Happy New Year everyone! Let’s hope 2018 is more constructive (or less destructive at least) than 2017 was.
After an enjoyable holiday break with family, we returned home from our travels with one of our two adult sons. Although he had seen many photos of the fire and what it left behind, still he was very interested in seeing it first hand. So last week we all went up for a quick visit, our first of 2018.
While the eastern side of the U.S. has been battling snow and ice and record low temperatures, out here on the western side of the country it has been unseasonably warm and dry. Really warm. As in pushing close to 70 degrees in January! This is not normal.
Of course this is bad news for a state still struggling with extended drought conditions and massive, record-breaking wildfires. But at least for us, a warm snowless January means that we can get more work done on the property.
And there is a lot of work to do! But our son still liked the prospect of work, because this work involved the Bobcat. And let’s face it, Bobcats can be fun.
Back in September when I ordered attachments for the Bobcat, my order included a “Grapple Rake.” It is a simple device that pretty much does what it says on the tin. It’s good for raking up sticks and stones, and also carrying them from here to there.
But given that it attaches to a skidsteer, it can handle pretty hefty sticks and stones — i.e. logs and boulders. We’ve got a lot of those around here. So back in September this seemed to me to be a worthwhile attachment to have. This visit was our first chance to find out whether or not that was true.
This was also a chance to use our newly-graded “back entrance” to the Logger’s Retreat.
We added the larger logs to the pile we had already created when we took down the two Ponderosa Pines. And we created a new, separate pile for all the smaller, brushy pieces. We’ll try to cut the larger pieces into useful lumber. The smaller stuff will probably become firewood.
It took us two afternoons to finish the job. The weather was sunny and mild and as a reward for our labors we were treated to a most beautiful sunset on the surrounding hills.
The sunset progressed quickly and relit the patchwork of burned forest on the mountainside across the Lewis Creek valley from us; this time much more pleasantly than last time. (Don’t worry; those are clouds, not smoke!)
But enough with the visual distractions; back to work! Yes we did finish moving the wood piles.
Now that the lot is clear and clean, it is almost too open. I feel like it needs some structure. Yes, in fact it needs Structures. I want the building to begin!