Saturday, July 14, 2012

Expanding our Turnaround

After the incident with getting the truck stuck for a few hours up by the yurts, a turnaround was added to our to-do list. Grandpa was kind enough to get us started on this project, by using his grub hoe to knock down some humps and fill in some holes, in the area beside the dojo tent. He then threw on a few loads of our gravel/clay, and we had the start of a turnaround!

Upon cutting up a large jackpine for use as my power station enclosure, I realized that skidding it out of the bush with the tractor was going to be a tall order. It was 25 metres from the gravel pit, and 30 metres from my dojo tent, and located in dense bush. I managed to get one piece of it skidded to the gravel pit by using a combination of all my cables and chains, and driving the tractor a few metres, then backing up, and resetting all my equipment. This was clearly going to take far too long to be sensible. I put that project on the backburner, and instead decided to focus on the turnaround a bit.

 

This was a fun project. I could really visualize things improving by the moment, as each shovelful of gravel was quickly loaded into the trailer, and in short order, it made its appearance at the turnaround, covering up the weeds, filling in depressions, and opening up the area for a more comfortable and accessible experience.

 

I cut down a few smaller trees, using only my bucksaw, and then used the loppers and a small hatchet to trim off any branches that were intruding on the space.

 

Finally, a large alder bush had to be winched out. I had forgotten just how impressive their root systems can be. For a weedy bush, they grow a root that seems indistinguishable from that of a full grown tree. I had to winch, then hack with an axe, then winch, then back to the axe, and just continue with this routine for an hour or so to fully extract the bush.

 


Kenny was wizard at using his bulldozer to loosen up gravel at the pit, and then he was all over the place when it came time to offload the gravel at the other end of the drive. He really is a joy to have helping on projects. It will be nice to see this continue in the future. Donna and Kenny have certainly been among my greatest blessings in life!

 

After a day or two of this, it was time to take a trip to town to attend the Teddy Bear's Picnic. Kenny opted to take E.T. rather than a more traditional Teddy, but he fit right in. On the way home, he received his reward for all his hard work, and it certainly seemed to agree with him!

 

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