The Ranger.

I drove into the gravel parking lot perhaps a bit too fast. Dust swirled behind me like I was leading the Musical Ride and my trailer, empty and light, bounced over the unevenness with a loud, rattling noise sure to perk the ears of any nearby Ministry of Transportation officer. The dust enveloped the truck and trailer as I stopped, choking me a bit as I climbed out of my seat. I was here to pick up our new training rig, a Polaris Ranger 500, and I was kind of excited. Jenn had already been in earlier to take care of the financial details and most of the paperwork. It was left to me to show up and sign a few other papers, load the thing on our trailer and drive home. We don’t normally make purchases like this – mostly because we can’t – and over the years, I have tried to fulfill our needs by finding deals. Too good to be true deals, because who doesn’t like to save money? After my last bargain however, I have been removed from Deal Duty. I agreed to buy – and, in fact, did buy – a 1989 Yamaha Moto-4, which is a four wheeler for those to whom makes and models don’t matter. I later (much later) came to learn that it was almost assuredly stolen and abused before I bought it; but an abused and stolen four wheeler isn’t all I bought. I also bought the story that the seller’s father was no longer able to hunt and was, regretfully of course, getting rid of the four wheeler. I also bought the one about how he couldn’t find the key for the machine because his dad was out of town, so he’d have to “hot wire it so you can see how it runs.” He promised to get the key for me later. I know this seems incredibly gullible, but I worked with the guy and what sort of person would lie, gouge and cheat a fellow employee? A lot of people, it turns out. So that, and a rust-bucket Volkswagon Jetta are how I lost my privileges. Between my awesome deal-making skills, the pure awesomeness of how the stolen, abused four wheeler ran and our desire to have something reliable and functioning for training this year, our decision was made. Image Hosted by

There it is.  The Ranger.  Already outfitted with the gangline and harness/equipment box.

As I signed the last of the papers and get my keys for the machine the salesman tells me that he has just a few things to go over with me about our new Polaris Ranger. I guess this is so they can have a clear conscience when I drive away that if I do kill myself on it, it wasn’t for lack of a warning and a mini demonstration. And safety labels; good God, don’t forget the safety labels. We look at the fluid reservoirs, the spark plug and the engine. I am basically given a grade nine auto course. It’s loaded on the trailer now and all I want to do is get home and take it out for a spin, check out some trails and hope the weather cools off for a run. We have had the Ranger three weeks now and I am happy to report that Jenn is doing well in her new role as Deal Finder. Not only does the Ranger come with a super comfy bench seat and steering wheel, an accelerator and steering wheel, it also has cup holder which will hold a large cup of coffee quite nicely. And, best of all, it seats the three of us comfortably and is incredibly safe for training dogs. We can put it in park anywhere along the trail and never worry that the dogs will pull it down the trail through sheer force like our last rigs. I am glad we decided to go with this machine, despite its cost. I guess we’ll just have to finish closer to the top and bring home more prize money to help pay for it. A short video of our training so far… [httpv://]