Sunday, February 1, 2015

Winter Woes

Being December, we knew the nice weather was just stopping by for a visit and wouldn't last, but we did not anticipate being unable to use our gates to get into the pen.

The combination of humidity and cold-cold conspired against us and the thumb latches on our gate chains froze.  I'm not exaggerating when I said we couldn't get them to budge.

Skeeter, of course, had to help.
We tried warming the latches with a lighter, but that didn't work either.

It wasn't just one gate that we couldn't get into, but both the "people" gate and the gate into the hay.  When we realized that there was no way those latches were going to give, we realized we had two choices:  over or under.

It was even colder than it looks.

Trust me when I say climbing gates was a lot more fun when I was a kid.  It was so cold my gloves stuck to the metal.

We sprayed WD-40 in the latches daily, and waited for the day it would warm up enough we could move the latches.  After four or five days, it finally warmed up enough for me to get one of the thumb latches to move.  Because it was still bitter cold, I didn't risk re-locking the chains.  Instead, I used baling twine to tie shut both gates.

After about a week of tying the gates shut, it warmed up enough that we decided to trust the thumb latches again.  So far, so good (but we haven't been as bitter cold as we were then).  Hopefully the amount of WD-40 we pumped into the latches will keep them working nicely the rest of the winter.

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