Surface work March 10, 2019

Bernhard Arnold, Jeff Page, and Rick Hines departed Rick’s home in his truck Sunday morning for a long delayed work day at Carroll. We picked up electrical wire at Menards before hitting the highway. Our next stop was at Randy Bruegger’s home near Warsaw to load barbwire fence he donated. We soon received a call from Jamie Euliss. Jamie and Dustin Young had been on a Thunder River trip Saturday and stayed overnight in the silo so they could work cutting wood Sunday. The recent thaw and rains had left the pasture saturated. Their truck was stuck and they were hoping we could pull them out. So we made a stop at Walmart and bought a tow strap. We left the road and started up the hill to the silo but soon found we could not get up the hill. So back down the hill and over to Rusty Clark’s place to see if it might be possible to enter from the east. I knew Rusty was on vacation but when we saw someone working on his place we stopped. We met Mike, Rusty’s longhorn business partner. Mike said we were welcome to cross the pasture and offered to lead us with his tractor and also help get Jamie and Dustin out. We made it across the pasture but it was very soft and slick. Mike hooked his chain up and made quick work of pulling Jamie out. We gave Mike a tour of the silo and gave him some flyers to post to promote our open house and landowner cave tour. We are lucky to have great neighbors like Mike and Rusty!

After lunch Bernhard attacked the large brush pile north of the silo while Jeff and I started stringing new wire from the top of the silo to Bill Pfantz’s trailer. Rusty had requested we raise the power line so his longhorns would not get caught in it. Also he may mow for us if we get the wire out of the way. We decided to repurpose the old tripod used during the dig, to support the wire at the fence. Unfortunately the old tripod only had two legs. I found the third leg broken and twisted in the brush pile. With an unbelievable stroke of luck we found another pipe on the Brown’s side of the fence that was the right length and diameter to repair the tripod. I called the Browns and left a message that I was appropriating their pipe. By dusk the wire was up, connected to a new breaker in the silo and extended to the trailer. Bernhard had made a small dent in the brush pile and generated a nice stack of firewood. Rather than stay another day and fight the mud we decided to head home. But first I wanted to test a plan to improve the operation of our cable sleeves on the safety cable. I hooked a cum-a-long to the cable and pulled it away from the ladder until it was no longer resting on the rungs of the ladder. A little shake of the cable told me when it was out far enough. With the cable out five inches from the top ladder rung it cleared the ladder rungs all the way to the bottom. I will fabricate a block to go between the culvert and the cable before the next trip.

On the way out we stopped at Fry’s home and left some flyers with Jenny to post around the neighborhood. Then on to a large Mexican dinner before the long drive home.

I recently took advantage of a safety recall and exchanged our old cable sleeves for 12 new sleeves. The new sleeves sell for $380 each. The new sleeves are an improved design and hopefully will work well with the cable clear of the ladder rungs.

There’s still plenty to do to get our new campsite ready. It would be great if you could lead a workday. Also, if you are doing a trip into Carroll please consider spending an extra day working on a surface project.

Rick Hines

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