Saturday, September 24, 2022

Glorywagon - Part II

I recently wrote the story of "The Glorywagon", the 1920's ranch cook shack turned bachelor's home that has been in the Russell family since 1962, and commented on the task of bringing it to our place in 2000, but did not give proper acknowledgement and thanks to Bill Hilgenberg and his son Steven for their role in loading and hauling it the ten miles or so from Doyle Russell's place to ours. 



The main axle beneath the body of the wagon is broken and has been for many years. I asked Bob Russell how he and his dad were able to tow it behind their farm truck the thirteen miles from Nunn to Doyle's place north of Wellington in 1962 with the axle broken and he said "we cobbled something up." But when it came time to bring it south about ten miles to our place on Highway 1 in 2000 he asked Bill Hilgenberg to load it on one of his trailers and deliver it to us.


Bill has had lots of experience loading heavy equipment on trailers. He owned his own backhoe business for fifty years or so in Larimer County and knows how to load, tie down, and unload as efficiently as can be done. Watching Bill and Steven load the Glorywagon was fascinating. 

The trailer was just barely wide enough, or maybe I should say the wagon was almost too wide and too long to fit on the trailer. In the photo one wheel is hanging over the edge a few inches.

And the weight of the wagon required some careful tugging and shoving by Bill's heavy equipment to get it up on the trailer. I remember watching Steven assist his dad in this operation, throwing chains, cinching them down, laying beneath the wagon as he worked, and I appreciated his skill with his hands and willingness to get dirty, do the hard stuff. His dad taught him well.

Bill and Bob inspected the loaded wagon and found it road ready.

Twenty minutes later the guys arrived with the Glorywagon, backed the trailer into place, and started the process of removing the chains and offloading the wagon. Frankly, I don't remember how they did that! They rolled it off and positioned it exactly where Bob wanted it placed.

Job well done! Thank you Hilgenberg and Sons for bringing the Glorywagon to us. Delivering it to us is not the only project Bill Hilgenberg has done for us over the years. He's hauled gravel for our driveway, moved broken concrete slabs into a heap and covered them with soil, breaking off large cottonwood branches with his backhoe, all in an effort to create a place to sit and watch Bob train his horses out back. Bill has dug water lines, installed hydrants, and more. The most exciting project was when he tore down our silo! I took photos that day and movie film and when the silo finally collapsed my movie captured a few of the blocks as they flew through the air headed right for me and the camera! And the most recent project, one I requested of Bill, was the creation of a seating area beneath some trees using stone slabs that came from Doyle's place. Only, by then, it was Bill's place, for Bill Hilgenberg bought Doyle's property from the Russell family after Doyle died in 2000. Thank you, Bill, for all you've done for us over the years. Bob and I appreciated it greatly.

And there she is, all ready for renovation. I thought it would be so simple. After all, it's only 8'x18'. Ha! It took many years and untold man hours to restore this small wooden wagon on wheels.

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