘more wild’ than the ones at McCullough Peaks as they had Spanish blood in them.

“Nah.  When I was a kid, everyone here had horses–horsepower.  That was all we had.  You’d use them in the summer and turn them out in the winter.  They’d just run wild and come spring you’d round them up.  There was a lady who had lots of horses out there in the Pryors.  She paid me $10 for every one of her horses that I rounded up.  We’d bring them all in, then she’d look at them and figure which ones were hers.  The ones she didn’t keep we’d sell.”

“There was a fellow who was a horse rustler.  He’d come over the North Fork down Gravelbar.  That’s hard country and he’d drive those horses he stole over those mountains and bring them up north.  I think he finally got caught.  Horses just got left loose and turned wild.”

“Let’s go stretch another wire on that fence below as long as we’re here.  I want this to hold for you.  There’s a lot of weight in that snow.  And 100 mile an hour winds here are nothin’.”

We put a third wire on the fence we did the other day.  JB wrapped another wire around the stabilizer posts as well.  When we finished, we sat in the grass, the sun warming us with fall playing in the air.  JB’s new Walmart gloves, two for the price of one, made in China, were just no good.  After one day they were torn.  He told me he’d been to Peking after the war.

“After Iwo Jima and after they dropped the bomb, they sent me there. Only for a short time.”  He told me how he’d come back to Cody and there was another kid he’d known.  He saw him at a  local bar.  His leg had been blown off at the Battle of the Bulge.  They had a drink together.

“He died just a few years ago.  He was a good guy.  I helped him do a lot of fencing.”  Somehow he spoke about it like it was just yesterday.

Building a snow fence is fun, but its everything in between that really counts.

Another view.  The first fence is at least 50' from the driveway.

Another view. The first fence is at least 50' from the driveway.