Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Bush Trail no Longer Needed

Grandpa and I were on a mission yesterday. With the success of Monday and especially Tuesday under our belts, we were determined to skid out the last of the logs from near the property lines.

I was up early, restarting the generator (again!) to charge up the batteries, with the side benefit of giving Donna a chance to pump some water and do some laundry. Grandpa and I also got cracking on starting up the tractor. It is a bit of a chore with the cold weather to start a diesel engine, I can attest to that. But it is certainly still easier than pulling the manual recoil of either generator. Even the small generator can take 15-20 pulls when it is cold, but they are much easier than the larger one, and obviously more effective. I should also add that it is even easier on petrol than I expected, running over four hours and still showing fuel in the tank.

In any case, after the tractor started, Grandpa set off for the remote log pile while I got the generator hooked up and brought some more wood for Donna to burn. I then followed him into the woods.

The first few loads went uneventfully, but as the morning turned to afternoon, we really struggled to climb one particularly steep spot where the underlying trail was just rock. Increasingly exposed, greasy rock. At last the tractor could no longer get up there, even unladen. We ended up resorting to hooking up Grandpa's hand-cranked winch and pulling the tractor up there, three times. By the final load, we were both very pleased that we didn't have to make that trip again.

But it did pay dividends. We now have emptied out that particular section, and there really is no reason to have to use that trail again, except perhaps if my larger tractor is ever required in Grandpa's bush for something. I'm a little sad to see it go I must say. I was quite comfortable driving it, in fact, truth be told, the ruts from the tires had made it a self-driving trail. More than once I crossed it and then realized that I had really only been resting my hands on the steering wheel, and that the tractor had steered itself as far back as I could recall.

Back at the sawmill, I had to create two piles of logs to accommodate the influx. It is nice to see, but I sure hope they translate into a good supply of beams after they are on the mill!

Next up - the original bush trail we cut that currently leads to the lake. Although we know that the tractor cannot climb the ridge, it does travel along it quite a distance on higher ground, and on our way there, we did cut up a good number of logs - Grandpa thinks almost another dozen, although I'm a little more conservative in my memory.

Our first order of business will be to head out there and see if we think that the unladen tractor can make it. After that, we'll see.

 

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