If you follow our Facebook like you should, you might have occasionally seen a picture of me driving a backhoe. If not, here is a picture of me driving a backhoe.
A backhoe is a really important piece of equipment on a farm. Sometimes you just really need to dig stuff up quickly. While we’re laying wire and pipe ahead of the impending freeze, the backhoe has been invaluable and allows us to do in a few hours what would have taken me all day — or a couple of days — to do.
I had never, ever driven a backhoe, a tractor, or any other piece of heavy machinery prior to coming out here to the ranch. I’ve driven a riding lawnmower, but honestly they don’t count. A backhoe is a far cry from driving a car. They handle differently, they have attachments that can do powerful things, and for those reasons, you should exercise caution around them.
Slowly but surely, though, I’ve been getting more comfortable with it, even though I still drive the tractor part like an old lady. (Seriously, moving it from one part of the ranch to another was the slowest I’ve gone since getting stuck in Seattle traffic. It even made Steve cry.) I’m feeling pretty good on the digger side though. It reminds me a little of a video game in a way, what with the controls — except you’re operating a bucket in real space. And you can use that bucket to move large rocks. And that’s awesome. We dug up some stuff on one part of the property, and we’re digging trenches on another part now. I like digging.
On Monday, though, we were digging and part of the backhoe failed, sending me sprawling. I landed on a metal strut and bruised my thigh pretty badly.
This picture was taken this morning (Friday) and doesn’t even begin to capture the swelling I had on Monday and Tuesday. My thigh looked like it had a goose egg lodged underneath the skin. I’m glad, actually, that the swelling has gone down and the bruising is settling in, because it hurts a lot less now. Still something to keep an eye on, though.
Meanwhile, we expect to be fully powered this weekend, and sewer should be coming well along too. We get closer and closer to having a functional place! V. exciting.