Sunday, June 16, 2013

Finishing the Bridge or Gravel Time.

So today we finished the bridge. This involved putting a backhoe bucket load of gravel on each side to make a ramp. But not the cool kind of ramp that you can use to jump a van over a row of flaming school buses. No, the kind of ramp that allows one to drive up onto the bridge because we didn't inset that bitch into the earth.

Of course it would be like, 91 degrees today, meaning that we had to finish all of this before noon or else our faces would melt off from the heat like that one dude from Raiders of the Lost Arc. So after I did some other work around here, like feeding all the pets and working on the logs and doing laundry and hanging it out on the line and getting the tools we would need we were ready to began!

First off, with a backhoe, you would think you can do that cool thing where you ram the front bucket into the gravel pile and it will fill itself up and then you can high five. Except that it doesn't really work unless the pile is, like, full. When you are getting low on gravel all that will happen is you bunch the ground cover up and get a light coating of gravel in the bucket. Which of course meant that we had to shovel all the gravel into the bucket by hand.

Did I mention it was like, shit balls humid?

It was shit balls humid.

Anyway we get the first load in the bucket and then we head on down to the back acres to dump it. On this side of the bridge. Also known as the easy part. So we dump it and rake it out and give the frogs minor cardiac events because they think the backhoe is the god of destruction now. Or possibly they think the backhoe is the bringer of the deeper pool. It's hard to tell with frogs, really.

So after raking it smooth we head on back up to do load number two. Load number two effectively killed my enthusiasm. Mainly because the day heats up as it goes along. Now of course we faced the tricky part. The tricky part was that, in order to dump the gravel on the far side, Scott has to drive the backhoe partway onto the bridge. What's so bad about that? You might ask. You designed the bridge to driven over. That is why you built the damn thing in the first place, right?

The answer is that yes, we built this to drive over, but that doesn't mean it's going to work.

So we loaded up and then Scott and my worked out a signal for the bridge is going to collapse and the backhoe- also known as the most expensive thing I have ever bought- will end up in the ditch. I settled on the double back up motion, but Scott was all in favor of my screaming as loud as I could.

Once got down to the back I positioned myself on the far side of the creek and watched. Scott carefully eased the front tires onto the bridge. A few of the top boards creaked and groaned, but then they stopped and everything was still. It held.

And somewhere in my mind I heard that opening song from 2001 a Space Odyssey start up.

As the bridge held and Scott dumped our load of gravel on the far side the crescendo hit and I felt pretty damn good about our bridge making skills. Then we took the backhoe up to the house, grabbed some wood sealer/preserver and treated the top boards like the motherfucking champions that we were.

So all in all, I'd say this went pretty well.

I know. I'm surprised too.

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