Sometimes in life you’re given a batch of lemons, and the typical response is to grab a juicer and make a pail of lemonade.  I prefer Lemon Meringue Pie.  Everybody likes pie, right?  We’ve been using our photography lately to share stories using metaphors, and with all the hustle and bustle of life Mrs. Toad and I have been encountering lately, nothing speaks more to this than leveling the yard and starting afresh.  So, let’s segue right into an antique road grader, shall we?

Adams Motor Grader No. 101 - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Adams Motor Grader No. 101 - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Today’s post is a continuation of a running series “The Toad’s Tonka Toys”  that we have been working on recently.  These pictures were all taken on a fabulous day of adventure we had this summer at the BC Forest Discovery Centre here in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.  We were visiting the centre with our dearest friends, Mr. and Mrs. Mudpuppy and really enjoyed checking out all the antique equipment and artifacts that are on display at this massive facility.  This road grader was definitely something that caught our eye, and we were delighted to have a chance to capture a small series of photographs.

Necessity was the mother of all invention back in the times that our area was founded and development began.  The logging industry was a backbone of our economic structure, and this continues today, albeit somewhat abated by recent changes in the financial climate and issues in the logging industry in general.  Equipment was designed and manufactured to fit a specific need, and close scrutiny of this antique Adams Motor Grader shows this design to be both complex and simple at the same time.

Adams Motor Grader No. 101 - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Adams Motor Grader No. 101 - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Roads needed to be created to get the equipment and manpower required for logging in and out of the dense and lush forests of our land here.  This road grader was intended to make this job a bit easier.  Great textures and details still live on in this wonderful antique logging utensil, producing some pretty great opportunities for photography to bring these details to life.  There were no GPS systems, no air-conditioned cabs…  no power steering, for that matter…  everything was designed and built to operate with gears, wires and pulleys back then.

Adams Motor Grader No. 101 - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Adams Motor Grader No. 101 - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

For a Toad who loves all things mechanical and vehicles in particular, this scene when encountered came across to me as an invitation rather than a warning.  Three steering wheels await the heavy-duty equipment fan, almost creating a situation that is far too tempting for yours truly here to ignore.  If only I could find the keys…  I looked above the sun visor and couldn’t find any, so alas we had to go without riding around in this gem on the day we were here.  At least we came away with some really great memories and photographs to share with everyone.

All this antique equipment that is on display at the Forestry Centre is really incredible to take in.  Most of the gear is huge in scale, and you can picture the back-breaking efforts early loggers went through to get deep into the forests and bring out some of the fabulous wood resources.  Even today logging is considered one of the most dangerous jobs around, but back in the time this grader was in active use things were 1,000 times more dangerous for the workers.  I can’t help but reflect on all these people who put their lives in danger, and in some cases lost them, all in the name of progress and building a new life for themselves and all who follow.  These are true sacrifices by real heroes.

Thank you very much for your visit today, we really do appreciate it.  Please feel free to leave any comments you may have, as we truly love to hear from all our visitors.




  1. Oh, I so want to “climb” on this wonderful vintage grader. You come across the coolest finds, my friend. Today’s topic and “leveling” metaphor is very apropos to your situation. Wishing you smooth, paved roads, dear Toads, as you continue along your new journey.

    • You, kind sir, have the most wonderful way with words. I cannot begin to express how much all your friendship, support and encouragement means to us Chris, one day we can only hope to find a way to repay you. Thank you, so very much.

  2. avatar ChrisdMRF says:

    Simply wonderful image Toad old Chap. I have some shots to process that will tickle you fancy if I may be so bold

  3. avatar Edith Levy says:

    I love signs that say “do not climb” the kid in me wants to do just that. Terrific shots. I actually love the “Do Not Climb” shot. Well done my friend.

    • It was almost too big to me, Edith, I have to be honest. We just didn’t want to get kicked out of the park, so I tried my best to behave! LOL Many, many thanks for all your support & kindness here, my dear friend!

  4. avatar Mrs. Mudpuppy says:

    Great shots Toad! What a fun day that was 🙂
    Can’t wait to head out on another adventure with you and the Mrs. soon!

  5. I prefer vodka with my lemonade 😉 I love the last shot Toad!

  6. avatar Jan Winther says:

    Great shots, Toad. Great story. Amazing to see the difference between the graders of today, and years ago.

    • Thank you ever so kindly, Jan, you really are a great friend. We really appreciate all your support and kindness. It really is amazing to see how things have progressed over the years, eh? We actually have a shot of a road grader that used to be pulled by horse coming up one day soon, if you can believe that!! 🙂

  7. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    Another masterpiece from the Toads. I think that the “Do Not Climb” sign is what attracted you in the first place. Another wonderful post, each better than the last.

  8. avatar A.Barlow says:

    Nice set man. Really enjoyed that last image especially.

  9. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Thanks for another adventure Toad! I love the story, and history behind every image, and your area! My favorite image out of the set has to be the one with the Please do not climb sign on it! Always wonderful to see, and read your posts!

  10. As usual Scotty, fascinating back story (and the imagery ain’t bad either!). Keep it up. 🙂

  11. avatar Rick says:

    It’s amazing how far equipment has progressed. Thanks for sharing!

  12. avatar Jim Nix says:

    wow that is one hunk of metal for sure, I bet it can hammer them roads! nicely done Toad!

  13. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    Great post as usual, Toad. I love these old mechanical machines and this one is a great find. How about those tandem wheels? 🙂 Very nice series of images.

  14. Love old gear – well done and superb execution

    Erik

  15. Another great set of images. Do you have some sort of magnet that seeks out these great finds? If so, you could make a living selling such a thing. 😉 Keep ’em coming.