limits of my ability to successfully hoist
Monday, April 21 2014
Though I'd burned a fire last night, today temperatures went up into the 70s, and at around noon I did the monthly cleanout of the woodstove ashes, the fifth such cleaning I'd taken the time to weigh. The result was 13 pounds of ashes (though it might actually have been more like 13.5 pounds of ashes; the metal bucket turns out to only weigh 21 ounces, significantly less than the 2.5 pounds I'd thought; it seems my spring scale is inaccurate near the bottom of its range). The upshot of this is that I'd somehow burned wood at a slightly faster rate in April than I had back in the period spanning from late November into late December, though a week of that had been spent in Los Angeles, when little firewood was burnt.
|Number of days
|Est. firewood burnt
|Nov 14-Dec 19 2013
|Dec 20 2013-Jan 22 2014
|Jan 23 2014-Feb 19 2014
|Feb 20 2014-Mar 20 2014
|Mar 21 2014-Apr 20 2014
Late this morning when I went to get my battery-powered chainsaw to bring on the morning dog walk, I found that the battery hadn't been pushed all the way into the charger, and so hadn't charged. So I left it at the house but brought my backpack frame just in case there was something worth salvaging on the walk (it's no trouble to wear when it is empty). There's little to salvage in the woods except perhaps for random artifacts from the go cart track or the ruined hotel near the quarry, but almost everything in those places that might otherwise be useful has been shot full of bullet holes. The most useful commodities in the nearby forest are, in order of decreasing value: firewood, bluestone, mushrooms, blueberries, and leaves of the wintergreen plant. if the dogs made a list, it probably begin with chunks of deer carcass and then go down to anything fragrant that is good for rolling in. I've added a folded-up cloth grocery back to my backpack to facilitate carrying things (such as mushrooms) that can't be strapped to the frame with bungee cords.
This evening, I went on a firewood gathering mission near the house along the Farm Road, where I loaded up my backpack with heavy and very green pieces of Red Oak. Though it wasn't a too difficult of a load to walk with, it was at the very limits of my ability to successfully hoist to a standing position, and in the process I fell. I just let myself go, since it was pointless to fight that weight (which I never actually measured). The important thing to remember when falling with a heavy backpack is to let it land first. The forces involved in such a fall are stressful for all involved, and though I wasn't hurt, I broke another of the backpack's plastic strap snap buckles (the second one so far). It was no big loss; I could duplicate the functionality in a less fragile manner with a knot. But I'm starting to wonder how long this backpack is going to survive with the heavy use I am giving it.
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