Saturday, January 18, 2014

Stumped Out

Thursday was the day that the stump extraction was scheduled.  Pioneer Phone would have a tech out, standing by just in case.  Don was coming over with Little Greenie and the Hoe.  And, sadly, it wasn't raining, as it hadn't been in what seems like forever for us this time of year.  Not that there still wasn't a lot of mud, the sticky clay mud of this area, to contend with.
Don started on the backside of the stump while we were waiting for Pioneer to show up.  Watching Don on a tractor is an exercise in alternating between "I just gotta see this" and "Oh my GOD he's gonna die!!".  No one I know of can make a tractor do his bidding like Don can, and if you can get over the pure, unadulterated terror that comes with the awe, it's a show you should see at least once in your life.
In the end, it all came out and is still squatting on the driveway like a hideous, muddy, beached octopus, awaiting our decision on what to do with it.  No one lost their phone or Internet, we found an old cable (talk about heart failure!) wrapped in the roots along with an old guy line anchor from when the original power poles ran on our side of Dawson Road, and the Pioneer tech only had a heart attack once or twice during the delicate portion (if there was any such thing, really) of the operation.  With Big Orange pulling and Little Greenie pushing and the tech sweating bullets, the stump finally flipped over with no skinny black fiibre optic cable tangled in the roots.  We all heaved a big sigh of relief there.
Don't forget to click on the pix to enjoy the slideshow! 
 Don and Little Greenie get the party started on the non-cable side of the stump
 Free on the road side.  We haven't found the three big roots yet but we will.  Did find the old power cable and guy line however
 The Pioneer tech and Don confer on the final and most touchy part of the operation, flipping the rootwad the rest of the way out of the hole without yanking the fibre optic cable with it
 The old guy wire we found is visible at the bottom of the wad, the old cable we found curled up at the top right hand side.  The fibre optic cable, not visible.  The tech actually had dug underneath the wad at this point and located it physically to verify it was where it was supposed to be and not wrapped up in the rootwad
 Yes, Little Greenie is deep in the hole.  Dale and Don are resetting the chain again
 This is how Don can make a tractor do things you'd never think possible
 Now, I know it looks like Don just grabbed that chain and yanked that sucker out without any help, but believe me, it was quite a moment.  I was flagging traffic on Dawson as Don and Little Greenie were in the road, thus I didn't get any actual shots of the monster coming out of the hole, but Don was in the hole pushing with little or no traction while Dale on Big Orange was using the chain to pull at the same time, also with little or no traction.  Somehow, it worked, and Don casually drove Little Greenie out of that hole like he was backing out of his driveway on the flat and level
 Big Orange drags the wad out of the way, leaving a nice, packed streak of muddy clay that Dale and I would spend several hours removing with the bucket, shovels and the pressure washer
 Remembering that Big Orange is a BIG tractor, you get a feel for the size of the rootwad.  With it's covering of muddy clay, it probably weighs in at about a ton
Rough graded and ready for final grade and gravel

You might remember how it looked a few posts down, but if not, here is how it was

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