Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Back from Dak

  Hey all!  Got back yesterday morning after driving 24 hours straight from our homestead in North Dakota to Cinci  and dragging the horse trailer.  It was a pretty uneventful trip except for a tire blowout in Minneapolis...AGAIN.  I don't know what it is with this trailer and Minneapolis.  At least this time it happened during the day and only took ten minutes to fix.
  Our new flatbed trailer worked out well and we were able to get a lot of stuff moved out there.  My dad and I were able to run wires up from the batteries, through the wall and to the new fridge.  There was quite a bit of head scratching as we tried to figure out the 90ish year old structure of the house and its many lathe and plaster walls.  In the end, the refrigerator worked out great.
  Next we tackled the wood cookstove.  The original intention was to go for the corn stove but we couldn't find any corn that was ready to burn in the area.  The wood cookstove ended up being a better choice any way because, Duh, I was able to cook on it and I had quite a bit of seasoned wood ready to go.  Dad and I swept the chimney first and ended up taking about five or six pounds of coal soot (and one dead bird) out of it.  We got the old "Majestic" hooked up and fired her up.  The heat was nice since we had two nights below freezing and the rest not much higher than that.

The nice thing was that even though I brought my propane burner, I never fired it up.  I definitely had to plan ahead when it was time to cook since things took longer to heat and you really had to have different kinds of fire for different situations.

Somebody had painted the stove in the past and boy did it stink when the paint burned off.  I'm going to have to give it some good old fashioned stove black when I head back out there to bring back the finish.  The nickel trim had been painted gray somewhere back in this stove's past as well.  Happily, as I used it more and more, the paint started wearing off and the nickel started showing through.  It didn't look too bad but we'll have to see.

  I ended doing some work with the old horse teamster down the road.  He's 86 and needed some help getting some hay bales stacked in his loft.  He kept right up with me...pretty impressive.  I think that his farm and horses keep him young.  He had an old horse drawn McCormick #6 mower that I had looked at when we were there this summer so we ended up trading my work and a couple of bucks for the mower.

Here's what it looked like when I was finished with it.  Everything was froze on it but one wheel when I got it.  My dad has been using a 50:50 mix of acetone and power steering fluid to break stuck parts free for a while so I thought that I would give it a try.  Here's a picture of the gearbox before I started.

  I have to admit that this stuff is nothing short of a miracle.  After about six hours I had every piece lose and turning on the mower.  It has been sitting for about 50 or 60 years so I was really impressed.  This makes our fourth piece of horse drawn equipment, along with the fancy cart, dump rake and forecart, so we're on our way.

  And finally, there were deer everywhere!  The farmer behind us was combining his corn so I think he had the deer all stirred up that were hiding in his field.  We had some in the woods right out one of the south windows of  the house.

You have to look for them in the pic but they're there.  It was pretty neat!


  1. Welcome back. Below freezing already? Eww..

    Love the old woodstove. That thing is going to be amazing once you get the paint off.

    Thanks for the update, was wondering what you were up to this time around.

  2. I am so jealous you got to cook on MY stove first! Want some chili?!