Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jack is a Star

Fast forward through something like 75 sleigh rides at Cascade Lodge for the Lutsen Tofte Tourism Association (office in Tofte). I'll have to do a total count when the season ends. Everything about it has been great, especially the ponies, except that the sleigh has broken down majorly three times, causing me to cancel a total of 17 rides already booked, and a few more than the usual for cold weather. The first ride of the season, we attempted to go out in eight inches of snow, in spite of my admonition that I had to have twelve on the ground. The season had arrived, the people were signed up. We'd had three or four weeks of cold weather, probably a foot of frost in the ground, and I figured we'd be O.K.

Well, we weren't exactly going to be O.K. (at least not in the usual sense of the abbreviation.) There was the usual last-minute scramble getting the sleigh and horses delivered, the shelter for the team framed up and sheeted by Michael and Dale just as Jack and Julie arrived at three in the afternoon, two hours before dark.
Dale jumped off the barn project and helped me string wire and hang insulators. What do you mean, "How come I didn't do that before I brought the horses..." I got the team unloaded, brought them into their winter yard, and led them all the way around the fence. Last winter, Jack stayed at the Amish farm in Wisconsin last winter for about five weeks with a bunch of other horses, but since I bought him in '01, he'd never been anywhere but Betsy's. Julie had been to Bloomington camping with Bess and stayed and worked by the Lutsen Golf Course like three winters before. (In my usual serially interrupted fashion, I shall continue this narrative forthwith.)

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