The Sheep Were Lost In The Snow For 3 Days!
February 23, 2022
So a while back I had mentioned a story about a real snowmageddon and our super tough flock of sheep......
Well today is the day!
Like all massive snow storms it all started with a forecast for just a little snow - nothing to really worry about.......
At the time, our flock of sheep was grazing a farm that we had just started renting. They had done a great job revitalizing it but the farm itself wasn't really set up well for winter storms as we shall see.
Anyway the only real significance of this was that this farm was about 20 minutes from the main farm, over 2 bridges, through a small town and up a couple massive hills to be precise.
We had made a few preparations and the sheep were in a field with lots of trees for cover and several ponds so they would have plenty of water even if the power went out.
Well it started snowing, and then it kept snowing and over night it really started snowing. When we awoke to a new winter wonderland in the morning we had every bit of 2.5 feet of snow!
It was crazy. We couldn't get the vehicles to go anywhere as the snow was deeper than the tires so the whole vehicle would just sit on top of this heavy wet snow as the tires spun.
So walking it was. Thankfully Austin lived on the farm where the cows were and he had set some hay bales out in the field for the cows. So he slowly trudged through the deep snow (on foot) out to the cows (thankfully and gave them access to them).
I and Mariah had just moved back to Sedalia to start caring for the family farm I had grown up on so we were an hour away from Austin at the main farm and 1.5 hours away from the sheep!!!
It quickly became apparent that there was nothing we could do or for a while that Austin could do to get to the sheep. It was a very very sinking feeling as we realized that we were stuck a long long way from the flock.
All kinds of worries and fears swirled through my mind but all we could do was pray for their safely and work on getting to them.
So on day 1 we slowly used some farm equipment to dig ourselves out. First we cleared our driveway and then systematically cleared surrounding roads and paths through the fields to our other livestock.
By the second day we were getting anxious!
The road crews had still not gotten to the roads separating the main farm from where the sheep were. Austin got about half way there before the roads (up those steep hills) became impassable.
So we waited prayed a lot more and made preparations.
I got our trailer out and loaded it up with hay and then loaded a borrowed skid steer with tracks so that we had something to take the hay to the sheep once we got there.
As day three dawned we were determined to get to the sheep!
Austin went ahead in the farm truck and stunningly was able to make it to the farm. We held our collective breath as he reported back that he was trudging through the snow towards where the sheep were last at........
And He found them!!!
Not only that he quickly sent a picture of the sheep rather contentedly hanging out in some trees.
The snow was almost up to their backs!
However the sheep had been digging in the snow like snow gophers and had been munching tall grass buried under the snow on the pond bank.
Austin informed us the truck and trailer wouldn't be able to make it yet.
However to give them more to eat Austin used a light duty side by side to make a trail through the snow to another pond bank. Once there he dug through the snow (he informed me it was no easy task the sheep had been undertaking) and uncovered some grass.
Then he called the flock of sheep over.
The sheep knew the voice of their shepherd and dutifully followed.
Seeing the newly uncovered grass they ecstatically went about uncovering the whole pond bank to find the buried grass!
We were so relieved that the sheep had weathered the storm so well. However we still couldn't get any hay to them.
So for the next two days Austin continued to lead them to new pond banks and dig in the snow to get them started uncovering the grass.
Finally on the Sixth day we decided the roads were good enough to get the truck and trailer with hay up to the sheep - our desire to provide additional munchies may have clouded our judgement about the quality of the roads for the truck and trailer.
Weighed down by the heavy load the truck slid and struggled up and down the hills as it neared the farm.
The entrance to the farm is right at the top of a hill on a sharp turn (it is like the worst place ever for an entrance).
I gathered what speed I could as I climbed the hill in the truck and soon I neared the entrance.
As I made the turn I realized the snow crews had just plowed the roads and made a short wall of snow across our driveway entrance - but I noticed this too late.
the truck plunged through the low wall of snow and then stopped. Tires spun snow flew but the truck was stuck. Oh and the trailer was now perpendicular to the road blocking both lanes of traffic on a blind corner at the top of a hill.
Let's just say my heart rate had spiked just a little!
Thinking fast I managed to flip the ramps of the trailer out into the ditch and carefully back the skid steer off the trailer. It ended up sliding off at the end and thankfully it didn't roll over but I was able to then use it to push the trailer from behind.
The load now lightened and with an extra push from behind the truck was able to push through the snow wall. We had finally made it.
Ecstatic and praying thanks to God that our road blockage hadn't caused any accidents. I picked up a bale of hay with the skid steer and roared off towards the sheep!
At least thats what should have happened. Instead after going about twenty feet with the hay bale the skid steer stopped and lost all power - A mechanic would later determine it was an electrical short but at that moment I had no idea wha the issue was I only knew that once again I couldn't bring the sheep any hay.
I was pretty devastated and incredibly discouraged. After all this effort how had everything stopped now right on the cusp of getting the sheep hay.
Then the Lord sent a miracle.
A local farmer we had never met happened by on his four wheel drive tractor. We flagged him down, introduced ourselves, told him our plight and he graciously offered to take the hay to the sheep.
Kent would come back every day for two weeks to do so until the snow melted off!!!!
As I drove home that day I was filled with a nearly overwhelming sense of the Lords provision and a firm knowledge that those tough sheep that took care of themselves for 3 days in a blizzard were definitely my favorite animal on the farm!