Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Here in Kansas, we experience our share of unusual sights. The latest is Lee the Horselogger.
Lee hails from Montana, but right now he lives a life on the road, in his horse-drawn house. He’s on his way to Illinois, in pursuit of logging jobs. But right now, he’s in the Marion County town of Florence.
There are very few people who can really tell what life on the road is like, but Lee the Horselogger can.
"Right now I'm headed to Massachusetts by way of Illinois," he says.
We don’t get many of the logging trade in Kansas, particularly those using horses to not only pull the logs, but to pull a house on wheels and hay trailer as well.
"I'm a horse logger by trade,” Lee says. “I use my horses to pull trees down to a road. We try to do salvage work or selective harvest."
The reason he’s here is because he spent the summer in Oklahoma pulling trees from a creek bed. Traveling by horse at 3 mph means he doesn’t go anywhere fast. The former Montana logger sold al he had except his draft horses and what he can pull. Since then, he likens his travels to a bus schedule.
"We've been from Montana to Boston to Denver to Seattle to Portland to Denver to Oklahoma City to here," he says.
He’s spent a couple days in the parking lot of the Town and Country Café in Florence. It’s a busy spot with highways 50 and 77 intersecting there.
"We think it's pretty exciting,” says Town and Country Café owner Edmond Spencer. “A lot of people stop by and talk to him."
And some, he says, donate hay and feed for the horses.
"Pretty different,” says Becky Harris, cook at Town and Country. “More excitement than we've had in a while."
It’s so unusual, it’s got just about everyone and their dogs slowing down, if not stopping, to get a better look.
"I really love the people because they're just so down to earth," Lee says.
Lee sees himself settling down eventually, preferably somewhere up North where the climate is cooler. But for now it's a nomadic life on the road, which is taking him through Kansas.