Mud Flying

a truck with big wheels and chains

The Swamp Buggy, also called the Mean Machine

Wednesday, October 3, 1979—took the buggy down to Gunsight Mountain Trail (about 25 miles). Henry went with me. The trail there goes over Ballenger Pass. He had some guys mining back on Alfred Creek and when they were moving equipment out, his Cat broke apart in the rear end. They had to leave it behind.

We are going in to pull his Cat out over the mountain and across a swamp to get it to the highway. Everything went well. Where the sun hadn’t been shining, the trail was frozen and icy, but I had chained up all four tires on the swamp buggy and it pulled this small Cat up the mountain.

When we got down to the swamp, I really put the pedal down on the swamp buggy. Henry was riding the Cat back behind me, steering and trying to keep it in the trail, mud flying. It was quite a ride for him. We got through the swamp and down a steep hill to an old lodge where we had a trailer parked. We planned to load the Cat on it. We had chains and load binders with us. We worked the load binders one after the other, one length of chain at a time. It took us a long time—and was hard work.

Henry and I were really tired by the time we got that Cat loaded and back to his lodge at Nelchina. (The next day, we were stiff and sore.) I did a few odd jobs around here at the lodge.

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