Saturday, May 25, 2024

Finally.....A Ride Post - 2024/05/25

A Saturday with no employment responsibilities, finally some time for a decent ride.  All of the bikes have been out (again...finally), most have helped me get to/from my bus driving responsibilities each day.  I made a 'Tube video of my VStar ride to work this past week.

This morning early some chicken chores, a quick trip to town for 5 gallons of diesel and 10 gallons of gasoline to keep the machines running.  After that, I replaced a taillight bulb in the Breva (had it on hand!) and off I went.

No real plan other than avoiding a southeasterly direction and that was because next weekend is our Hiawatha BMW Rally at Money Creek....road southeasterly will have a great chance of being explored then.  So across the river to Wisconsin I went.  No GPS, I made the Route above after the fact, retracing my ride.  Lunch in Gilmanton at Donna Mae's, the Mushroom Swiss about perfect.  Contemplating a longer ride I decided that based on the forecast it might be best to make a mostly straight path home so that I could start burning up all that petroleum that I'd purchased early day.  Our lawn and adjacent weedy areas really needed a trim.

County NN, one of many favorites....

North out of Gilmanton, towards but not quite to Mondovi, I jumped back on to Hwy 37 and barely got moving when I went past the horse arena/racing facility.  I've been past many times and don't ever remember seeing anyone there doing anything.  Today was different.  I looked over as I passed....hmmmm....big work horses.....that's odd.  A mile down the road I understood.  A Horse Pull, something I'd never seen before.  All I knew about horse pulls was my grandfather's disdain for them.  As a farmer that never owned a tractor, he was convinced that the horses he knew would be abused and harmed by pulling.

All of this through my head and then some more quick thoughts.  My friend Jack has mentioned the Gilmanton area, work horses AND horse pulls.  He pulls or did, his son and now grandson still do.  Less than a mile and a half past the arena, I turned around and went back, hoping to just possibly see Jack.

At Donna Mae's cafe, a couple of old guys (more than me) were eating lunch while I was.  We gave a cheerful hello to each other and a nod of the hat, all acknowledging the beautiful day.  

Off the Guzzi and walking around, lo and behold, the two old (more than me) guys were sitting in a car.  I went over and asked them where they were from, satisfied they were local enough and asked them if they might know Jack....someone that knew work horses and horse pulls.  I had momentarily forgotten Jack's last name, only that it started with "D".

"Jack D____", well yes we know Jack, he should be here, are you lookin' for him?  I told them the story about my connection, we talked some more, I heard about potential other Pulls that Jack and his boys might be at and then one of the guys asked....

"When you were talkin' to Jack, did he give you a chance to say anything?"

With a smile I replied, "No".

"Same Jack D____"

Where they'll pull.....

Two competitors in the Lightweight class, combined weight of the horses not over 3500#.  These two came in at 3430.  Their first pull was 2500# and they pulled through.  The other competitor didn't pull, waiting for the next weight increment, blocks of concrete weight 1000# each.


Waiting their turn.....
Once the connection is made to the sled.....get out of the way!
Adding the 3rd block, now the sled weighs 5500#.  Both competitors were pulling through, 27.5' if I heard correctly.

Pulling the stone boat....

The other competitor in this class....from Hokah, MN

Too excited, the boys started pulling before the hookup was made..... 

Circle back and try again....

Really enjoyed watching, I didn't stay long enough to see the outcome of the Lightweight class and what they truly could pull.  It's possible that friend Jack showed up later, I don't know, we never saw each other.  I did get home in time to get the lawn mowed, the non-growing part of the garden cut down and about half of our 1.5 acres of weeds that aren't treated like lawn.

It was a great day.
School is almost done, my bus driving is almost complete....for the '23-'24 school year.  I'm very much looking forward to a full term driving session next fall.  I'll have some bus driving thoughts to share in a Post soon, possibly after our Hiawatha Rally weekend.

Hope you all have a great Memorial Day weekend!


  1. Years ago during Wildcat came upon a horse pull. The horses knew the they backed up to get hitched... got ready... when the horn blew, they took off and knew where the end was...They had classes also... the big boys... Belgium's.. ? The size of the ones in the Budweiser commercials.. HUGE ! :)

    1. It really is amazing the see and watch the big creatures.

  2. Never heard of a horse pull, but I guess tractor pulls had to be inspired from something! The horses seemed to be "into" the event.

    1. They were excited to do what they do, that was very clear!