November 12, 2012

The Great Migration

Fall is the time of year when some of the greatest migrations on the planet take place.
Malcolm and I have been off the road and, for the most part off line, for a little over a month now. While we were off, our time was consumed with gathering, packing, loading, and then the reverse of all those actions.
One chilly evening we were down by the water working on getting some things loaded before dark, when a familiar but seldom heard sound reached our ears. And sure enough, when we looked, way off on the horizon we could see a long wavering line of sand hill cranes making their way towards us. Have you ever watched them in flight? They do not fly with the organization of geese and ducks. It always looks to me as if they are constantly trying to straighten their line, and failing time and time again. This particular group made their way to the lake behind the house and were well into their circling (which takes a while) and landing routine, when we noticed another line off on the horizon. And behind them, another line, and once they were landing, another line, and it went on like this for an hour or more! By the time they were finished, there must have been hundreds of them up on the lake, and it was all I could do not to abandon Malcolm to the work and sneak up there with the camera. If not for the fact that it was too dark for decent pictures and that I didn't want to risk disturbing them, I would have done it.
As it was I did end up with a picture of their great migration. The next morning, Malcolm and I had to run an errand and we left pretty early, just as the cranes were gathering into their various groups and heading on east.

Birds are not the only creatures that migrated south this year.
On a frosty morning in early October, we loaded up and headed out...
...to deliver Dawn and Gemma to their new owners. We had decided to sell Gemma as I already have my hands full with Sky and Reba, and also she is such a gorgeous girl with so much to offer. I was thrilled when I was contacted by a couple that wanted to purchase both Gemma and Dawn! I am so happy that they were able to stay together and that Gemma didn't have to go off to her new life all by herself.
The new owners are really nice and I believe they love the girls as much as I do. Dawn and Gemma had started growing their thick winter coats getting ready for a Montana winter, but I told them to slow down on that and wait a bit. They are now living in Arizona, and I don't think they'll need much winter furr down there.

After that, there was just one more migration to get taken care of.  It involved a lot of early EARLY  mornings,
2 vehicles, and lots of miles. I drove the pickup and Malcolm drove the big truck. The girls generally road with me. We started out with everyone in the pickup with me.

Some "people" are good pickup travelers.
Some...not so much.
So there we were, going back and forth across the country. Montana to Tennessee...

...and back....
...and forth...
...and back...
...and forth...
..and back...
...and finally I'd had all I could take of Carlie Jean. So she got the boot and had to ride in the Peterbuilt with Malcolm.
After that, we were able to lay back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

All those crazy Carlie Jean pictures are actually from the first three hours of our first trip. Which should be enough explanation as to why I kicked her out into the Peterbuilt. I thought I was going to go crazy. Apparently our Carlie Jean, the big truckin' dog, is not so much of a little truckin' dog. It was a lot quieter once she was moved, but really not that much more pleasant.

It was tiring and long and tedious because it was the same trip, same scenery, and driving a pickup is actually a lot more tiring than driving the big truck. Can't explain why. It just is.

It took three trips.
Trip one was pickup and Peterbuilt and then the Pete stayed in TN and the pickup went back to MT.
Trip two I hauled the horses down with the pickup while Malcolm took the Kenworth down with the hopper. Our broker actually got us loaded for that one, so we got paid to move our stuff more or less.
Malcolm got there a day after me and the horses, but all ran smoothly and we didn't have any problems. The horses were relieved to get off the trailer and their eyes about popped out of their heads when they saw all that green grass. I don't think they came up for air for at least three days!
Ok, so I'm exagerating a bit. We kept them in stalls for the first night with hay, and then the next few days we kept them in a corral while they recovered from their long ride and adjusted to the new surroundings. And then we let them have the run of the pasture. They are now settled in, quite content, and making friends with all the neighbors. They are quite popular, which works great all the way around. All our neighbors enjoy visiting with them, the horses get lots of attention and treats, and we know we have a number of people keeping an eye on them while we are away from home!

Back to migrating:

Then there was trip three. We had moved the trucking business and our horses and tractor, but we still had to go back for our household things. We also needed to haul a couple more things with our pickup. But why drive two vehicles back empty. So, Malcolm, ingenios problem solver that he is....
...figured out how to save fuel costs on that return trip.

We loaded up in some cold windy weather, turned around, and got back to balmy Tennessee. We decided to take a couple weeks to unload, unpack, and do some relaxing before we hit the road again.

That couple of weeks is up now and we're loading this morning. Time to get back to work. We got nearly everything in the house unpacked and put into place in our new home. It's a good feeling. We got started on putting Malcolm's shop things away too, and will work some more on that when we come home for our next break.

We had not expected to be leaving Montana. It's amazing how much the road of life can turn so drastically in such a short amount of time. But we've landed solidly on both feet in a wonderful place, where we're surrounded by lots of family and have already had encounters where we've been able to get reaquainted with old friends and already began to form the bonds for new friendships. We love our new home, and are excited about our life here in my sweet home state of Tennessee!


thecrazysheeplady said...


MTWaggin said...

I'm so amazingly sad that you've left MT but thrilled you landed well (as I knew you would) and safe in your new home. I hope you share it with your MT blog buddies and that you still remember to call if you end up thru Helena or the vicinity.

gowestferalwoman said...


actually minus the little crested OCD dog, it looks like you were able to get a lot accomplished! A move is never to be taken lightly, but you certainly made it look easier said then done. And no matter where you are, family will always find you ;)


Michaele said...

I am excieted for you too. The dog photos really had me laughing out loud. Thanks for sharing : )

Meagan said...

SO happy to have you HOME! :-) I know that move was a pain, but glad it's over! LOVE YOU!

Shirley said...

Those pictures of Carly Jean cracked me up! What a little character!
I'm so glad you have found such a great place to live and that things are working out well for you.

small farm girl said...

Goodness! You made me tired just reading this! One thing good about TN, the girls will like the warmer weather! hehehehe. Glad your getting settled in.

Muffy's Marks said...

I laughed when you banished Carlie Jean to the big truck. Good luck getting everything in order in your new home.

Jake said...

Busy busy busy. Dang you guys sure do put miles on. Glad your happy.

MEME said...