Hanks: The joy, or lack of, in fixing fence
April 7, 2017
In a book that I wrote and had published some 20 years ago, I realized after I put them out for sale that the publisher had mistakenly quoted me as saying that I had worked on or personally built or repaired over 200 miles of fence. Now, gentle readers, that was a miscue from the word go. It should have stated 20 miles of fence, not 200.
With that being said, I have fixed a lot more fence since that publication 20 years ago but it sure hasn't added up to 200 miles!
Most of the time I don't mind fence fixin' if the weather is half way agreeable and I'm not having lower back issues like I sometimes do.
When we ranched up in the mountains I dreaded having to go and try to put some of those high-mountain fences back in shape before the cows came up for the summer. There were many times when the snow would get 8 to 12 feet deep up there and when it melts it will bring a "bob wire" fence DOWN!
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Fixin' a high mountain fence just requires patience, some experience and being able to enjoy the quiet of the high country while you are there.
A good many years ago I leased a pasture up the road of some 160 acres to expand my little operation some. The feller that owned it lived out of state but was of the "cowboy" type and had inherited it from family.
He was a nice guy and our arrangement worked out pretty good until he decided to raise his lease price. I just leased it from May to October each year when I had cattle on it. I decided not to lease it again after the price went up and the following year in January we had a blizzard and the snow drifts were substantial.
I drove by the place as I did every day going to town and noticed that after the snow melted it had brought his fence down for about 40 yards up on a hill by the road. A few weeks later, he had come up to see family and drove out to the place.
He immediately called me and wanted to know why I left his fence in such disrepair. I explained to him I had no ownership in that as I wasn't leasing the place at the time and had left ALL of his fence in good repair. I told him about all the snow drifts we had up here and that portion of his fence was a victim.
"ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME THAT SNOW BROUGHT THAT FENCE DOWN?" he bellered into the phone. I was somewhat taken back but replied that that was exactly what I was telling him. He insisted that snow could not do that to a fence.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing from him. I let him know in no uncertain terms was I was NOT going to go and fix that portion of fence, let alone pay for the damages. That was the last I heard from him.
That is a nice place and I would like to have it leased today but someone else has leased it for the past few years. Trust me friends when I tell you a snow drift can wreck a fence when it begins to melt. It sounds ridiculous to imagine if you don't live in snow country but it's the gospel!
As a sidebar, we here in northern Colorado are receiving much needed moisture as we have been desperately dry and having fires all around this area. So far I have only received a little over a half inch of slow, slow rain but that's the best kind. We are supposed to get more rain and some snow late this afternoon and again next week.
I am really encouraged. Spring is here, the Robins along with Meadow Larks, Woodpeckers and a few other happy birds are moving in. I like it when that happens.
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, grab yer gal up and give'er a big ol' smooch, hug yer kids and I'll c. y'all, all y'all.❖