Let's laugh at the snow. Shovel off your car (if you can find it) and visit our Loudon Farm Store.

Overcoming the Winter Ice

February 21, 2022

Sue Gibb at Bootleggers in Meredith found a pair of NexGrip boots in my size. Now I can walk on ice without fear. Joe Kings in Concord also carries NexGrip boots.

My barnyard looks like an ice-skating rink, neighbor Marianne swears her driveway is an Olympic-quality bobsled course, and Facebook friend Janice Dobson told me her mini-horses are skating on the ice just like her. Hmm, ice-skating horses. Do we have a new Olympic sport? If so, New Hampshire horses are getting a lot of practice this winter.

During that recent winter-heat wave, the muck in the holding pen thawed, so I decided to clean it out. That was a bad idea because the concrete floor was soon covered with three inches of water. The farm's drains and runoff paths were still frozen, so the holding pen became a catch basin to all the melted snow that had nowhere else to go. The next day it froze.

When I fed my cattle in the morning, I noticed a few skid marks where a brave bovine had tried her luck on the ice. I spread sand on the ice to avoid a cow-wreck, but I don't have a way to sand the entire pasture. I wonder if the cattle will develop skating skills like Janice’s mini-horses did?

Dressed for Ice

Last Saturday a family visited the farm wearing serious-looking cleats strapped on their boots. Worthy of climbing the frozen Frankenstein Cliff in North Conway. I was jealous and determined to find a pair.

An alternative idea appeared in my email inbox. Jim Duncan sent detailed instructions on how to take an old pair of hiking boots and screw hex-head, sheet-metal screws into the soles and heels. That method sounded promising, so I forwarded the email to husband Bruce and put an old pair of my boots next to his desk. No movement on that front.

I also got a bunch of emails from folks who were fortunate enough to own a pair of NexGrip boots, the boot I wrote about last week. Then Sue Gibb from Bootleggers in Meredith emailed that she had a pair at the store in my size. So, I loaded the dogs and Bruce in the truck and drove to Meredith, where the Great Meredith Rotary Ice Fishing Derby was in full swing. As we passed the Meredith docks with open water lapping at the pilings, I was amazed to see that the ice supported cars and ice houses.

Laugh at the Ice

The NexGrip boots fit perfectly. They are warm, waterproof, and easy to pull on. During my first test run on barnyard ice, the cleats on the heels bit into the ice with a metallic crunch. I could finally walk on ice without taking tiny mincing steps of fear. 

I was pleased to learn that Kayla Robinson, a Belmont woman, took the $15,000 grand prize in the Fishing Derby and that no one had fallen through the ice. Maybe next year we can stock my barnyard with lake trout and have our own ice-fishing derby!


Carole Soule

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