Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ibi Delivery, Day 1

To tell you about our trip to Lyons, Michigan, to pick up Ibi, our new Superior Expedition solo decked canoe, what better place to start than with Day 1. We can share some of our sights and experiences along the way. We got underway at 0725 into the teeth of 45-50 mph north winds, drizzle, and slate-gray skies. The wind was so unrelenting that our mileage in the Dodge Ram 1500 dropped to 15.7 mpg from the normal 22-24 mpg. Our first interesting sight was the Bules Round Barn on Rt. 81, north of Pond Creek, OK. ( As an aside, I should mention that Rt. 81 was laid down over the Chisholm Trail, the cattle drive trail laid out by Jesse Chisholm, and used in the 1800’s to drive over 5 million longhorn Texas cattle through Oklahoma to railheads in Kansas and Missouri. Drives of over 2,000 head of cattle at a time were moved across the prairie to markets further north. )

Anyhow, the sight of the round brick barn jumped out at me. It is, as you see, a beauty. I saw a man walking across the farmyard, so drove in to find him climbing into his pickup. I introduced myself to Marvin, and asked if he would mind if I took a picture. He reached across the dashboard of the truck and pulled out a color information flyer and handed it to me, making it obvious that we weren’t the first to be attracted by the barn. Marvin invited us to stay as long as we wanted, and insisted we go in and check out the inside, which has served for a number of weddings and receptions, and houses his collection of antique cars, wagons, and farm machinery. Marvin took the notion to build the barn in 2004, and just started off without any plans, just figuring it out as he went along, as he put it. He figured just fine. It is both an engineering and construction wonder.

The barn is 68 feet in diameter, has 18-ft. high walls, is 53-ft high, and includes 52,000 bricks. It has a 40-ft. intermediate ring of supporting posts and beams for the 107 joists that are set into pockets in the brick walls, and end around a spiral staircase in the center.  While statistics can be interesting, even more is imagining hand trimming each cedar roofing shingle to conform to a circle, or soaking the 1 X 4 boards they are nailed to until they were supple enough to conform to the round concentric circles of the roof. Then, rather than having a floor plank run uninterrupted for 20 feet as in most buildings, having to cut it between each joist and trimming both ends to fit like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. It is a work of art, and nothing short. Besides all this, it is only the third round barn in all of Oklahoma, preceded by an 1898 barn in Arcadia and another in Sallisaw.

I found this one almost too cool for words.  It is a horse-drawn mail truck for Rural Route  No. 5.  For winter mail delivery, there is a pot-belly coal stove in the carriage, with the smoke stack coming out the left side and rising above the roof height.

No comments:

Post a Comment