Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Idyllic Days Of Summer

The day started with an iron overcast.

It spat hail as we set up our GPS base unit. Sandbags on the tripod legs and the radio and receiver units tucked deep into their packing cases to keep out moisture.

By the time we had searched for the non-existent ponds that were supposedly built by last year's contractor it was raining horizontally.

We tooled across the jobsite to the front gate, where the current contractor attempting to finish the guard shack (that costs more than either of our houses - unless Gerard Van Der Luen is reading this) showed us the latest, FINAL, developer-approved dimensions for the traffic islands and curb noses. We staked them out in between the worst of the rain and gusting winds. The cuts and fills will come tomorrow - if the NEW, FINAL plans aren't tacked to the side of the dressed stone building.

We had run up there to wimp out, actually. By the time we'd finished making things work and coordinating with the contractor we were already about as soaked as we could get in raincoats. The grading contractor's crews had driven out for home while we were staking. There is no sense in pushing mud to make more mud, you see. We climbed back in our truck after finishing up the guard shack work, and the rain turned to snow. It's JUNE seventh, folks. It began to snow around ten thirty.

We got crushed last Friday by bad terrain. Six hours total spent to locate and tie (measure and locate by GPS) one of three section corner monuments that are part of our property. The other two we need turned out to be inaccessible (without ropes) from where we started.

Monday we returned to the project ready to hike in a mile from a state park on the reverse of the mountain, only to be chased off the trail by driving (inch-an-hour) rain and lightning.

I carry a character defect - I tend to embrace liability when the circumstances are patently beyond my control (but I'm much better now).

I survey because I like to see the results of my work: roads, bridges, buildings, and homes. I hate driving an hour and change just to turn around and drive home. It sucks. It makes it harder for me to charge in the next day. As the flakes got bigger and the mud began to freeze I thought it over and asked my second man if he still had his winter bag in the tool box. He did.

We went ahead and staked 1500 feet of curb (both sides) in just over five hours. We had to break once, for thirty minutes, when the snow warmed up enough to penetrate my GPS controller keypad cover. We wolfed lunch while drying the unit out and then went back out and finished the job. One day earlier than the contractor expected us to start it.

The last few hours were actually pretty nice, with blue sky breaking through as we took down our base. We were able to check into some of last year's work as we slammed our stakes in the ground, too, and were on the nut where those stakes hadn't been disturbed.

Life is GOOD. Tomorrow we button up the last issues with the guardshack. And we go for a walk in the park to close the day.

I hadn't realized how testy I've been until I returned home this evening and reread my posts of the last few days. My gripes are valid - but the tone is a little harsh, I think.

I hope you had a good day, too. I hope it was worth it.

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