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Dirt Roads

Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 30 Jan 2023...

Hey Y'all!

Good afternoon and Happy Monday! We made a morning trip to the Springfield airport to take Shelley's parents for their return flight. The normal 3 hour roundtrip took a bit over 4 hours. The weather was cold and the roads were slick and getting worse. By the time we were near the house, the roads were very slick. We had stopped to pick up our older truck from the shop, so Shelley was driving the F-350 Dually and I was driving the older F-350 single rear wheel. By the time we turned on the last paved road prior to our dirt road, the older truck just started sliding trying to get up the hill. I was able to get a couple of tires off the paved road enough to get some grip. Putting it into park, the truck started sliding backwards down the hill. I was able to get it stopped and chanced it by getting out to lock in the front hubs so I could use 4-wheel drive. We were able to creep along with both trucks in 4-wheel drive and finally made it to the dirt roads, which by the way, were not slick. Our dirt roads were a bit daunting when we first moved here and we were even a bit hesitant regarding the property because of the dirt roads. Turns out, in the icy conditions, the dirt roads are better. Yesterday was really busy. We put out new straw for everyone in prep for the storm. We also moved around some of the water troughs in order to ensure everyone would have access to water. We moved old hat from the lamb paddock to the duck yard. We made yogurt, cheese, and a sugar-free butter-cream icing to go on a keto cake. Today we are going to do things with milk. We unrolled hay in the sleet-hail mixture and the weather is supposed to be a mix of sleet and freezing rain for the rest of the day. The two pics today are the new beef calves enjoying the hay in the sleet. We decided to just roll the milking machine inside last night and drug it out and back in this morning. It is just too cold to try to keep it warm outside.

I mentioned our hesitance regarding the dirt roads. We have a few different dirt county roads that will lead to our farm. The shortest is 1.5 miles with a low-water bridge and some steep hills. It stays very rough. The best road is 3.1 miles, has a low water bridge, has some hills but not as steep as the short road. The longest route is over 4 miles, no low-water bridge and no steep hills but is really rough. Those roads that at first seemed daunting are now our solace. All it takes is a trip to the city, where the houses are stacked on top of each other, to remind us of our past life where we lived in dozens of houses while in the USAF. The most uncomfortable of which was when we were in a townhouse with 3 other families right next to us in the middle of Seoul South Korea, with 22 million people around us on all sides. Now when we are able to turn off of the pavement onto what we consider our very long driveway, we feel the freedom of open space surround us. We take our time on whichever of the dirt roads we choose and revel in the slower pace of life. This is the farthest thing from I-395 through the middle of Washington DC (my commute for years) you can imagine. When pass ing neighbors on the dirt roads, you pull to the side of the road to let them pass, or often you both just stop, blocking the road, and shut off the trucks so you can catch up on the recent goings-ons. Rarely have I had anyone pull up behind me when chatting with neighbors and if they do, they simply wait patiently because they understand the importance of this dirt-road ritual. Unlike DC, I've certainly never had anyone honk at me to get out of the way!

Local Farm Report for 29 Jan 2023:


25 Chicken eggs

2 Duck eggs

5 1/4 Gallons of milk


1 Large Variety pork bundle

Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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