Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday Sorting Adventure

Yesterday was our second team sorting of the season.  One of my neighbours that I've become friends with wanted to go so we trailered together.  Shan picked me up in the morning and we quickly loaded up Applejack & Voodoo along with my gear.  Just as I was about to get in the truck I realized my phone was missing... it had been clipped to my belt loop and was gone.  CRAP.  It had rained the night before and was threatening to rain again, I did NOT want to leave and have my phone out in the elements until we got back.  Luckily I knew I had it when we were loading tack so really there were limited places it could be.  While I was retracing my steps in the barn and tack room Shan looked by the trailer and found it.  Little did we know that would be the least of our worries that day.
Even with our late start we got to sorting on time.  I tied Voodoo to the trailer, saddled Applejack and went to warm up.  Applejack seemed relaxed but a bit humpy when I asked him to lope.  He settled down but I decided we'd take things slow while sorting.  Between the weather (cool, cloudy and breezy) making some of the horses 'extra frisky' and getting bucked off the day before I just didn't want to push my luck.

oh yeah... I was a dirt dart on Saturday.  trying out a 'super broke "babysitter" horse' lol
In our sorting the teams are drawn.  You go on two teams in the first half, each team gets two goes.  Then there's a lunch break.  After lunch you are on two more teams, again two goes per team.  Of the four teams you are on three of them count for points and the other team is your jackpot team.  The jackpot team is 'hidden' though so you don't know which of those teams counts for points and which team is for day money.
My teammates in the first half were Cathy and Holly.  I let them both know that I was going to keep it slow and steady as Applejack hadn't really been used for much in the last year and hadn't worked cows since the summer before last.  We did okay, not spectacular but there was only one blowout of the four runs. 
When I was done I untacked Applejack as I was going to use Voodoo for the second part of the day.  At lunch I noticed there was a points sheet up and I was sitting in 5th for the ladies.  Three of the girls ahead of me hadn't come that day so I should move up in the standing unless I had an extremely bad afternoon... not that points are really mattering at this point because your best points from 8 of 10 days are totalled for the standings.  This is only the second day so there is a LOT of room for things to change!
After lunch I was drawn with Glen and Ace... yikes they are both very good and competitive!  I had ridden with Ace before so he knows how good I can/can't sort.  I gave Glen a head's up that I'm still a rookie and he just kinda laughed.  Glen and I rode first and we got all 10 cows - yay!  Then Ace and I got all 10! Then on our second run Glen and I got all 10 again!!  And then Ace and I got all 10!!  :D  Holy smokes, I've never gotten 4 runs like that in a row.  Talk about ending the day on a high note!
Shan's mare had tender feet, she had recently been trimmed, so Ace shared his horse for the afternoon runs.  Shan hasn't sorted much (I think maybe two or three times before) but she did pretty good.  Now if I could only get her barrel racing ;) (don't worry Shan, I know its not going to happen lol)
To make things even better it was announced that the jackpot teams for the day were whoever you rode with last, that was Ace.  I knew we were one of a few teams that had gotten 20 cows but I wasn't sure how many of those other teams were in the jackpot and how fast they were... turns out we won the jackpot by 3 seconds!  (payout was $30 each)
On the way home Shan and I are chatting away when all of a sudden she says "Oh crap... you're not going to believe this!"  I wasn't ready for what she was going to say... "we're about to run out of gas!" :o  A few seconds later her truck rolled to a stop.  And we were off on a blacktop side road!
The really funny thing is just a couple miles before we turned off the highway we passed the Sandy Ridge gas station and I was going to point it out to her (she's also "new" to the area).  For some reason I didn't, man did I wish I had, I bet you she would have glance down at her fuel gauge. lol
I managed to get a hold of Kimfer who was still at the sorting location and she sent someone to rescue us.  Turns out it was Ace, who has now been my white knight three times.  I owe that guy a cake!
While we're stranded on the side of the road only two vehicles stopped to see if we were okay.  We explained that we had run out of gas but someone was coming.  The road wasn't super heavily travelled but there was enough traffic that it kinda surprised me not more people stopped. 
Well a third truck did stop... but it wasn't really to help.  He eyed up the horse trailer (3 horse bumper pull) asked if we were okay and when we explained the situation he asked if there were horses in the trailer.  Shan said there were and then he said that he worked for the RM and did we know the road bans were still on??? 
Shan told him she didn't and asked even if they were did they apply to us and he informed us that yes they do.  ANYTHING over 6ooo lbs was NOT to be on the road.  As a matter of fact there are no roads in our RM between hwys X and Y that are not currently banned.  He also mentioned the fine goes by how overweight you are and it carries many zeroes.  And that its not just a threat, that not too long ago a guy was caught on that exact road with a semi and loaded Super Bs.
oh.  shit.
Just then Ace pulled up behind us and the RM guy said that although he really should call Fine Guy (didn't catch the name) that he would cut us a break seeing as our gas was here and that we were to fill up and get the hell off that road. 
Ace takes out his jerry can and starts filling Shan's truck while giving us crap for even being on that road.  He was jumpy, which is not his usual manner at. all.  Then he starts telling us about the road bans and that the fine starts at $10,000!!! No wonder he was twitching out of his skin.  We were for sure overweight, average guess on the horses alone would be 3600 lbs, then add the gear, trailer, truck and us...
Oh.  Shit. 
Ace's advice to us was to get the hell outta there, at the first east-west grid to turn and look for a quieter, less travelled north-south road.  There was a grid about 2 minutes ahead of us we could take he said.  Then the kicker, he was so jumpy not only because he knew the bans were on and we were on a high traffic road but also because he had just seen Fine Guy cruising around as he was coming to rescue us!! 
Ace told us that he was half expecting to pull up and see Fine Guy sitting there with us waiting for our gas to come so he could escort us to the scale to weigh us for a fine.
He described the truck and I knew right away which one it was.  Shan & I thanked Ace as we jumped back in our truck and fled the scene, with eyes peeled for the Fine Truck. 
We turned onto the first grid and searched for a road that would meet up with the highway, unfortunately neither of us is super familiar with the back roads on that side of our highway.  We did manage to finally make our way to the highway (thanks Jo, your directions helped!) and we never did see that truck... but I'm betting at least one of the vehicles that passed us while we were stranded had called him and he was out looking for us.
That road is normally not banned by now but because the water table is so high and it was such a wet spring it still is banned.  So until the bans are off we have to drive all the way to the city, cut through the end of town (thank goodness its not really developed there yet other than the Walmart and a hotel), meet up with the other highway and double back the direction we came.  It changes our trip from taking about 30-35 minutes to taking about 50.
I'd still rather use the extra gas and take longer than pay $10,000!


  1. I have never heard of the road ban before, where are you at? We always have high water up here in Washington!! LOL
    Thats on Hell of a fine!!!!

  2. Man, I bet you were heading outta there at a good clip once you got fueled up! That's a pretty hefty fine. Glad it all worked out.
    For those who don't know what road bans are, in the spring when the ground softens up, truck traffic is restricted to weight according to the condition of the road; usually there is a 50% road ban, which means that you can only haul 5o% of your legal axle weight until the bans come off. I used to work on the highways and I was one of the people whose job it is to put those signs up.

  3. I had never heard of a road ban either, until now. Very interesting. Good thing you got out of there in time!! Crazy day!!
    But congrats on your afternoon sortings!!

  4. Wow-have never heard of road bans before. You guys were sooo lucky.

    Congrats on a fantastic afternoon on VooDoo. But boy...that $30 sure wouldn't have gone far toward paying your fine if you had been caught.

  5. Wow - what an adventure!!! Glad you had some good rides on Voodoo first though! Like BEC, said, that $30 wouldn't go far if you had been fined!

    That road ban thing is wild - never heard of that here... Glad you guys made it home without getting stopped!

  6. Hauling to and from events sometimes are more of an adventure than the actual event. I miss that about running around to horse shows....


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