We've once again been thwarted by the weather. That is to say, if we had to go out, we would. But since Sunday Drivers is about exploring, I'd rather not jeopardize ourselves by driving off an understated Nova Scotian cliff.
But before I get into our day's adventure, a bit about our Saturday. Whilst Laur and Kookum were gallivanting around the peninsula, boy and I went for a walk up yonder hill. It was our intention to do a bit of exploring, but we suddenly came across some very new looking barbed wire fence. So, we followed that down the side of the hill.
It was rather steep in places and I fully expected boy to go tumbling to the bottom, but he navigated the stumps and branches quite well. We made it down to the corner of the bump-out, then headed southwest back to the creek.
It was while we were heading back down to the creek that we came to a large pile of maple and birch, left to rot by the logging crew. There are no less than 50 logs laying in two piles near the fence line, hidden by a bluff of trees. The shortest of these logs is 7 feet, with an average small-end diameter of 5". Whether the logging crew forgot these logs, or deliberately left them I'm not sure, but either way it's a disturbing. What a sad, sad waste.
After leaving the tree graveyard, we continued homeward. At one point it became very difficult for boy to traverse the dead brush and fallen trees. Our neighbour's hay field was immediately to our left, across the barbed wire fence and the cleared, flat land beckoned to us. I didn't think he'd mind if we walked on the property, staying close to the fence, so I lifted the boy across the barbed wire.
He came down hard on the other side, and immediately commenced to screaming. Needless to say, I cleared the fence like a death-racing gazelle and tried to discern the problem.
I've never had to diagnose a screaming-kid-injury, so it was very difficult at first to figure out if he was saying "toof" or "toe" or "toque". It ended up that he was trying to tell me his toe was hurt. I think he turned an ankle when he landed on the frozen, uneven ground.
He couldn't walk and I feared a break. So I carried him 1/3 of a mile home. No big deal as he's only 50lbs, but I also had to re-cross the barbed wire fence, which had now turned to page-wire with a barbed wire top, with boy and a dog. I then had to carry boy across the stream, set him down and go back for aforementioned dog, who does not, under any circumstances, get wet.
We eventually made it home, at which time we immediately got into the car and headed for the hospital. After seeing a doctor at the emergency (which is rarely open on weekends - we got kind of lucky), it was determined that his foot was likely not broken. However, because there are no radiologists or x-ray techs on duty on the weekend (not so lucky after all), he said to go home, take some pain-relief and ice the limb. We are supposed to return to the doc for x-rays if there is no change after a couple of days.
So, Hop-Along and I returned home where he is currently, you guessed it, hopping along. I fear there is a break in one of the smaller bones, but the doctor thoroughly inspected the larger foot bones and assured me they were all in tact. There is a little swelling, a little tenderness, but no bruising.
Boy is walking on it this morning, and currently doing some limpy-ballet as I write, but is still in a bit of pain and I will take him in tomorrow because I don't want there to be an untreated break.
Anyways, all of this brings me back to today's adventure. After telling Laura about the tragedy of the maple graveyard, and because it only seems to snow on Saturday nights/Sunday mornings around here, we decided to "Sunday Drive" out there so I could show her the scene of the crime.
After walking a short distance, boy soon grew tired and whiney and began riding on the toboggan.
This was short-lived as I quickly grew tired of his feet wandering off the deck and becoming caught on brush and broken tree limbs which littered the trail. Dragging a distracted kid on a toboggan through pokey and stabby bits results in said kid being poked, stabbed and yanked into the splits whilst being pulled off the 'boggan. This also causes mommy to wonder why the load has suddenly started screaming and become very heavy.
Let me just clarify that by "trail" I mean deep frozen, water filled gashes left by logging machines. After regaining our composure, wiping snotty noses and tearful eyes, we loaded boy onto my back this time. We then continued onward, whilst I privately wondered why one rarely hear stories of homicidal pioneers. But I digress...
This area of the property presents quite a conundrum - there is so much wood (primarily maple and birch, but also a bit of popple) which is cut to length but simply left behind to rot. It is my ardent desire that does not happen - there are cords and cords of wood, just laying out there. Some of it has even been stacked, other logs are laying hither and yon, where they were felled and limbed. But with such dangerous terrain for a tractor (the ruts alone are too deep), I am at a loss. I think it might even be difficult for a horse. How to get all of this beautiful wood, which should have been left standing, back up to the house - or at least to a place accessible by tractor? I wanted Laur's input.
Our trio finally found the stacks of wood, did a quick count, and decided to take at least two logs back with us on the old, beat-up, toy toboggan. (We do have a bigger and sturdier toboggan,but it was a gift from Auntie - far too precious to drag over stumps and brush). We loaded two of the shortest logs with the smallest diameter and started to head back.
|The X on my back is a home-made sling in which to carry Gimpy-Guy. Also hard to tell, but there are two maple logs on the small toboggan.|
Anyways... with Laur slowly herding boy-guy, I started off ahead. At some point, I got the bright idea to load a piece of birch I happened to pass by, completely disregarding the fact that it was twice the size of either log already on the toboggan.
This proved to be the downfall of the whole operation. I'd almost made it to Five Corners when the poor little toy toboggan, weak from years of abuse (we got its weather-beaten little self for $4 at a garage sale) fell apart. Literally. First the curve at the front began to split apart. Then the top reinforcing bar fell completely off. Finally, it was whilst I was on the trail, pulling hard (I think I was pulling a good 300lbs) when I heard a ping and then a hearty laugh from Laur. Apparently a piece of wood had decided to give it up by flying off in spectacular fashion.
Her laughing made me laugh, and one glance back at our toothpick-toboggan hauling those big logs made the whole thing quite hilarious. We both felt we were close enough to get the tractor in, and abandon the whole decrepit kit and kaboodle, right there in one of the ruts.
I'll be going back, first thing in the morning, with the tractor. I wanted to go back this afternoon - as it bugs me to no end to leave something like that - but Laur' usual good-sense has me staying put. She won't let me take the tractor down by myself, in case I flip over and die; and we can't take the boy with us. So, it'll have to wait until tomorrow, after boy is off to school.
And so, we headed off, when the following conversation took place.
Me - "What a disaster. I think we should start calling our blog Sunday Wankers."
Laur - "Why?"
Me - "Because we haven't been driving anywhere."
Boy pipes in - "I'm a wanker. All free of us are wankers."
I guess I better watch my language. I told him that those were adult words and that it's probably best if he grows up a bit before using them again. He agreed.