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Always one last thing. This trips one ‘last’ thing was one completely nice day. Of course, it’s the day I’m packing up to go home. Rain I think 9 of the 10 days I spent up on the hill. No matter, things still happened.
Sheds and barn remnants were pushed into the old foundation, a few areas graded to be easier to mow. The whole area was seeded and straw mulched. Of course, no photo’s of the mulch, but it’s mostly done. All the rain should help the green stuff grow strong for the first mowing next year.
Access road was put in. Over 200′ of gravel base (over 60 tons of it) gets you up the hill now, rather than running through cousin Ray and Joann’s yard. We also did a bit of maintenance on their driveway, as well as the road through the neighboring property. All angles in/out were ‘covered’ while I was playing. Normal vehicles are fine on the surface, but a 15 ton CAT service truck needed a bit of help after getting stuck. Not sure any CiderKraut attendee’s will be needing assistance, but we’ll do our best.
The Caterpillar 259D had 5hrs on it when it showed up Monday about lunch time. It had 25hrs when it left Friday. Being new, it spend nearly one full day waiting for a technician to come fix it. Whoever had the job of tightening the ground wires must have had a late lunch, and this one got missed. There were a nice selection of face prints on the windshield because of all the ‘sudden’ stops it would make when it would just quit dead at full speed. Last time it failed Tuesday night was with the bucket up and no way out of the cab. Ended up popping the windshield off using the emergency exit latches. That cost someone $$$ to fix, but not me. CAT ate that repair. Once fixed, it ran fine. Up to that point, it’s a wonder I didn’t break the glass with my face. Seat-belt or not, I bit it many times.
Of course, the obligatory field mowing happened. Probably my least/most favorite part of the trips up. I have nothing but time to think while droning in large circles…and thinking usually gets me in big trouble. Plans are thought out, things like house design, layout, crops, animals, neighbors, pasts, futures…all kinds of things get though about. Eventually, the thought process stops, and my mind shuts down. Nothing but the next ‘pass’, the next row, the next 10 minute trip around the outside with nothing on my mind. My Zen. No traffic, no job, no politics, no past, no future…just the now. A few hours of that make it all worthwhile, and the reason I do it.
Fire pit was dug, and surrounded with what look to be stone window and door headers from a construction method long since ‘lost’. Large, hand cut and formed stone blocks form the circle around the hole in the ground. They got hot enough that toes should not go cold, but shoes should not melt. A 5’x5′ steel framework over the top fit the stainless steel ‘grill’ from one of the local mines ‘broken’ equipment. Not sure where dad got it, but it’s one heck of a place to sit your burgers, brats, percolator or pan. Worked just fine for those when I did them before. I can’t see where it’ll be any different. Fired up, burnt out, and fired up again. Ready for October.
I was digging up some trenches to do some work on the spring, and the weekend ended. A blown hose on the Kubota ended any more work to be done. Managed to limp it back to the house, but it was all over at that point. We’ll have a new one built, and install it the next trip up on the 9th. Lots happening that week as well, but we’re done until then.
And finally….certain things were meant to be found. During the demo of what was left of the barn and sheds, something caught my eye. The tracks of the CAT were just about to roll over it, and I nailed the brakes. It’s fragile, that it lasted until this point and didn’t turn to powder is something akin to a miracle. Seriously, the wood turns into powder when you crush it lightly between your fingers. As you can see, it’s part of a history that would have been lost had someone not wanted me to see it. The “A” is most likely Emma, Billy is mostly missing, with parts of Bobby, Dicky and Jimmy still visible. I’m researching how to stabilize this, stop the rot and preserve it for the future, but guess what we’ll be signing this year?
Yeah…history, our past, our present and our future. CiderKraut. Come be part of it. October 14th at 1PM.