Drowned Donkey

IMG_6413

Steam donkey drowned in the Toba River, probably an Empire model. Some of these photos are in the diagonal series.

IMG_6408

.

For a larger view click on any image in the gallery below, use the arrow keys to navigate and ESC to return to this page.

.

Canon EOS 5D MkII, Canon 50mm/f1.4 lens, ISO200, f5.0, 1/400th to 1/2,000th (see gallery for individual exif data).

.

.

Advertisements

29 thoughts on “Drowned Donkey

  1. From what I can see this is most likely an Empire yarder like the one on display at Powel River. I have added it to my growing list of abandoned steam donkeys in British Columbia. If anyone is interested I would be glad to share. (contact: jtaub–at–juno-dot-com)

    Like

    • Hi John – thanks for dropping by and commenting. And thanks for sending me your list of BC steam donkeys, it is interesting to see how many there are. I have seen several over the years, but the only one other that I can remember the location of I sent to you by email. I am sure others of my readers know of some not on your list as quite a few are people that spend time in the BC wilderness looking for archaeological sites, and the like. Sounds like they should contact you with their information as it is useful to have a single list maintained somewhere. As per our emails, I have added your contact info into your original comment. Thanks again, nice to have this input!

      Like

    • Thank you Toad. It seems kind of sad to see this artifact lying in the river, but it is a beautiful setting. It does not seem to be rusting or decomposing the way it would be in the bush – I think the silty water must keep the metal polished and free of rust.

      Like

    • Hi Melinda – thanks so much. Helicopter rides (with the opening window seat) are a thrill that I wish I had more of with a good camera. This is the first time I have had a good digital with me in a helicopter. Maybe I will get more chances.

      Like

    • I think they must be a feature of logging old growth forests with huge trees, no roads and very rough terrain.
      I would not be surprised if this one was used on a barge to do what they called A-frame logging – with a tall A shaped structure on a barge or other mobile platform through/over which a cable would run from the donkey up the hillside and be used to winch cut logs down to the river and from there out to log booms on the coast.
      It could also have been used in association with rough logging roads or possibly even a logging railway (though I don’t think there were any in this valley).
      http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=21521

      We need to hear from Richard Mackie, who commented below, as he has written books on coastal logging history and thus knows far more than I. http://rsmackie.com/books.html

      Like

      • Yes, these donkeys were general utility yarding engines. They tended to be used, as ephem says, in A-frame logging (that is, lashed to large rafts and used for yarding [pulling] logs down from steep slopes), or used for general yarding. [They could also be used for loading logs, but I’ll bet this one yarded logs to the river where they were floated down to be boomed somewhere]. Their beauty was that they could be wood-fired and did not require logging roads. You’d park them somewhere, maybe set up a spar tree to provide “high lead” [lift], and their lines [cables] allowed logs to be yarded from up to 1,000 feet away. This one might have been abandoned or left on a river bank, only to be washed down the river eventually, after being used to log someone’s timber property. The book to read is Martin Grainger’s Woodsmen of the West. I will post a link to it.

        Like

  2. I hate to show my ignorance but this is the first time I’ve heard of a steam donkey. Learn something every day. I love that blue/teal color in the water. We don’t see that very much here.

    Like

    • Hi Ken. They are interesting tools of the forests and there really are a lot of them out there. I have seen others. The colour in the water is most likely from melting glaciers, of which quite a few feed into this river.

      Like

    • Thanks Karen. The two long bits arching like tusks over the donkey are driftwood too – I thought they might be old pipes of some kind as they look so much part of the scene.

      Like

    • Thanks for the link Richard. I had gone on a fishing expedition to see if I could make sense out of the pattern of letters in my shot – letters I could not quite read. The first thing I hit was the one I linked to. But this is only few dozen miles from the Toba River, so it adds weight to the identification. It would be fun to see that one in operation.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: