Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Backhoe

One of Dave's projects that emerged from the hangar was the backhoe. We bought some land in 2001 and built a little cabin hugging the lakeshore. The land sloped up quickly from the water and we needed to move a lot of dirt to create a level building site for the shop and the main house. Hmm... thinks Dave. Dig that hill out with a shovel? I don't think so.

He got on the Internet and did some research. He found a U-Build-It kit from a guy in Massachusetts and had it shipped to Juneau. The steel was pre-cut. After learning how to weld, Dave welded the 58 pieces together to create the ultimate digger. We towed the finished beast onto the ferry and drove it 20 miles up the Haines Highway. A helicopter was in the area for the end of the heli-skiing season and the chopper lifted the backhoe up over the river and the mountain and placed it gently on our property. Easy - all we had to do was write a check.

Two building sites have now been leveled, a septic tank is buried and stuck snowmachines have been yanked out of snowbanks with this little Honda engine and all those hydraulics. This year we have a woodshed to build into the hill somewhere and a trail to work on for better access into our place. People at the lake thought Dave was a little wacky with his backhoe idea but it has proved to be a very useful item.

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