Thursday, January 22, 2009
Dojo Rat! What have you done?...
Ah yes, The Great Dismal Swamp has claimed another victim!
While continuing to squirrel-away firewood last weekend, your friend D'oh!-jo Rat buried his tractor deep, deep in the mud:
I was hauling rounds from a huge fir tree out of the woods just above the swamp. The first half-dozen passes out were fine, but it was getting pretty sketchy. There was a water spring crossing my little road, with most of the water seeping just below the surface. As each tractor pass opened up a new rut, I began to see just how much water was flowing out of the hillside. We're talkin' a sub-surface creek...
So, with twelve rounds of wood at about forty pounds each in the bucket, the ground liquified and swallowed my tractor. No wonder they call our neck-of-the-woods "Swamp Ridge".
Now, I've seen operators with a good backhoe use the boom, bucket, and stabilizers to lift and move the machine to solid ground - it's amazing to watch. But our little tractor just doesn't have the beef to perform that miracle. I did what no equipment operator wants to do: as the water began to fill around me, I turned the tractor off and got out the shovel. Once I chopped a channel for the water to run away, things looked better, but it was getting too dark to do anything else.
-But D'oh!-jo Rat; What did you do then?
Well, of course I went to our local Tavern and played guitars, ukulele's, and drank beer with other despondent wood-cutters!
Alas, things always look brighter in the light of day. A fellow Dojo Rat with another farm tractor lives right down the Holler from me, and it was a fairly simple rescue with a lot of chain and both tractors pulling.
Don't try this one at home, kids!