Participants: Devlin Mottershead, duck tacos, Demon Girl, the tirfor and me.
I was harassed by the exec to do something about this boulder that was blocking the road to Phelix Creek/Waddington Hut.
I’m all about dragging rocks around, so Devlin and I decided to go up there with some stuff and plans to move the rock. On Saturday Devlin had a birthday party to go to. It was an interesting experience at the end of the party. Festivities had wrapped up and most of the parents hadn’t arrived yet. The kids decided that they should take my wallet and go to the vending machine, so they started trying to get into my pockets and pull me down. At one point I had one hanging from my neck and three hanging on each arm. This one girl decided that if I wasn’t going to pull over that she’d claw me up until I gave in, so she gouged at my arm until she peeled back a nail and got blood all over my shirt. When that didn’t work, she started punching me in the nuts and was able to get two direct hits in before I could shake the other kids off my arms and block. She then started kicking me in the ankle.
The whole thing was boggling. I remember being that age, and other kids’ parents seemed really intimidating. If someone had offered me a million bucks to slug one of them in the junk, I wouldn’t have had the nerve, but this girl thought it was worth it to marginally increase her odds of getting a bag of chips.
On the way home I mentioned to my wife that I was going to put the shirt in cold water as soon as I got home.
“Nothing gets demon blood out.”
She’s probably right.
After that surreal experience, Devlin and I went to Mag’s, where they had a special menu for their Cinco de Mayo party. It was a first-class brouhaha. The duck confit tacos were yummy.
Moving right along to Sunday, when all the relevant stuff happened:
Roland had said some stuff about maybe driving around the rock, which I’d more or less disregarded, as I’d fouled up the scale. I’d seen a picture, without any people in it for reference, and thought I was looking at a 2 m rock on a 9 m wide road. When we got there it turned out that I was off by more than a factor of two—taking a look at the picture with Devlin on it and using Devlin for scale, I get 5.3 m for the long axis of the rock and 3.6 m for the short axis. Approximating as an oblate spheroid this comes out to (4/3)*pi*(5.3/2)^2*(3.6/2) = 53 m^3. Granite is 2.7 t/m^3, so that’s a healthy 143 t.
The rock is rather large.
Deep down I really wanted to move the rock off the road, but realistically it’d be three weekends of farting around and a bunch snatch blocks to buy, for really no good reason, as it looked like a day’s work to relocate some trees, roll some rocks around and shovel some dirt to make it easy to drive around as Roland had suggested. Pragmatism over idealism, I guess.
We’d shown up equipped to pull a rock, not cut down foliage, but that’s probably for the best, as no one likes stumps.
Setting up to pick some trees.
The biggest tree was a bit of a fiasco. I started pulling it down one way and then realized that I was going to land it on the wrong side of the rock, where you’d need to drive, so I re-rigged it to pull the other way after it was halfway down. It didn’t like that and leaned over almost perpendicular to the direction of pull and snagged in these other trees, right across the road. If I’d had a chainsaw there’d have been an obvious answer, but we didn’t have one, so we just pulled on it with the tirfor until it busted.
After we did some digging and filled the holes where the trees were, driving around the rock was trivial. I gave the camera to Devlin to photograph me driving past the rock and got some photos as a result.
I guess this is what I get for asking Devlin to take pictures.
Lots of room.
One thing that grinds my gears a bit is that ATV yahoos used an axe or their teeth or something to make pointy little stumps over an area wide enough to pass an ATV. I did my best to surround them with rocks to minimize the chance of tire damage, but there’s not enough of the stumps sticking up to sling and pull out. They’re also too filthy to do anything with that doesn’t wreck a chainsaw blade, so they’re probably in there for the long haul unless someone wants to dig them out or bash them into submission with a mattock.
A few metres past the site of the rock is that area where the little rocks come rolling down the bank and require digging to get a car past every spring. Digging through that mess won’t be any harder than it was in previous years but the proof is left as an exercise to the reader.