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Saturday, July 12, 2014

Machines

Posted Monday, March 2, 2009, at 9:09 AM

(Photo)
Moving day came and went for my daughter and her husband over the weekend, and we were there to lend a hand. Those U-Haul trucks are pretty handy moving vehicles with a built in ramp to make loading and unloading much easier, and now-a-days they even come with a two wheel hand truck/dolly. That simple machine can sure make moving a lot easier.

As we were heading out of town on our way to Colorado Territory for the scheduled move, we passed Cambridge High School and the line up of tractors in the parking lot. I'm not sure how I missed it, but Margie knew it was take your tractor to school day. Those tractors were lined up about as perfectly as I think you could line tractors up.

We were were quickly reminded that Denver seems to be the Jeep capitol of the world as we saw what seemed like hundreds of highly modified off road vehicles all over town. Every time I go to Denver I recall that I used to think the traffic around town was reasonable. Wow... what was I thinking? I'm spoiled by our light traffic after living in southwest Nebraska for sure!

On our travels through Denver we did spot a couple more interesting machines. The first was more about the guy riding the motorcycle than the motorcycle. I didn't get to see what kind of bike it was, but it had saddle bags and a fellow in a brown suit with high leather boots and wool cabbie style hat. I've never been to Paris, but this guy was the spittin' image of what I would expect a motorcycle rider in Paris to look like. Oh yes... his curly handlebar mustache definitely added to the scene.

The last machine I really noticed was one of those old style bicycle designs with the huge front wheel. I've never seen anyone ride one, and I still haven't as the owner of the the bike was stuck waiting for a traffic light. I've always wondered how they got on and off, but I missed my chance by not getting caught at the light.

Passing through some the sparsely populated country of eastern Colorado, you can't help but think of the old timers that moved across this country by Ox and wagon. I guess I'll stay happy with smooth roads, a 65MPH speed limit, and our modern day transportation device.


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Thank you both for all of your help on Saturday! We really appreciate you driving all the way out to CO to help us.

Love you!

-- Posted by Melissa Harper on Mon, Mar 2, 2009, at 9:15 AM

Brian,

Your reference to the 4WD vehicles clogging Denver's streets reinforces one brutal fact.

In the 1940s and 50s, I could work horseback along the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico and not see another person for weeks on end.

When I did see anyone, they were either on foot or horse/mule back.

That was true with the Army's Mountain and Cold Weather Training Command in the early 50s between present day Vail and Leadville (North to South), Mosquito Pass and Independence Pass (East to West).

Wintertime, the "Mountain Goats" had teh Studebaker produced "Weasels" light weight tracked vehicle with a 6-Cylinder "Studie" engine.

We also had the Quartermaster Pack Mule Company and the 75 mm. Mountain Howitzer Artillery Mule Pack Battery.

Summer, the mules ruled.

We would take three or four muleteers with their bosses, go onto the Divide and retreive field telephone wire. Weeks on end of 14/6 effort, mostly above 11,000 feet,and no motor vehicles. Every two weeks or so, we would trek down into one of the canyons, meet with supply jeeps and 3/4 ton trucks, exchanging our reels of recovered wire for food and mail, then return to the ridges.

But the mountains were uncluttered with exhaust fumes, burned rubber and exhaust roar.

The last time I attempted to return to the heights above Turquoise Lake, there was no peace, just motor driven lunatics roaring around, claiming to be outdoorsmen.

The west has been destroyed by mobs of self indulgent, city bred vandals, who never learned to secure a pack saddle with a diamond hitch, or walk on their two feet for a few hundred miles in the high country.

They even have organizations seeking to drive the family ranches from the western U.S. so they will be free to destroy without any opposition.

-- Posted by bigsurmac on Tue, Mar 3, 2009, at 3:43 PM


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