Trailer Extrication…or Excavation?

I must admit that I was not present for The Great Trailer Extrication of 2011. I was busy getting ultrasound on my knee at a physical therapy appointment. BUT, I did extract a promise from Richard to photo-document the event, and I think he did a very good job.

Mel and Bayard returned from India on Monday. I had scheduled a follow-up appointment with my orthopedist for that day, so that I could see my doctor in Jackson before collecting them at the airport. Their flight was delayed 6 hours, so I stopped at the used bookstore in Jackson to stock up on reading supplies. I finished Rising From the Plains by John McPhee, a fantastic book about both the geology of our area and David Love, a renowned Wyoming geologist, while I waited. During the drive home, I had to prepare Mel and Bayard for the large, hay-filled trailer that we would encounter as we drove down the switchbacks. It took some explaining!

On Tuesday, Mel called the Lesebergs, the family that plows the road during the winter and transports our cattle to and from the ranch in the spring and fall, and asked them to come up to help us release the trailer from its clutching snowbank. She made an appointment for 10:00 am on Thursday. Richard would drive Robert RedFord from the farm to the ranch and meet Billy Leseburg and his snowplow on the road. Here is Billy and his snowplow, clearing the road in preparation:

Alas, it was not to be a smooth process. Within moments, the snowplow itself was stuck in the snow. At that point, Richard and Bill had a stuck trailer, a stuck snowplow, a functioning truck and a couple of shovels on their hands. Intense shoveling commenced:

This was the side of the snowplow stuck more deeply in the snow. Look how high the snow climbs around the wheel well!

Aggressive shoveling finally freed the snowplow, and Billy continued to plow around the stuck trailer. He also used his machine to haul dirt under the trailer’s tires, providing them better purchase:

Once this was completed, Richard hooked Robert RedFord up to the trailer and moved out from the snowbank easily. Success! Here are the snowplow and Robert RedFord after the mission was completed:

Richard moved the trailer to the top of the switchbacks and parked it, where it still remains. He is planning on waiting for a nice, warm day to deliver the hay (at long last!) to John Finley. Maybe I will end up getting to see Finley Ranch after all!