Jaclyn wilson doing what speed can’t jaclyn wilson agupdate.com gas works park fireworks

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All name calling aside, this last little storm, we got hammered and I mean hammered. The timing could have been worse as we were just starting to get a good go on the TAI heifers, a week or two later would have been pretty brutal and that first week of May would have been just downright ugly. Calving at the North Place was starting to wind down which was also a saving grace.

The morning the storm started to move in we were getting things bedded down and in as much shelter as we could. After lunch I headed up North to feed. A drive that takes me usually a little over an hour, that day took me three as the wind was causing a complete whiteout that sometimes I couldn’t even see the hood of my pickup. The 10 miles of gravel were the worst as only memory and temporary second breaks in the wind velocity kept me from driving into one of the numerous lakes that border the road to the highway, and just to add to it, I can’t swim. The highways weren’t much better, and I started to question not only my sanity, but also my stupidity. No joking aside, I actually started to picture what my obituary would say and hoped it would be a one-liner.

I had my trusty four-wheeled pony loaded in the bed of the pickup, and was just a couple miles from my turn-off north of Alliance when I spotted a newer Chevy pickup in the ditch and a man with a smaller shovel digging away. I slowed up and rolled down my window and asked if he needed a hand. He told me he thought he was dug out but could use a set of eyes as he was on a blind spot on top of a hill. I pulled up the road and parked in the first pasture entryway I saw, grabbed my scoop shovel, and headed down the road to help the gentleman unstick his pickup. It was still whiteout conditions with wind blowing between 35-50 mph.

I shoveled and shoveled, as he kept trying to back up onto the highway. I volunteered to hook a strap on to his pickup and pull, but with the hill he didn’t want to attempt it. It didn’t take me very long to see that this individual was not very familiar how to drive a big pickup (and I apologize to him if he reads this, but knowing the company emblem he was wearing I doubt this is in his reading repertoire). Finally, after a half hour of doing it “his way,” I finally spoke up and in a very nice female submissive voice said, “It might make more sense if you make a loop on the grass and try to drive up the bank.”

He turned the pickup around with no issue and at a meager 5 mph inched up the bank, needless to say, a little more speed was needed. I’m muttering under my breath as by this time I’ve sweat soaked through all my 25 pounds of extra clothing I had on. The blizzard is not lessening and I don’t want to tell Speed to just give me the keys and let me drive for him as I’m sure my cows are wondering where the heck their supper is.

Trying to be a little more strategic, I analyze the ditch area and come up with a new game plan. I convince Speed to follow me down the ditch until he reaches an opportunity to drive up a not-as-steep part of the bank back onto the highway. I take off at a jog, in the mid shin to knee high snow and come to a spot that looks like with a little bit of go, Speed can make it right up to the highway.

He stops on top of a hill and questions me, I say just go for it, if it doesn’t work we don’t lose anything. He FINALLY steps on the gas, pickup drives right up the bank onto the highway, Speed rolls down his window says thanks for the help…..and drives off.

Jaclyn Wilson is more than a rancher, raising Red Angus cattle at Wilson Ranch near Lakeside, Neb. She’s an artist with a welder’s torch. She holds leadership positions with several agriculture organizations. Send comments to her online or at jaclyn@flyingdiamondgenetics.com.