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October 2011

Snow storm at the stable: It's a war zone

Snowstorm_Oct_25_2011_poudre_river_stables 176
FORT COLLINS, Colorado -- The one thing we never planned for at our stable was what would happen if you slammed your ankle in the horse trailer door, all the trees fell down, it snowed buckets just a day after shirt-sleeves weather, and the power failed.

OK, all the trees didn't fall down, but I'm limping, it's a winter wonderland, and we'll be cleaning up tree debris until we die. Check out the Snow storm: It's a war zone photo album!

The John Deere 950 tractor earned its keep. It spent the day towing branches -- mostly from poplar trees -- out of lanes and plowing paths.
With normal routes blocked, my daughter escaped to work (after several hours of hauling trees), four-wheeling it in her old Jeep through 10 inches of snow down lanes, through two pastures, and out a back gate reserved mostly for city crews working on storm drainage.

Because it wasn't safe to have others out in the still-falling wreckage, guess who gimpily cleaned and fed, then towed branches and plowed for eight hours with the erstwhile Gregg? (And you thought you wanted to own a stable.)

As of this writing, we are still among the thousands of Xcel customers without electrical power to heat the waterers, buckets and tanks. Looks like we'll have to break ice for dinner.

Luckily, the horse in the pen flattened by tree branches was not injured, the sun came out, limbs quit falling, and the tree guy promises to help us with the remains of the willow that ate Fort Collins. Note to self: Never, ever plant a poplar. One day, you will be left with hundreds of downed branches.

The ankle? That was on a trail ride I'll write about later. Stay tuned!

Coloradoan storm coverage