Monday, January 30, 2017

Things Just Happen Sometimes
I was out and about on my aging Kawasaki ATV yesterday moving along in its lowest forward speed through some tall grass and weeds.  As luck would have it, I chanced upon an ant hill I didn’t know existed, much less at that spot.  By the time I discovered its presence I was sitting high and dry on top of it with wheels spinning.  The foot operated transmission shifting lever pushes downward to change directions from forward to reverse.  When I attempted this maneuver the lever would not move due to the ant hill underneath the frame.  So, there I sat.  It would not go forward, and I could not put it in reverse.
As I pondered the situation a similar event came to mind from when I was about ten or twelve years old.  Several members of our family were working in the woods cutting, blocking, and splitting firewood for home heating.  I was driving an Allis Chalmers C model farm tractor with an attached trailer loaded with wood headed to the house for unloading.  That model tractor had what was known as a narrow front end, with its two front wheels in very close proximity as opposed to a wide front end where the wheels are spaced several feet apart.  As I traversed the woods trail with my outfit I started past a tree on the left side of the roadway.  At that point the tractor slid sideways down a small incline to the left.  The tractor’s left side came up against the tree at the front of the rear axle.  I attempted to push the clutch to put the transmission in neutral, but the foot clutch lever was tight against the tree.  One rear wheel continued to slowly turn on the somewhat icy surface.  In a few seconds I shut off the engine to stop the wheels turning.
I walked back to where the others were yet working, to tell them of my misfortune.  Another tractor was brought to the scene, and after much laughter at my expense, it pulled my rig backwards until it was free to move on its own again.

This brings me back to the present.  Yesterday, I recalled an old snowmobiling trick.  By standing up on the machine it could be rocked back and forth sideways.  This allowed first one side, and then the other to gain a moment of traction.  In a few seconds it had freed itself and I was on my way again.

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