Monday, February 25, 2013

Chapter 103...Install Electric Fence, Paving, & Cleaning ROW

Off Grid...Chapter 103

Hello everyone. Well we were supposed to take some time off but I should have known that wouldn't work, lol. Mike and I worked like two lunatics last week. Let me tell you all about it.

On Friday June 9th we rescheduled our paving contractors and to or surprise they said they could start on Monday. The next call was to Eric, Howard the cow man's son. We decided to call for reinforcements to keep the cows off the pavement this year. Eric said the would be here on Saturday and put an electric fence around the part of the driveway that is getting paved. Yay. Last year Mike and I put up a temporary 3 strand fence to keep the cows out but that didn't work.

Howard, Eric, Ivalee, and their granddaughter showed up to install the electric fence. Mike and Howard pounded in the T-posts while Eric did some weedeating...which I really appreciated. Ivalee, her granddaughter and I ran the T-posts and tools back and forth to Howard and Mike. Once the T-posts were installed Mike gave them electric wire instead of them using barbed wire. It is so much easier to work with. Eric got the solar panel hooked up and he made Mike test the electric fence, lol. Nothing happened until we all realized that Mike's rubber soles were grounding him so he wasn't getting shocked. Next we had to test it on the cows. Howard and Eric called the cows and got the feed buckets out. They tried to feed the cows just under the wire. A couple of them got small zaps but it was enough that they didn't like it. It didn't hurt them and it had to be done. One job done.

The electric fence is installed.

It's time...again...for Mike and I to work on the rock in the ditch line. BTW, the ditch line is over 500 feet long. That's why it is taking us forever to finish it. Anyway, now that the paving is scheduled we have to get as much done as we can. Once the paving is in Mike and I can't bring the tractor on it until next year. The tractor tires will tear it up in the summer heat.

First we have to finish removing the gray rock from the ditch. Last year we put gray rock in not realizing it was much more expensive than the lighter rock.

The gray rock...yuck!!!

I get in the ditch and start throwing the gray rock on the side of the driveway.

While I throw the gray rock on the side of the road and pull weeds, Mike loads the gray rock into the bucket and drops it off at the pond. We will use the gray rock around the pond. On his way back up, Mike loads up with the lighter rock and dumps it into the ditch.

After about 7 loads back and forth we finally have the gray rock out of the ditch. I hop on the tractor with Mike and help him load rock into he tractor.

Mike loading up rock from the pile.

Me hand loading rock....and where is Mike while I do this, lol?

The gray rock by the pond ready for us to hand place.

Mr. Bull cooling down by the barn. Too bad we couldn't train him to help.

Mike and I are both tired and sore. It has been a heck of a day. We still have a lot of hand placement to do but right now we just have to get the rock transferred to the ditch.

The paving crew and their trucks are here and it's raining.

They start out by scraping down our road. The excess gravel is dropped off by our barn for another turn around area. It will be a three day process for the pavers. First they scrape the road. Then they will bring in fresh gravel and regrade our road with a pitch, for the water to run off. After that the asphalt goes down and then it is rolled out. Since it was raining the crew only got as far as scraping our road.

Our driveway is scraped.

Until they do the final grade, Mike and I continue to run rock up to the ditch.

Later that day we get another delivery of rock. I am so excited...not.

Because it rained and the ground is wet the driver got stuck. Oh joy.
Mike gets out of the car in the rain and gets on the tractor. He picks up 2 buckets of gravel to put in front of the truck's tires. Hopefully this will give the driver enough traction so he can get out.

Unfortunately that didn't work. The driver asks Mike to pull him out with our tractor. Yeah you see how small our tractor is? I hope this works and it doesn't tear up our tractor. They hook up the truck to our tractor and Mike tries to pull. He can't pull straight across because that will tear up our freshly seeded area. Finally after a few attempts Mike gets the driver back on the gravel.

Now we have more rock. At least we will be stocked for next year. Mike cleans up the road from the ruts that were left behind while getting the truck out.

LOL, just another day in the Mike and Lisa world.

The paving crew is here bright and early. While they work on the road, Mike and I put the gray rock around the pond.

Mike putting gray rock around the pond.

We are out of gray that was fast.

The driveway is clear. We are going to haul some more rock. Here is Mike hauling rock as fast as he can.

The driveway has had the final scrape and the first truck of fresh gravel is in.

Dumping the first load.

Now that the gravel is down, Mike and I can't use the tractor up top anymore. Thankfully we got almost enough rock to the first culvert. Since we can't work inside anymore, we load up the tractor to work on the clean up from the electric installation on the right-of-way and by the new electric pole.

We start out by the electric pole. We tore up the county road down the middle of it and to the new electric pole. This is the mess that we made during the installation.

Mike and I start off by picking up all of the big rocks.

We get 2 full buckets of rock.

You know it's kind of funny. Someone once asked about rock on our land. At the time, I said we didn't have much, lol. That turned out to be an understatement. Now I think we grow rock.

Next we rake out that area.

Mike seeds it.

While I put straw on it.

And that area is finished.

Next we have to clean the sides of the right-of-way which is almost 350 feet long.

This is where we start.

We have a system.

We take an old piece of plywood and lay it on top of our gravel. This way when we rake down the side of the hill all of the debris will end up o the board. Then we can easily shovel it into the tractor bucket. Once the bucket is full, Mike dumps it onto a bank that has been run over by trucks in the past.

Mike rakes debris onto the board.

We finished about 200 feet for the day. We will complete it all tomorrow.

The pavers are in and waiting for the first truck of asphalt. While they do that, Mike and I work on the right-of-way.

We continue raking down and cleaning up the rocky debris.

Here I am raking gravel back onto the road.

Mike shovels more debris onto our board.

Yay, we are finished cleaning it. Now it's time to seed it and put straw on.

Mike and I both put the seed on all 350 feet and the we put the straw on.

It looks much better than it did.

Back inside we check on the paving. Looking good.

The paver is at the bottom and the roller is at the top.

The man on the roller has to wait for the asphalt to cool before he can roll it.

Here is our new rock pile by the pond.

Mike putting those rocks out around the pond.

Woo hoo. The second section of paving is done. Our 2 steepest areas are now paved. They have to wait a few weeks before they can come back and do the curbing. Now we just have to hook the electric fence back up and keep the cows out for a couple of days.

That afternoon, Eric calls to see if the cows have been staying off the driveway. So far, so good.

Oh looks like one of the calves got through the fence at the top and walked all the way down the fresh pavement. Yup...we have small hoof prints all the way down one side of the driveway. Well at least it wasn't the bull....he would have left huge hoof prints.

Now that our hectic week is over Mike and I take it easy.

Nothing crazy today. We made a new mailbox post with an arrow that we need to install o the county road. We have a lot of trouble receiving packages here because no one knows there is a house where we are. We decided to make a new mailbox with an arrow to make it very easy for drivers to find us. First we have to take out the old mailbox.

Mike cuts the actual mailbox off the pole. Then he hooks a chain to the pole and pulls it out with the tractor.

Next we pick a spot closer to our entrance and start digging. This turned out to be much harder than anticipated. It was pure road bed and rock. We only got two feet down but that should be okay since we are putting concrete in the hole. I mix the concrete while Mike cuts down our new post. Then we install the new pole and put the concrete around it.

Our new mailbox and arrow. Now drivers should be able to find us.

The rest of the weekend we had a lot of rain. During one of the downpours Mike and I went out and spread 100 more pounds of grass seed. Yeah we really want things to grow in this year.

That's our update for this week. We don't have anything big planned for the immediate future...but that can always change, lol. I hope all of you enjoyed our update. I will write again when we do something big.

Have a great week and I will see you soon. Niki is great but she couldn't help us this week. Too many trucks around.



  1. Cows!!! When I think of cows ... I think of beef. And when I think of beef, I think of nice, big, juicy steak or prime rib. I'm thinking what you need to do is get yourself one of those HUGE walk-in freezers and you'll have meat for the rest of your life. And solve the problem of the darn cows making a nuisance of themselves. LOL :)