So now we flipped back and forth between our two main projects – building the driveway in, and getting a base made for the yurts.
First off, we had to move the beams from the sawmill site to the yurt site. Grandpa has really been stress-testing his MTD. We loaded up these beams, three at a time, which required me to both hold them down (so they didn’t lift the rear tires of the MTD), but also to push them forward, as the terrain didn’t offer enough traction.
Grandpa had noted that some construction vehicles had been dumping some dynamited rock on a nearby back road, so we toured down there after a dump run, and loaded up his truck with any good sized rubble that was flat on top and bottom.
On returning, the MTD was pressed back into service to haul this rubble (I mean, piers) to our building site. We’re trying to save on funds, so this will help us to avoid having to purchase some cinder blocks, although I’m sure we still will need a few.
Grandpa had been planning on getting down to his camp to rake the lawn there for some time now, and this morning was his morning. He was kind enough to drive the tractor from the mill site, across his corduroy road, across his brush pile road, and right up to our gravel pile.
After he left, I had a bowl of Shreddies, and then jumped back in the saddle of the Yanmar myself. It went much better than I expected. I managed to chip away at probably 80% of the pile, throwing it down on the brush pile, flattening it, and then heading back to try to scoop up more. It was a really, really good education. I learned to feel more comfortable on the Yanmar, and even a few times I lifted one of the rear tires while trying to dig in and lift too much gravel. I was able to calmly lower the bucket and back out, without feeling like I had lost control of the situation.
Donna and Kenny came out, and while Kenny was a bit off-put that he couldn’t play too close to the tractor, we were able to (with effort), keep him engaged and out there with us. I made a small pile for him to use his bulldozer to smooth out. It was good that they were wearing their bug shirts – the blackflies have arrived! They were swarming like crazy, but I was able to work through it.
Grandpa arrived close to lunch, and I turned over my seat to him, and grabbed a shovel instead. Grandpa added more gravel from the remainder of the pile to the driveway, as he was certain that although I had coverage, it would settle quickly over time.
We did a late lunch, where we re-evaluated the yurt floor planning, and came up with a different idea, that will save us on having to cut quite a bit of lumber, while allowing us to use what we’ve already prepared. It did mean that we needed a few fourteen footers. So we found a likely candidate, and I felled it. I think I did better than the last one, where I dropped the tree directly onto my chainsaw case. This time I was within about 15 to 20 degrees of where Grandpa had asked it to drop. It was fine, we cut it up and dragged it to the sawmill.
Grandpa wasn’t sure why, but that log was heavy, like, really, really heavy! He totally lifted both rear wheels trying to lift the log, and even he had to relent that it wasn’t realistic to try to pick that up, and then maneuver a narrow U turn on uneven ground, before lifting it onto the skidway. We ended up just pushing it to the skidway, and then just lifting it straight up and on.
We really need to level out the area around the sawmill in order to make future work easier.
Four logs later, Grandpa declared it a day. I took this opportunity to check on Donna and Kenny before supper.
As for the floor joists, I didn’t cut them up today, so, tomorrow, weather permitting, I’ll likely saw them up into some 2 by 6s.
In case you’re curious, this is how the other end of the corduroy road is looking. It will be interesting to see how many loads of gravel it will take before we get to it.