October 28, 2008

Life on the Farm is Just Grand, Especially When You're From the City

This past weekend all of my roommates and I drove down to Burley, Idaho and spent the weekend at Gabe's house. Gabe's family owns a dairy farm and has over 10,000 acres. All of my roommates and I are from city areas and have never really been to a farm so we asked if we could spend the weekend experiencing life on a farm. 

My first thoughts of Gabe's farm was that it was not very big. I was wrong. Like I said before her family owns 10,000 acres where they grow potatoes (typical idaho crop), sugar-beets (we each got to taste one straight out of the ground. Not bad.), corn and other crops. Since it is getting close to winter most of the crops were out of the ground, except for the sugar-beets. I was able to ride a tractor for the first time and help disc part of a field. That was really exciting. 

The part I was looking forward to the most on this trip was milking a cow. Gabe's family has over 20,000 cows, and about 8,000 of them are milking cows. I have recently decided I wanted a cow (Gabe offered to sell me one early this semester), but I think I need to learn the basics of it first, so this was a good experience for me. We visited the Dairy barn and when we got there the cows were just finishing being milked. All of the milking is done by special suckers, but they let us attempt to milk two cows. I was kinda grossed out by it and had a hard time grabbing the nipples (I apologize for being blunt.) Plus the cow kept kicking me, but I was able to get a quick picture. 

I absolutely love baby calfs. When I was in Jackson this past summer I was able to pet one and fell in love with them. What I did not plan on was witnessing the birth of a calf. It was very interesting, and I felt sorry for the cow giving birth. The man who helped with the birth literally cranked the calf out of the mother. There is a picture of this process, and I was able to get a video of the birth. When the calf first came out we thought it was dead, but to our relief it was actually alive. Gabe's father told us that generally 3-10 calfs are born a day. CRAZY!

Gabe's father showed us one of their potato cellar. It was crazy because the cellar was about three stories high and was full to the top of potatoes. We were allowed to get a picture sitting on the potatoes. Mickey D, you will never have a shortage of fries!

Riding quads was another fun experience. I went for the first time earlier in the semester on a date, but this was the first time I was going hard-core literally up a mountain. There were only three quads, so we doubled up. I rode with Gabe and I was glad because even though I thought I knew what I was doing, I really didn't. I started being the one driving, but as soon as we started up the mountain, I had the quad in the wrong gear and stalled the quad. I finally gave up my role as driver and passed it on to Gabe who got us safely up the mountain to the D (standing for Declo). We all made it up safely; Sarah and Erica powering it up the mountain, while Lindsey and Natalie slowly and cautiously making it up. Lindsey and Natalie had never really driven or ridden one before. On the way back was the real experience. We took a different route that was suppose to be easier. Gabe and I were in front, but would often have to turn around and rescue Erica and Sarah who ran their quad off the trail and almost down the mountain, and a couple of times rolled their quad. Like I said before no one was seriously hurt, and we made it back safely. After returning back, we dropped of Natalie who had to write her talk, and rode around Declo just like hicks. lol! : )

Gabes family was fabulous in allowing us to stay the weekend. Her house was gorgeous and huge. We each had our own bathrooms and never ran out of hot water. Saturday night we went into Burley and got a tour of the one main street and then headed to go down some fun slides I had always seen from the free while passing through. Early Sunday morning Natalie, Lindsey and Erica left because Natalie had to give a talk. But the rest of us stayed and went to church at Gabe's home ward. After church we ate a delicious home cooked meal. I was sad to have to leave, but I knew we couldn't stay forever. So many new experiences for me and will stay with me forever. : )

Here are a ton of pictures. The cameras were never put away. We also video taped our whole experience, but that is to come later.

*To view the pictures better click on View All Images*

Thank You Stoker family for letting us come!

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