Friday, June 24, 2011

Bridge work begins

Bridge starting point

I drove home late last night to protect the wife from the big bad raccoon only to find out she had already shot it! This allowed me to get an early start on the bridge.  First trip to Home Depot to get the dreaded rebar.  Sorry Doom I didn't know what "size 3" correlated to in the English measuring system (and of course the help at Home Depot didn't know either) and since it is only a foot bridge I bought 3/8inch rebar.  I wasn't sure I could form hoops by hand if I used 1/2inch.  While there I almost bought a laser level but talked myself out of it.  I did remember to pick up the glue for the beams we are going to make.  I managed to do all my errands and show up to the house just as my help arrived.

 I may have found a responsible hard working 16 year old male.  This is a rare specimen of mankind and very elusive.  He knew we were going to do some kind of bridge work.  So I gathered up some tools and told him to start ripping up the bridge.  He wanted more direction.  I told him to put the nails, screws and especially the lag bolts in a box I had set out.  When he started ripping up the floor first I did mention that he should start on the hand rails first.  He was a little dismayed at first, but he tore in and got the job done.
Bridge almost tore down.
New pathway to the house, from the outhouse down to the tree and
across the bottom of the picture to the gate.

 I had to fire up the new weed eater and clear a pathway from the driveway to our yard.  So I chopped down weeds, moved downed tree branches, fixed the propane bridge, made a couple of steps out of rocks and removed two old bird feeder holder and raked the whole path.  Once I had that done I helped finish tearing up the bridge and we loaded all the rotten wood (all of it) into the pickup and took it up on the hill to the one remaining burn pile I have not burned yet (will save this pile until the snow flies now).  We still have four railroad ties to rip out of the ground and demolition will be completed.
Four railroad ties left to remove.

Unfortunately, I learned that I am going to have to pour footings at each end of the bridge.  I was hoping to use what was there but there is no upright keeping the dirt from falling down and rotting out the pressure treated beams.  I have been working on a way to angle the footings so that I don't have to cut a weird angle in to the bottom of my beam (this is what was done previously).  I have spent the last four hours coming up with a solution in my head, Annmarie pointed out an obvious water problem that I would have overlooked.  I have a cure for that now.
We went and had dinner then another trip to Home Depot was in order to pick up that laser level and more rebar for the footings.
Annmarie was getting ready for bed when we both smelled skunk.  I did a perimeter search armed with pistol and flashlight.  Saw four cats, two horses and a bunch of sheep but no skunk.  Sarah's new job is going to be to weed eat all the weeds within fifty feet of our yard fence.  I need a clear lane of fire!  So she will be on starting tomorrow (tonight the ogre let her go to a friends house to stay the night).