Monday, January 21, 2013

Can't use my Toy. (A.K.A. Diesel Won't Start at -25)

The skidding of logs just for firewood seems to have come out as a rounding success. I'm not sure if this would have been as useful in southern Ontario, where the limbs of a tree are generally just as useful for the stove as the trunk. Here, on the conifers, it's rare that a limb is of a large enough size to make it worth pursuing. So you usually are only dealing with the trunk.

 

Back at the yurts, I cut up the logs into stove lengths, and then with Kenny and especially Donna's help, got them carried to the wood shed where my trusty Fiskars X25 rendered them down to suitable pieces.

Happiness is a full(ish) wood shed.

We tried to work promptly on this project because it snowed all day. Quite a bit of snow actually. When I awoke the next morning, it was clear that if we hadn't gotten the logs uncovered the day before, it would have been a real chore to do so the next day! That being said, the temperature was at least -25 by our best guesses.

The small generator was broken, and the large one was clearly a non-starter. I thought perhaps hooking up my spare battery to the tractor would give me enough juice to turn it over. That worked for about five minutes, over which time the tractor didn't even come close to starting.

I manhandled the large generator back to the yurts and put it inside the door to see how long it would take to warm up. As it turns out, it's probably close to a day or so. It came up to about -6 degrees on the outside metal after four hours indoors. It was not going to be useable anytime soon, and we are really reluctant to keep it inside for very long, lest the gasoline fumes (small though they may be) cause us discomfort or harm.

Having not much else to do, I cleared off the vehicles of snow. Then I began to shovel out around them. Then I shoveled in front of them over to the start of our driveway.

All this time I was punctuating my work with trips back to the yurts to clean my glasses. Please, if anyone has a foolproof way of keeping glasses from fogging up in cold weather, let me know! I'm getting desperate. I tried dish soap, breathing only through my mouth, only through my nose, only breathing "down" by giving myself a deliberate overbite, pulling my glasses to the end of my nose, and prayer. None seemed to work. I'm going to try vasoline next, and also pick up a bottle of that "Fog-X" product that is suppose to work on windshields. In the end though, I spent most of the day leaving my glasses at the yurts.

Grandpa came over and commented that I wasn't using my "toy" grader blade to clean my driveway. Although he agreed that it was unrealistic to be able to start the tractor, or most of my engines, in this weather. I can only hope that having a spare battery that I can bring into the yurts overnight lets me at least start the car or truck.

After estimating that we had received 8" of snow, he returned to his place to put away his snowblower(s) (which I suspect are tools and not toys).

I returned to shoveling down the driveway.

And shoveling.

And shoveling.

Until boom, I was done. It took most of the day, and I was only using a small shovel, but it got done. I did a second pass back up the driveway, and then a third one to ensure it was all clear.

I haven't yet seen how it looks - I didn't have the energy to return with my glasses, but as I was finishing my second pass, Donna arrived and took a couple of pictures.

It's comforting to know that in a pinch I can deal with this without resorting to my toys, but rather my old-fashioned muscles! (Which are complaining a bit today.)

 

 

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