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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Day Trippin' - Wayne, Ne

It was another one of those gorgeous Fall weekends that we were blessed with this year.  In fact, it wasn't until just this past Thursday that we finally plummeted from daytime temperatures in the mid 70s and low 80s to highs in the 50s.  Sure we were well below freezing at night earlier in October, and some in November, but the daytime temperatures have been fantastic!

It was on one of these amazingly stunning weekend days that I told Doc that I had seen a new shop in a "local" town on TV.  It was featured on a show that I record every morning and then watch as time allows in the evening.  The show features state points of interests, market and weather news, and brings in local speakers to inform viewers on crafting, cooking and farming trends.  It is quite well done and always interesting.  The show, Pure Nebraska, archives its episodes online so you are welcome to view them as you wish.  As a person that enjoys visiting the locales, the only thing you have to really look out for is that they do, occasionally, recycle some of their stories.  So it really is important that you make sure that the place you are planning to visit is still in operation. 

On this particular day, whether the shop that had been featured on the show was still there or not, was not an issue.  The town was interesting enough that it would surely be an adventure on its own.  If nothing else, the drive was a direction we hadn't gone yet, so the scenery was new.  Harvest was in full swing, and colour was exploding around the countryside.  Doc agreed to being dragged into the sunlight.  So with camera in tow, we hopped into the car and pointed her North.

Wayne is a SOLID two hours to our North.  There isn't a whole lot between here and there, but we had amazing things to look at.  As we drove, I made note of several sites that I wanted to photograph on the way back.  We also passed through a slow moving cold front, so our sunny warm skies were replaced by leaden clouds, threatening rain, and winds that howled across the empty prairieland. 

As if setting the stage, we approached the village of Pilger, which was practically wiped from the map by twin tornadoes just two years ago.  If you didn't know that, you'd never know it by the looks of the town.  All of the damaged homes were gone.  Lots were empty, but the grasses had taken hold.  But for the few verdant lots that had concrete steps standing as resolute witnesses to the homes that once belonged there, the town looked great.  Businesses have been rebuilt, life has moved on.

We pressed on.

Mile after mile, hill after hill, one farmstead after another snuggled in, sheltered from the wind in its cloister of trees.  We pressed on.  After it began to feel like we were on a never ending river of tar treadmill in the Twilight Zone, we crested a hill and the town of Wayne laid sprawled across the valley below us.  I didn't know what to expect, but I certainly didn't expect to see a city as large as it was.  A village, a town, a hamlet, yes, but I did not expect to see a full sized city.  (That'll teach me not to google before I go!) 

Wayne is a railroad town, which means many of its older structures are made from precious brick.  When you are close to the supply line, it makes it more financially feasible to use the heavy material.  Remember, trees were few and far between back in the day, so brick was the obvious, long lasting material of choice, but hard to ship far from the rail lines. 

It is also a thriving area for lumber, grain, and is the home of Wayne State University.  So the city is a hub for several of the surrounding counties.

Some of the buildings were quite memorable so the camera had to come out.


The brick on this church is a real eye catcher.  It reminded me of tiger butter fudge,
a deep rich brown and raw sienna/umber striped brick. In the intermittent sunshine,
the pattern just explodes.



Most of the main downtown area was destroyed in a massive fire in the late 1880s.  The buildings
that went up to replace them are stunning in their small details that go
missed by the casual observer passing through town. 

A remodeled building on the west side of the main street has shopping
below and apartments above.  The designer decided to replace the old time
advertising in the windows.  Sometimes it's worth the extra money, eh?

Looking North in Wayne.  The old downtown area is a mix
of old buildings and new shops; thrift, antique, gourmet food, coffee, clothing, and
professional shops line the lower levels.




The main purpose of the trip was to find and explore the Rustic Treasures Antique shop.  The episode featured a HUGE room filled with bee boxes that had been cleaned and were being sold as art, repurposed furniture, or as the foundation for repurposed items, like chalkboards.  The crazy collection and the passion of the owner on the show, begged a visit.

After a two hour drive, despite a stop in Pilger for junk food snacks, I could hear Doc's stomach growling from my side of the car.  That's never a good thing.  So we opted for lunch before we vanished into the bowels of an antique store. (Read: I get easily distracted and eating takes a backseat to exploring.  Dory the fish has nothing on my attention span!)  The town has several college town staples, and oddly enough, many steakhouses (must be a railroad- feed lot thing), but we ended up at Dairy Queen, where we KNEW food would be fast and hot.

Then we were OFF!  We found parking right in front of the store, which usually means I won't find a darn thing.  If I'd parked three blocks away, in a blizzard, uphill, and my truck was full of stuff I meant to take out, then I would have run into a free gold plated bedroom set.  I was hoping that my luck would be different this trip.

Upon opening the door and entering the shop, I KNEW it was different.  It was like that scene from every movie, when the unsuspecting main character opens a door, and the lighting changes, and uplifting magical fairy music starts playing.  Well that ACTUALLY HAPPENED! Ok the music was coming from the coffee shop inside the antique store, but the sentiment was totally there.  I distinctly remember saying "WOW" when I stepped inside. How a place can be cavernous, chaotic, eclectically mish mashed, and meticulously organized ALL at the same time is beyond me, but it was!

I did a quick glance around to get my bearings and to figure out a general plan of attack.  I didn't want to miss one tea cup, one antique salad spoon, or ceramic pug dog.  One of my favorite antiquing things is to find a shop that has yet to either be discovered or whose owner has not been tainted by the dreaded "but it sold on eBay for" disease, both of which drives up prices to unrealistic values.  This store was free from both.

My insulator coat rack - $5


It is filled with consigners, but was not done in an obvious booth setup.  The owners saw that the shop was meticulously maintained and organized, and that items were constantly moving around the shop, and that holes were filled.  An item in one spot may go unnoticed, but move it and suddenly it's the star of the shop.  As we wandered up and down the isles, creating a "save it for me" pile at the front desk, I couldn't help but to notice the amazing architectural details of the building, and couldn't help to notice the LACK of the wood walls and shelving and beekeeping supplies I had seen on the show just the day before. 


Perplexed, I asked an employee about the bee boxes.  He said that the room full of bee keeping supplies was in the basement and the whole area was off limits to the public as it is a safety issue (no fire escape access).  He then followed that with, "BUT the owner is having lunch, and I'll ask him if he'll take you down when he's done."

Tripping hazards, uneven floor, stacks of antiques, low ceiling, hanging wires, old stock, no marked fire exit vs. private showing?! BRING IT ON!

Folks, the basement was amazing!  The history of the building above practically oozed from the uneven old concrete flooring.  The leftover glass shelving remains of the now defunct Ben Franklin craft store lay stacked in a back corner, a silent witness to change.  As old light switches were flicked on, the glow from several old incandescent yellow bulbs illuminated the shelf upon shelf, upon shelf of wax trays, queen separators and bee boxes. It went on and on, back to the dark recesses of the old basement. 


The owner went on to explain what little he knew of the building and how he came to be the owner of all this sweet goodness in the basement.  He had gone to an estate sale, which had been a former apiary.  Upon seeing ONE bee box, he just couldn't leave the rest behind! Now could he?  So they all followed him home, and he sorted and power washed each and every piece, and meticulously dried and placed them lovingly on shelves.  He's figured that some people will want them for actual bee boxes. But most will want them for their repurposing value.  Old painted, distressed wood is hot right now and he has a few ideas.  The trays can be painted with chalk paint and made into rustic message boards.  Bee boxes can be stacked and topped of with their lids for a quaint storage side or coffee table.  Wax boards are art in and of themselves, but could be further sealed as serving trays.  We nodded in agreement, as I fell in love with a wax board of my own.  I sat it down so I could finish the tour.



The basement continued through an archway which had been the wall between one buildings basement and the neighboring basement, all now one property.  This room was piled with furniture, and fixtures.  There was an old room that appeared to have been some sort of large pantry with OLD wood shelving, and a large heavy door.  Further in the back, another large heavy door, reminiscent of a walk in cooler was both beckoning and foreboding.  The creepy room beyond had no electricity, so three humans whipped out three smartphones and pushed their flashlight buttons.  The cavernous space seemed to shrink from the probing lights, coyly hiding its secrets as the beams wandered the room.  One long wall held nothing but large wooden shelves, old small, used cans of stains and oils sat scattered.  The opposite wall supported a long counter, scared with long forgotten projects.  The tool racks above, empty of their charges.  A double sink and a large food warmer were all that were left. 

The owner moved quickly over these sights, as he has seen them many times before.  Instead, he focused on an odd piece of abandoned machinery on the floor.  The Doctor Jeckle and Mr Hyde quality of the room did not go unnoticed to me and this machine on the floor only bolstered that feeling.  The owner had no idea what it was.  Its knee high hulking mass on the floor was interlaced with tubes, hoses, valves, dials and gauges, and piping to nowhere.  It appeared to me to be the sick love child of Rube Goldberg and a Steam Punk fanatic.

Of course while I started to wonder where the bodies were buried, Doc was, as usual, attracted to both the mystery and the functional beauty of the mechanical beast.  As he poked and prodded, followed pipes and tubes to their ends, and pondered its use- I fully expected it to emblaze the room in light and start to scream "EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!"  No sooner had this thought crossed my mind, and I began to wonder if I would be able to outrun both Doc and a Dalek, Doc shouted, "IT'S A GENERATOR!"  I darn near jumped out of my skin.  I'm glad I found something to entertain him.

Mystery solved, we exited the odd little room back into the basement.  It was then that I noticed something odd, well MORE odd than anything before.  For an almost dirt floor basement with raw walls, exposed joist ceilings that were only about 6.5 feet high, raw light bulbs dangling, pipes and wires exposed, there was intricate TIN CROWN MOLDING around the entire basement.  WHO would do that, and WHY?

It certainly wasn't a public space, so why on Earth spend that kind of money on putting up Tin Ceiling crown molding, and without the ceiling, which there was no evidence of ever having existed.  Odd.  We kept moving and I made sure to snag my bee frame. Now back upstairs in the land of the day dwellers, we thanked the owner for his most generous tour through time and continued to walk through the shop, where we continued to find treasure after treasure. Doc disappeared to the adjoining coffee shop to peruse the internet and to put an iced vanilla tea out of its misery. 

Knowing I had lost Doc to technology, but knowing he was safe, fed, and fully entertained, I told him that I was going to stroll to the end of the block to a newly opened thrift store.  The thrift store was owned by the same set of managers that own the antique store, so it had to be GOOD.  Being a thrift store, I wasn't expecting much.  Again, I was pleasantly surprised.  It was clean, well lit, organized and everything was perfectly priced.  All the proceeds went back into the community!  A great place.

Satisfied with a great trip, we knew the trip home was two hours long, and we were racing a fast encroaching sunset.   So with that we turned the silver fiberglass horse south and headed home.

Thanks for coming with us.




Update: Two days after this visit, I learned that supposedly the best onion rings on this side of the state are in Wayne.  Now that I know that, we HAVE to go back!

 Oh, and I JUST had to share this Treager grill we saw at a Farm Store on the way home.  I mean really, who DOESN"T need a piggy grill?!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Filley Stone Barn Harvest Festival

A few weeks ago, Doc and I decided to hop in the truck and take off for parts unexplored.  Anywhere you go here, you have to prepare to sit in the car, and sit and sit.  To make it tolerable, the journey darn well be as entertaining as the destination.  This is why we try to pick places that we haven't been, so that we can explore all new little places along the way.  Hopefully we'll find a little amazing place along the way that will demand further, in depth exploration on another trip.

On this particular Saturday, the weather promised not only to be nice, but spectacular- sunny, breezy, no humidity, and 73 degrees.  For driving and exploring, and hanging out at an outdoor festival, it doesn't get better than that!  We chose an hour and a half trip to The Filley Stone Barn
  It's not only an amazing structure for its time, but they were having a luncheon, flea market, antique car and tractor show, and showcasing harvest methods of the past.  It promised to be a lovely day.

I invite you to visit the above link to read up on the interesting history of the barn.



This was the lower level of the barn.  This is where the livestock would have been kept.  It currently houses broken gates, stall doors, and various old leather and iron tack.

 Vendors housed inside the barn on the main machine level for the festival included a glass marble maker and a sock knitter.  These knitters were given to women during WWI to knit socks for soldiers.  If they met their weekly quota, then they were allowed to keep the machine after the war was over.  They came with charts that instructed the user how many rows were needed for each size foot.  It was amazing to watch them crank out socks!

Note the axle jack on the right side that tips the
wagon to allow cobs to fall.
Outside there were wagons filled with dry feed corn.  The corn was then gravity fed and hand guided to a conveyer that shot it through a shelling machine.  This machine removed the dry kernels from the cob.  They fell into a hopper and the cobs flew from the machine like precision agricultural projectiles into another waiting wagon.

The whole process looked like a horrific, mangling accident waiting to happen.

A stunning team of draught horses pull a plow, tilling under the corn stalk trash.  The little girl is wearing her homesteading dress.  This is common for 4th graders here.  They spend the year learning about state history, culminating in a week of dressing up and going on experience immersion field trips.

 Also on hand were manual corn shellers, corn crackers, a couple pressing sorghum canes and boiling down the juice to sorghum syrup.  There was a booth full of classic pioneer toys.  The field had a working water windmill and a hand pump, which the children were encouraged to check out.  The adjoining field was lined with restored antique cars and tractors.

 The historical society put on a pot luck lunch inside the barn.  It is a jaw dropping, amazing place.  The floors on this level are wood planks that are 3 inches thick and the open hay loft is just amazing.


Vendors outside were a mix of flea market and local people that market big name products, which didn't hold any interest for me and honestly kind of ruined the whole ambiance of the historical location and event.  There were a few people there selling farm antiques, food, and farm products like eggs, milk, cheese, baked goods, and goat soap.  I was shocked to see that there was NO ONE there making and selling apple butter.  I guess that's MY thing.  If I didn't live so far away, I'd volunteer to do that every year!

It was a lovely day!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Projects and Treasure

Between bouts of the craziness; football games, the beginning of a new school year, volunteering, gardening, the fair, and all the little things that seem to gang up on us and steal time away, we managed to sneak away and find little escapes.  Occasionally, I managed a small project or found a little treasure to add to a growing collection.
The not so small project is one that is hovering over my head like an elephant.  Now that's an image, isn't it?!  We have 4.5 acres that has been hayfield, but I don't like the look of the scraggly hay.  I don't like having to wait to have it mown in August for cattle hay.  And I really don't like the hiding places it affords to predators and deer.  After it was hayed the last time, I decided to keep it mowed.  I started by splitting the field in half and mowing one half each time I did the yard, about every ten days.  But it was far too thick in places for those areas to wait almost 20 days between mowing, so now I just mow it all at once.

It's a tricky mow.  There are hidden holes that will jostle you right out off your seat.  The whole thing is a giant three sided bowl with steep areas, if not cut correctly, make you feel like you're going to slide right off your seat. I've tried many patterns of cutting to find the right path for both sanity and safety.  I finally figured out that just mowing east and west and west and east is just fine, if not tedious.

So now we have a stunning, clean, well manicured 4.5 acre PASTURE.  Pasture means critters.  Do you know how many critters I can put on 4.5 acres?!  A LOT!  The mind goes wild with miniature cows (wouldn't those freak out the cattle next door), horses, sheep, llamas, or alpaca.  The rolling green field needs, nay DEMANDS, critters!

(We can't say that we weren't warned that chickens are "gateway" livestock ~Doc)

But if you are going to have livestock, you need a place to put them.  I am NOT building another large structure.  Design, yes.  Help, yes.  Supervise, yes. Pay for, ugh, yes.

I have auditioned several local out building companies.  One never returned my call.  One wasn't interested in doing a building that was ONLY 30x30 feet. One has been not only very nice and patient, but also comes highly recommended by friends that have also used them.  I had a design in mind and actually found out that a neighbor down the road has the same building.  Upon checking it out, I was sold.  We did find out that for only a little more money we could upsize it to 30x40 feet.  So it is silly not to.

The free space of the pasture is a large square.  We had planned to put the barn on the Northwest corner and then eventually run a fence from one corner of the barn, around the pasture (with a few access gates thrown in) and back to the other corner of the barn.  The problem was the slope of the land.  The landscaper that came out to give us an estimate on the pad for the structure hesitated.  When he did I knew it was going to be far too much work, which translates to time and money, for this project.  He would have to use twice as much dirt as normal to build up an area large enough for the building requirement.  I looked at him and said, "tell me the ONLY place on my whole property even close to being level enough is where I have my garden."

He looked over his shoulder at the 1200 square feet of meticulously fenced and manicured garden and said, "yep."

UGH.

So, dear readers, I spent the whole next three days taking apart the garden. 

 This of course brought about a great deal of debate amongst the flock.  While they were all for me taking out the annoying fence, thereby shortening the waddle from the coop, around the fence, and through the narrow 5 foot wide gate to the deliciousness, they were a bit befuddled by the open freedom.  Once a quorum was reached, they voted that it was a good thing and while I dug out what seemed like a million concreted cedar posts they ripped out field peas, devoured mint plants, dug grubs, and tried to race my shovel into the hole with their delicate little necks.

Even more fun prevailed when I took the tractor and removed an 8 inch deep layer of mulched hay, exposing a whole hidden world of ants, pill bugs, worms, grubs, greens, and best of all, dusty bathing dirt!  When I used the tractor to move the three compost piles, you would have thought I announced a dress sale in the basement of a 1950s movie.  I swear I actually heard the chickens squeal with delight upon exposing all the goodies that were hiding beneath compost.  Not to mention all the old tomatoes that made a run for it when I lifted the pile!

When it was time for them to go to bed Wednesday night, they looked like a poor woman two weeks overdue.  They could hardly waddle for having played outside all day, and filling their crops to almost dragging.  We saved on the chicken feed bill this week!
Playing in the invisible barn.

6 hours on the tractor later with the rake and harrow, and what is left is a clean, almost flat, hard packed earthen base for the pad for the new barn.  The pad guy will come in the next few weeks to raise up the earth to prevent water from racing down my hill and THROUGH the barn.  I am sad to see the garden go.  I don't think they'll be one next year, but I will be planting some sorghum, sunflowers, and some kushaw squash on the hillside. 

kushaw squash
Speaking of the hillside, I have one area that cannot be taken down with the mower.  It is raised so the septic line far, far beneath it is protected, but the mower bottoms out on it when I go over it.  So the solution was simple: fill it with something else.  Right now the grass is short, but I'll let it get tall.  It is also filled with wildflower seed.  The blue and the orange houses mark the limit area for the mower.  Since I took this photo, I've added two more.  But that's enough. Our little Norwegian village on the hillside. I just love the brightly, happy colored buildings during both the green and white seasons!

Speaking of brightly coloured buildings.  On a recent 'should have bought a squirrel' drive home, I spotted far in the distance BLUE!  You have to understand this is very conservative country.  People are comfortable with traditional building colors and rarely let their adventurous side show.  Sure there are RED barns, but those are SO traditional, that they may as well be the more common, brown, umber, sienna, grey, or white colors so frequently seen across the countryside.  So to see BLUE was an eye turner during the raw umber landscape sheering of the bean harvest.  I HAD to see this spread up close.  Luckily a grid system state makes that relatively easy.  Imagine my surprise when I came across not just the blue barn, but also a stable, cow shed, machine shop, chicken coop and OUTHOUSE! They were all the deep bright blue of a swimming pool liner! 

On a recent trip to Wayne (more on that later), we also came across not one, but TWO HOMES painted in the same teal as our Oodalolly Chicken coop, and one PINK schoolhouse!  I guess the bleak landscape does occasionally drive the bold and creative to go for the color in their life!


Pretty empty out here, eh?

Now it's time for a couple of projects INSIDE the house.

Project 1:  I had a brilliant idea late at night for a little corner that was just screaming for SOMETHING to fill it.  My solution was to hang a saucer from each of my china sets.  I use English plate hangers which are hidden from view, unlike the traditional ones with 4 grabbing fingers and springs you traditionally use.  I've used them for years with great luck and highly recommend them if you have plate or platters to display.  Following the directions is key to these hangers. You can find them online and at Hobby Lobby.









Project 2: A few weeks ago, a local hardware store tweeted that they were using a chick feeder (a new one with the bottom still attached) as a wall mounted holder for their dry erase markers in their employee areas.  WHAT A GREAT IDEA!  I certainly didn't want to drop the change on a NEW one, but you can always find a USED OLD one at antique shops and flea markets.  In fact, I found this on super clearance at a shop because the base had been lost.  I don't need the base!  For $1, and a quick spray of clear coat to preserve the rust patina, I have a large holder for my fountain pens, dip pens, and alcohol pens!  It's hanging with a simple loop of jute.



Project 3:  I have no idea.  I found this tiny photo at an antique store in a pile of at least 1000 old photos that had been tossed in a box.  This little antique store was amazing and the prices were still great as it was still a little-known shop.  It was, however, not in a good part of town....AT ALL.  I saw the photo on one trip, but didn't buy it then.  The image haunted me for a week until I could get back again.  She was still there. So for $1, she came home and sits on my studio desk behind UV-shielded glass.  For the time, that was one expensive outfit, let alone the cost of getting a photo done.  It was probably taken in July to boot! LOL.  Just look how adorable and proud she is.  I wonder who she was, and what became of her.  Just an amazing photo.


Project 4: I have a long standing tradition of letting things sit at my regular haunts.  I'm at them enough, that if they are still there a month later, I'll either buy it, or wait another couple of weeks.  This project/treasure was one of those times.  This amazing pen and ink watercolor of an old homestead was buried in the front room of Liberty House in Seward.  I'm in town once a week to deliver eggs and pester Pat.  I kept being drawn to this picture. 
The heavily molded, gold gilded frame wasn't even close to my style, and the white mat - well most of you know how I feel about framing things in white.  Then there was the price. Ya, way out of what I wanted to spend.  With Liberty house still for sale, after two months of looking at this picture, I finally asked Pat about it.  I told her I didn't want the frame and did she want to buy it back and re-sell it.  It turns out she had a customer that WANTED the frame, but didn't want the picture.  So I managed to get the picture for a wonderful price and left the frame there for the other buyer.  A quick trip to Hobby Lobby's frame shop and the print is now in its new forever spot on a new homestead! Just look at how that black mat makes those colors sharp and pop!

Project 5: Containing the Posts.  No, I'm not scaling back on my internet postings.  Just like any acreage, we have a huge stockpile of various posts; fence, garden, snow, electric, and horse.  For the past two years we have been using a simple storage method - cram them in the corner.  This caused some problems.
The first of which was the post you wanted was never accessible.  I swear they knew you were coming and would crawl deep into the pile, behind the rustiest heaviest posts.  When you finally found the one you needed, it would grow arms and legs and grab on to anything it could on the way out of the pile.
The second problem was stability.  These posts are heavy, rusty, and sharp. The constant worry that one or more of them would suddenly get a hankering for squishy pink flesh was ever present.  To try to curtail their appetite, we placed a large plastic trashcan in the corner to hold the largest of the offenders.  This was soon full, and five gallon buckets joined the organizational line up.  Posts were being shoved willy nilly into whatever bucket would accept them.  This brought us back to problem #1.

Then it happened.  This past week, upon opening the large overhead door, I heard the most terrible screeching sound.  It turns out the Roughneck plastic trashcan wasn't so rough after all.  It had split and tipped over, taking dozens of 8 foot steel posts with it.  As it fell, it decided that the floor would be lonely without company, and it caught all the other posts in the surrounding 5 gallon buckets.  Since there would be nothing to eat while it was down there, it took this year's sorghum harvest along for the ride.  UGH.

Upon opening the door, I was now privy to the world's largest, sharpest, lockjaw inducing game of pickup stix.  I needed to come up with a way to contain/organize/store these beasts.  I should have taken a before shot, but I was distracted by the disaster.  What I came up with is sturdy, actually has MORE storage room than the buckets, and keeps the beasts sorted and accessible. It only took me 3 hours too!

Project 6: Less of a project, and more of an adventure.  I was heading to the next town over to deliver eggs and there was a large red pickup off the side of the road with its hazard lights on.  When I was about 200 yards away, he pulled out onto the road.  This usually means that they are the lead vehicle for a large combine or slow double long grain hopper.  So I slowed down, and just as I crested the hill, I saw no machinery, but I did see a herd of horses on the road.  UGH.  Stray livestock.  Good country neighbors don't turn their back on stray livestock.  Someday it might be yours. 
So for the next hour and 15 minutes this total stranger and I slowly used our trucks to herd lost horses.  The alpha stallion was HUGE.  I have NEVER seen an Appaloosa as big as he was.  Where he went, the others followed.  The guy in the red truck was pretty sure what field they escaped from (2 miles away) and who the owner was, but didn't have his contact number.  So over and through barren bean and corn fields, over broken fences, and ditches and down the center of a few dirt roads went the 5.  Once they got moving they knew what direction they wanted to go, so the beasties have done this before.  At one point, we got them near the pasture fence and Mr. Red Truck undid the fencing to let them back in.  The lead stallion would have none of it.  They turned on him and headed back my way.  Putting the truck in reverse for half a mile to the intersection to run interference, the herd followed my truck and at the intersection turned East.  They trotted about  a quarter of a mile down the road and just stopped.  It was then I saw the hidden cut in the high grass.  THE TRAILER entrance!  I parked the truck, and slowly walked past 5 flighty, weighty animals and prayed the gate didn't have a lock on it.  It didn't, just twisted wire.  Pulling the gate open and blowing a mighty whistle, the alpha came running, the rest of the herd following.  Phew! I earned that McD's Frappe!

For our next adventure, I'll take you to Wayne with us! See you then!