Make Hay and Haul It Away

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You need at least three people: one to drive the truck, one to throw the bales up on the trailer, and one to stack the bales on the trailer. That was me. I mean, that was I. I was the one who stacked the bales.
You had to stack them so that the bales on the edge of the trailer were raised on the outer edge and sloping toward the centre. Once you had a good stack of hay going, it shouldn’t be tilting out in peril of falling back to the pasture. If you stacked them right, you could rest pretty easy, and it made a pretty pattern, too, if you like that sort of thing.
So that’s what we did. It was a pretty small load, I guess, as we only had a pickup truck and a double-axle trailer, not even a gooseneck. I think it was about 32 bales or something in that ballpark. Everything seemed okay, so we settled up and pulled out on Farm Road 942 to take the hay up to the lease further west on 942. To go east to west on 942, you have to cross Highway 59, which is five lanes: two northbound, two southbound, and a chicken lane in the centre. To follow 942 from east to west, you had to turn north on 59 at the caution light into the chicken lane, go a little ways, and then take another left to continue west on the farm road.
As you might have guessed, as we turned right on 59 and started to pull into the chicken lane, the load shifted somehow. I don’t know if the springs sagged a little or we hit a pothole, or what, but I don’t think I stacked the load the wrong way, so I really don’t feel like taking the blame for it. Still, the load shifted and about half of it fell on the highway, and we had to get out there and pick it up.
I wasn’t any too excited about doing that. A couple of years earlier, I was crossing at that very place, by that very caution light on my dirt bike when a car hit me, a 12-year-old boy riding a dirt bike illegally across Highway 59 at dusk. I survived that crash all right, as you can tell, but I still have little flashbacks every time I turn onto 942 right up to this day.
Still, you do what you have to do, and we cleaned up the mess pretty good, and I think we added a couple of ropes to the sides to help hold the bales a little closer to home and then made our way to the cow lease, which was only a couple of miles up the road. All’s well that ends well, I guess, but I always keep a couple of extra straps on hand when carrying any kind of load on a truck or trailer. Every time you see a load dropped on the road, I can guarantee you that the last words someone said before setting off was, “Let’s go. That ain’t going nowhere.”

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