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Friday, January 25, 2013

Beamish Boys

One of our goals is to bridge Kincaid Creek near where it enters the property and again where it leaves, so we can take the tractor anywhere on the place. At present, to get to the east half of the farm, we have to take the machinery out onto the road. We now have the basic structural materials to build at least one bridge.

Friends who live in town bought a lot next to their home that was occupied by a railroad boxcar turned into a house. We borrowed a large utility trailer from other friends ("I know a guy who has a..." is one of the most useful things one can hear.), equipped ourselves with chainsaw, pry bars, chains, and related accoutrements, and drove into town. By the time Alan & I got there, the house had been demolished, the basement backfilled, and nothing left but the framing beams and miscellaneous ironmongery that had held the boxcar together. The lengthwise beams were 40-feet long and, figuring the bridge deck didn't need more than half that length, we cut the big ones in two and then exhausted ourselves loading the lot of them onto the trailer. This was work for a crane, not a couple of 50-somethings with hand tools.

Anyway, back home, we used the tractor to pull the beams off the trailer, and now they're piled behind the barn, awaiting deployment. Next step: concrete footings.

Most of the blizzard's snow has melted or sublimated and the drought persists. The landscapes have faded to monochromes of gray and brown. In the very cold weather of the past ten days, the creek has thoroughly frozen, a silver thread twisting among the cottonwoods and willows at the bottom of the valley.

Here's the downstream face of the dam, where we've felled a bunch of trees to prevent further damage to the embankment. There are some firewood-sized logs in there, but it's mostly brush; we need to pull it all out before it's entangled by spring growth of grasses and vines.

And on the other side, the ice is a good eight inches thick.

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