Shake, Rattle and Roll.
Nope, not a dance. Well, maybe sort of. It’s actually the drive out the logging roads in our Bobcat.
This crazy little rig was pretty beat up when we got it and it’s certainly talking to me as I drive.
When we got this from the company, it was VERY used, and had been one of the rigs at a mine.
It’s a 4-wheel drive little run about type of thing. Not big enough to be called a truck, yet enclosed so it’s not a 4-wheeler.
To shift it, I would have to either STAND so I had enough pulling power to yank the shift stick up into high, OR, brace my back on the seat and put my FOOT (yes, I’m that flexible) on the stick shift and push it into high. Either way, it wasn’t something you could quickly do.
We’ve been through quite the adventures with this thing! At one-point last winter, the shift stick actually broke! So, David clamped a long-handled screwdriver to what was left of it and that worked for a while.
Then… you guessed it, next the shifter broke completely off and shortly after that, the entire shifting cable finally broke. SO, the only way to shift it was to get OUT of the rig, take a long stick (we used an old ax handle I think) and brace it up against a spot UNDER the bed of the rig, behind the tire, right where the cable used to connect and force it to shift. There's probably a better technical explanation, but mine is what you get - lol.
Every time you needed to shift from forward to backwards, someone had to jump out and manually shift it.
You should have seen us when we tried to go out the road with 2 ft of snow to see how far we could get – LOL!
Not far, AND of course we had to turn around. So, I jumped out and was the manual shifter every few feet, forward then back, forward again, stuck, and then back, as we maneuvered our way out of the snow and muck. Which took a while I’m afraid.
Check out the video so you can ride around camp with us.
Then one day, the axle between the front tires broke. David managed to get it back to the shop, or maybe it broke while he was down at the shop. Either way, it got stored in the shop and if you needed to move it you could drive it for about a foot or two and then the front tires splayed out in opposite directions – so funny to see. Not very helpful to maneuver, but I'd go kick the tires into a straight line up and he'd try again.
Finally, a mechanic was brought out and spent about 4 days fixing things around camp, the Bobcat included. Of course, he got stuck here for a few extra days, which is normal in the spring, fall, winter, oh who are we kidding, it can happen anytime!
We now had a working Bobcat, an easier stick shift, and a new rattle when I drove it.
This fall I’ve been driving it out the road to get firewood with David, cleaning up the roads from fallen or trimmed branches along the way. It’s the woods, so between the wind, rain, snow, and tree thinners, not to mention David, there is almost always something to pick up and throw off the road.
Fortunately no dead animals - just tree limbs - all vegetarian clean up so to speak!
As I drive, I pray that the rattle I hear doesn’t result in me walking home, but so far, it’s fairly normal. Noisy, but becoming normal.
I take my time going home from the woods. I have never wanted to rush back as I feel peaceful, happy and at home with the trees. Being a bird watcher, I've been blessed with the occasional unusual sighting as I'm out in the woods. Today I saw 3 female Pine Grosbeaks. I don't think they will be here all winter, guess I'll have to look them up to learn more.
The beauty of the ocean as glimpses of it slide through the trees, partnered with the quiet of the woods (not so much the Bobcat), the occasional birds, and once in while a moose or porcupine, keep me captured here, willingly.
This closed down logging camp has so much history, time slides by almost too quickly, and I choose every day to be grateful for my life here. It’s a wonderful balance of personal work, client interaction, fun online networking, and hard physical activity. That keeps my body moving, my mind working, and my life full.
My life take aways from this time are:
Gratitude for my very life and living here in beautiful SE Alaska
Awareness that LIFE/WORK balance is something we choose! In other words, making time for the things that bring us joy, keep us physically and mentally sound, doesn't just happen unless we are aware of what we WANT in life!
Mindset - anytime I feel myself slipping into "overwhelm, not enough time, fear of a bear or moose, my imagination set loose, failure", I easily and quickly can use the POPMINDSET tools to get my thoughts and emotions back into a happy and believing place.
And that's a powerful way to enjoy my days!!
See you on the road my friend!