Winter Insulator Hunt.

Greetings everyone, Steve here from Steve`s Country – For a smile as wide as a country sunrise (stevescountry.com)! It’s nice to be back at the Campfire with all of you. Benjamin kindly invited me to write another post so here I am. This story goes back a few years when my dad and I enjoyed collecting insulators. Just in case you don’t know what insulators are, I’m including a picture. They used to hold the wires for phones, telegraph and electricity. Mostly they use cables now so insulators are not used much anymore.

These are all old telegraph insulators.

Now, most of our trips out looking for insulators were in the spring and fall when it was easy to find them on the ground. As insulators were used less and less, they would go along and take them down and just toss them off into the trees, or sometimes into the lakes if one was close by. Dad and I had permission to remove unused insulators from the bottom crossarm on the pole, since there were no wires in the way. That was great, but most poles were too tall to get at them anyway.

But there was an area where we could almost get at them, just not quite. So this one January day dad came up with this idea of going after those insulators. “In the winter?”, I asked. “Sure,” he said, “the snow is deep and if we use snowshoes we can reach those insulators.” “It’s cold,” said I. “Nice winter weather,” was his reply. This was really hard to believe, especially since dad suggested using snowshoes. He was not very good at snowshoeing and usually ended up tripping, a point I brought up in our conversation.

These are also telegraph insulators, from the late 1800s.

He mentioned he had been practicing, so it would be fine. Actually, he walked around the yard a bit, just once, which is not really practicing. But we were soon on our way. We drove to the spot, as close as we could anyway. From there we had to walk along the tracks for a while before getting to this wonderful site. It was cold walking along that open area. But we finally arrived at the first hill. “We can just walk across this first part,” said dad, “the wind should have packed the snow in good and hard.”

I did try to suggest using our snowshoes anyway but dad started off so I followed. Dad’s foot broke through at one spot, but it was only a couple of inches deep so he kept going. We made it and then put on our snowshoes for the next part. The snow was about 3 feet deep so the snowshoes were a good idea. We get to the first pole but the insulators were still out of reach. “Well, we may as well go back,” I suggested. “Nonsense,” said dad, “I will bend over and you can stand on my back.”

These are 2 different pins used to hold the insulators, they were screwed onto these pins.

I took my snowshoes off and climbed up onto dad’s back. It actually worked good. We got the insulators and went to the next pole. It was a bit taller but I could still reach by standing on dad. I would drop the insulators to dad and he would set them on his snowshoes. But he wasn’t quite ready for one insulator and “thump”, it hit him on the head. He groaned and moved, which caused me to lose my balance a bit and I kicked dad on the side of the head, knocking his hat and glasses off into the snow. He groaned more, moved some more and down I went.

Both dad and I ended up in that deep snow. I was completely covered and was wildly pushing snow away from my face. Poor dad was having trouble getting up since he still had his snowshoes on. Our snowshoes were the older wood framed variety and they were quite large, especially dad’s, since he was a rather big man. But it made it hard for him to get up. So once I was on my feet again, I unstrapped his snowshoes so he could get up more easily. However, somehow when I pulled dad’s snowshoe off, his boot came off too and fell into the deep snow.

This shows an insulator on a pin which was then attached to the crossarm on the pole.

“My boot!”, yelled dad, “and my glasses!” Guess he wasn’t too worried about his hat, or maybe he didn’t know that fell off too. Although considering his head was full of snow, he should have noticed. “You lost your hat too,” I said, “I’ll look for your glasses.” “No,” said dad, “I’ll do that, just get my boot.” I handed it to him and he started to put it on. “It’s full of snow!” he exclaimed, “why didn’t you dump it out?” “I figured you would do that,” I said and handed him his hat.

He actually found his glasses quite quickly. It’s amazing he didn’t break them more often, the way he kept losing them all the time when we were out together. We decided to move on to the next pole which was lower and maybe stop there for some coffee. But I think I will leave that for part 2 of this story. Dad and I always had fun on these outings and were able to get a good laugh about them afterwards. If you have the time, please come and visit me over at Steve`s Country – For a smile as wide as a country sunrise (stevescountry.com), Muffin (my cat) and I would love to see you. I hope you all have a wonderful day and God bless!

Steve. ©2022 Steve McLeod.

Author: stevescountry

31 thoughts on “Winter Insulator Hunt.

    1. stevescountry says:

      Thanks Benjamin! Right now I have 300 different insulators. I used to have more but I had to downsize when I moved into this small apartment.

      Reply
  1. GP says:

    I haven’t seen those types of insulators in years. You and your Dad almost sound like a “Keystone Kops” routine. Terrific!

    Reply
    1. stevescountry says:

      Yes, we certainly had our fun out there. I have so many stories of our adventures together, it seems something always happened to us! Thanks so much!

      Reply
    1. stevescountry says:

      Thanks so much! I have many stories of our adventures together, especially going after those insulators. Being from MB you’re practically a next door neighbor! Have a great day!😀

      Reply
        1. stevescountry says:

          I’m in NW Ontario in a little town that calls itself a city, Kenora. The most beautiful place in Canada to live, at least in the summer. Compared to most of Canada we are in the far north, which is funny. We don’t even show up on official government maps of ON. But we are the second coldest place in the province. I need to update my about page too, some things have changed. Thanks for taking a look and thanks for following!

          Reply
          1. manitobamomblog says:

            Oh of course, Kenora. Not far at all! Sometimes we have gone there for a day trip. Yes, it’s beautiful there!

          2. stevescountry says:

            Are you in Winnipeg? I was born and grew up in MB, we moved out here when I was 15. Spent my early childhood in Selkirk, then Wpg.

          3. manitobamomblog says:

            We are in Steinbach! I grew up in the Interlake and then lived in Winnipeg before moving to the Southeast. Ste. Anne area and then here. 😊 So fun to meet another blogger who knows the same stomping grounds.

          4. stevescountry says:

            Yep, I have been out that way a lot, even after moving here. I used to go to a couple of antiques stores out that way. I don’t think either is open anymore though. Have a great weekend!😀😺

      1. Wichita Genealogist says:

        You are welcome. I recognized them from Mom selling them. This was back in the 1970s so she was selling them for a lot less than what you can get for them today.

        Reply
        1. stevescountry says:

          Yes, prices would be a lot less then. They are hard to sell up here now, though there are a couple places in Canada where prices and sales are still good.

          Reply
  2. The Oceanside Animals says:

    Charlee: “Hmm, they look like little glass Daleks!”
    Chaplin: “Except instead of shouting ‘EX-TERM-IN-ATE!’ they would be shouting ‘MUST-IN-SU-LATE’!”

    Reply

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