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Weathering the weather

My trip to North Dakota was pretty uneventful. We drove through snow from Wyoming to Belle Fouche, S.D., on the way there. Although it wasn't snowing in North Dakota it was bone-chillingly cold. Luckily, I was prepared.

The weather brought back memories of past winter experiences, including the time my car heater broke the day before Christmas. I had to drive an hour and a half to get from Grand Forks to my parents place in Edinburg with the temperature at minus 30 with no heat.

"It builds character," my father said, as I was standing in front of the wood-burning stove trying to warm up.

Then there were times when trying to be a tough North Dakotan wasn't the smartest way to go.

I had an assignment to do a story on a guy in northwest Minnesota who logs with a team of horses.

It was 40 degrees below zero that morning, but neither one of us was going to call off the interview and horse-logging demonstration. So a photographer and I drove to the woods in Minnesota to do the story.

Because we were in the trees the wind wasn't a problem but, even though I was dressed for the occasion, it was just too cold for humans to be outside. It was one of those days when you could feel the moisture inside your nostrils freezing.

Actually, the frost leaving the horses mouths and noses as they were pulling logs made for a lot of good photos. And, because I was then a seasoned journalist, I remembered to bring a pencil for my notes instead of a pen, which would have been frozen.

Talk about a character-building exercise.

I always think about those people, including farmers and ranchers, who have to be out in the cold. I remember my father having to traipse from the house to the barn in below zero temperatures to feed and water the sheep.

And using his cab-less Allis-Chalmers tractor to blow snow from the driveway so my mother could get to work and we could get to school.

I guess that's how he knows about the character-building aspects of cold weather.

OTHER NEWS

We have started to run a finance column by Chris Nolt. This week he wrote about taxes when it comes to selling farm and ranch property. His column is on page 103.

Next week we plan to have a photo page called Farm and Ranch Life. So send your photos to cbolin@thefencepost.com and make sure you send a caption and the name of the person who took the photo and your contact information in case we need anything else. ❖