Saturday, July 26, 2014

Workin', Workin', Workin'!

Last full day at the Bolt Hole and it was a busy one. First I wen tout into the woods once more to haul in three (or was it four?) ATV loads of firewood I had set aside while cleaning up some of the logger's slash. Most of what I set aside was birch, cherry and red maple. Already seasoned and ready to burn.

Aside from having to carry the firewood from the places I cut it to the ATV (about 20 yards) the only problem I encountered was when a brush limb along the trail swept my glasses away! Of course I couldn't see them and was afraid to step anywhere for fear of stepping right on them (like Ralphy in Christmas Story). Anyway, I shut down the ATV and engaged the brake then carefully extracted myself from the area on foot and went back to the truck where I had a spare set of glasses. Back to the ATV and I immediately spotted them about 3 feet behind the machine right about where I thought they might be. *Whew!*

I did make a dent in cleaning up the mess over the last three days, but only a dent. There's lots more to do if I can get to some of the heaps of slash. Lots of rocks and marshy areas (created by the logger!) that will impede my getting out there. Compounding the problem is that there was a hell of a wind storm early this summer that blew down some additional trees. Many of those still have their root ball and leaves. The largest I've spotted so far was one red maple that must have measured 20" in diameter at breast height. The deer are already nibbling at the leaves of that one. It can wait for another year....if I can get around it.

Then, this afternoon, I pulled out the brush hog. Mark had asked if it still ran. It did two years ago when I last had it out but I was a little worried that it might not after sitting so long. Imagine my surprise when it started right up! I wasn't surprised that it soon stopped. (Ethanol gas doncha know!)

So I started to drain the old gas out and found plenty of water--maybe a shot glass or so--in the first pint of gas I took out. I also had to repair the gas line as the rubber hose had a crack in it. Duct Tape to the rescue!

Fuel line repaired, I put half a tank of no ethanol fuel in the brush hog and then played with it for an hour trying to get the right settings on the thing-a-bob that controls the whatchamacallit so the engine wouldn't stall every five two minutes. Struggled with the cussed thing for that entire hour but I did get some of the tall grasses Mark had not cut mowed down. Finally got it purring (sorta) when it ran out of gas!

(As an aside, I thought Mark had been using a riding lawn mower he showed me back in April, I was wrong. Someone stole the tires off what was an otherwise piece of junk that ran on bailing wire and Duct Tape. They were worth more than the whole machine. Mark junked it and had been using a push lawn mower. As a result, he was only cutting the lawn to the west of the house that was visible form the road. That left the back yard and the lawn to the east to grow. And grow it did! Most of it was 12-16" tall.)

Back to the garage to put another half tank of gas in the machine and then it really purred! I spent the next hour and  half mowing down the grass and making hay! It will lay there for some time as I am too pooped to rake it up!

This retiree's life is too damn hectic! I need a vacation.

Tomorrow I'll be pulling up stakes and heading back to the Aerie with the ATV in tow. There are chores to do down there too.


Rev. Paul said...

Alaska is nice, this time of year. Had to get that in there, ya know. :)

You did a lot of hard work today; pour yourself something cold, my friend.

threecollie said...

I once lost my glasses while galloping on horseback at dusk across a huge hay field. That was fun. lol

joated said...

Paul, believe me when I say Alaska's on my mind.

Threecollie, I assume you never found yours. I got lucky in that I was 1) moving slowly, 2) aware I was "vision impared" immediately and 3) the branch flicked them far enough behind the ATV so they weren't under the wheels or where I would step (the truck was ahead of me!)