Saturday, May 5, 2018

Land Barons in the Minnesota Wilderness

The babies birth is over. The funeral is over.

It's time to start carving out our little piece of paradise in the Minnesota wilderness. After the passing of Lisa's father, he left his daughters a nice chunk of land that we have always loved and used since Lisa and I have met. We cleared out a camping area many years ago and affectionately called it "Camp Longfellow" because of how poetically peaceful it was. But we haven't used it in awhile and things around here get over grown very rapidly with Sumac and Prickly Ash. Our son and his wife started clearing an area last year and we did help them with that.

Our plan that we have been thinking about is this. If we can clear an area and run electric, water and sewer to it, we don't have to pay for a campground while we visit up north. BRILLIANT!

We were also thinking that eventually we could build a cabin or A-frame house on it overlooking the river. That would be many years in the future for that though because we still want to travel more.

First order of business is to find a beast of burden. Something to carry the load.
My heart skips a beat when Lisa okays a purchase like that. 2018 Polaris Sportsman. Over $6,000 dollars worth of happiness. I think I will even sleep on it, it so beautiful. "POP" goes my bubble and back to reality. Damn, I was so close. Let's find something cheaper because it is going to get abused badly. So to Craigslist I went. I found an immaculate 1996 Polaris Explorer that would do the job nicely at a fraction of the cost. Welcome "Little Burro".
It even came with a snow plow which my son has called "Dibbs" on already. A "snow plow" is a blade which attaches to the front of the ATV to push that nasty white shit that falls in the winter here out of the way. I thought I would explain that to our Florida friends that think we live in a snow globe. 

Next order of business. Getting a mower tough enough to mow down Sumac and Prickly Ash. Prickly Ash has thorns all over it and when you walk through it, it stabs you and cuts you. Very painful and we really hate it.
After much research we settled upon this bad boy from Fleet Farm. It is a rough cut brush mower that can be pulled behind the ATV and will cut trees up to about 3" inches in diameter. BWAH HA HA! (evil laugh). Get ready to be slaughtered you f***ing Prickly Ash.

Some assembly required I guess. All loaded up we took it to the woods. This is where the "Dorks on Parade" begins. In my mind I thought that I could just put a strap around it and slide it off of the pickup and onto the ground. Great idea in theory. So I get the strap and the ATV and start pulling. Well it does an immediate nose dive and finally ends up on its top. Oops. My bad. Lisa was not all that impressed by my knowledge of gravity. We then try to push it over. The dang thing weighs 600 pounds. Not going to happen. I then have another brilliant idea. Light bulb. I get the strap around it and use the ATV to get it on its side. Awesome sauce! We just have to tip it one more time. So I then get the ATV and strap and have Lisa keep tension on it as I push it over. Bazinga! It's back the way it is supposed to be.

So now the uncrating and assembly start. No problem.
So I go through the parts and start noticing something. Not all of the bolts are there. How can I attach the wheels? Plus a wire got cut in shipping.
Well the wire was minor and now there is no way of getting it back into the truck to return it. "Lisa, can you go into town to see if there was something they didn't give us. We are missing hardware, owners manual and the keys." Off she goes. I assemble what I could and then wait patiently for her return. She then calls me and says that everything is on the mower. What? Where?
There was a tube next to the engine with everything in it and that symbol on the side of it must be the international sign for "everything is inside dumbass". Well then. I will admit that most things don't go as easily planned as they should. Assembly complete. That was it for one day.
Day 2 involved fixing the wires and getting this thing killing some Prickly Ash.
This is me actually fixing the wires a second time. Because the first time I went about 50 feet through the brush and a tree hooked the wire and sucked it right underneath the mower to get cut again. Sheesh. So once fixed again and tied out of the way it was tree killing time again.

In a matter of hours we had an area cleared out. It worked like a hot knife going through butter. There is about 80 acres of property and I would like to clear all of the Prickly Ash and Sumac as I can. Even driving the ATV the Prickly Ash cuts like crazy.
Even through jeans. Also the wood ticks are out already. I had one biting me in the ass. Sorry, no pictures of that. Maybe next time.

Stay tuned for the next episode of "Dorks on Parade."


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun but you better have Lisa check you for ticks!

    1. That's one good thing about the woods. We check ourselves each night now.

  2. Bud first thing wear long pants,second,cover every little entrance point w/steel wool,copper is better,doesn’t rust to keep out field mice,been there done that parking a trailer in a field ,mice still got in,pain in the Ass!!

  3. Replies
    1. It is more like work and I think I am allergic to work. And this land is not on any maps. Just FYI.;-)