Jul 12 2009

Day 92: Soothing Misty Oregon Coast

by andrew

We’re settled in here south of Lincoln City, OR – nestled in a valley that doesn’t have cell coverage (hence no internet), but offers instead a constant supply of beauty: evergreen-covered hills shrouded in foggy serenity, a vibrant-green river behind our home on wheels, mist from time to time for good measure, old soul trees blanketed in moss… almost enough to stave off the connection withdrawals. I’m posting this from the library in town. We’ve just finished our laundry and the kids are restless to leave, so I will have to keep it short.

Our trip from Minot, ND to Lincoln City, OR was the most adventurous yet.

  • Spent a few days soaking in the splendor of Glacier National Park… you should see the photos I got… I will have to post some if I remember to bring my photo disk drive with me sometime when I surface to get a connection.
  • North of Augusta, MT I pulled over to try to get some shots of an amazing lightening storm not too far to the west. Barely minutes after stopping, the massive storm blew our way and right through our location, pelting us with grape-sized hail… biggest I think I’ve ever been in. We were broadsided by the assault and I felt like looking for the cannons to return fire. Thankfully, the “historic site” pull-over we had taken had a huge hanging sign etched with the story of the place that shielded a section of our trailer. But the exposed portion of our rolled up awning got a bit shredded… still, nothing that a roll of white duct tape couldn’t cure later on.
  • Then, at an intersection an hour north of Helena, MT and 45 minutes east of Lincoln, MT we had to make a decision about which way to go with very little info… West was risky – possible crazy mountains and back hi-ways. South went to bigger interstates and cities, but was a far longer route. We decided to go West and had a couple major climbs, stopping at one point to let the line behind us pass while we cooled down, but ultimately we were glad we did it. It was a gorgeous drive and put us way ahead of schedule, getting into Missoula, MT late that evening.
  • On the last day of travel, home stretch, finish-line practically in sight, things got really interesting. Driving down the very scenic I-84 along the Columbia River just 10 miles east of Arlington, OR we ran over some kind of metal chunk that I totally didn’t see and our rear, passenger tire on the truck exploded. I’m not exaggerating. I know about the metal chunk because one of those hi-way safety vehicle came up behind us a few minutes later and the driver told me he had just picked it up off the road a few hundred feet back. So, with the trailer practically resting against the guardrail, and just enough room to fit beside the narrower truck, I changed the shredded rubber with our spare. Took a while… thankfully, the safety worker stayed behind us with his blinkers going and then led us into town down the road to a tire shop. We got two new rear tires (for now – though I would have bought a whole set if they had them… I love these new tires, about the best you can get, aggressive grip, 10-ply, best all-round road / gravel / rain tires you can find and very affordable)… and there was a post office in town so we took care of our Correction to Change of Address since that was going to my sister’s who has now also moved… and replaced a fuse I needed at the ACE Hardware across the street from the post office… and several hours later back on the road.
  • Had to stop one more time as we started swaying all over the road from the wind (I-84 hills are riddled with wind turbines which should give you an idea) to slap on our sway-control-bar (normally I leave it off because it hasn’t been too bad without it up until now and I prefer the extra maneuverability).
  • All told, that put us arriving at 10pm local time at our campground when it should have been like 4 or 5pm. But we made it. And are loving it.

I’ll have to get some of those photos from the adventure posted here… there are some reall great ones. Check back over the next few days – I’ll update this post with them… or maybe just do a new post with a bunch. We’ll see.

Jul 1 2009

Day 81: An 8-year Circle

by andrew

How many of you can say that you had the chance later on in life to meet the doctor who delivered you when you were born? Maybe there are more of you than I’d guess, but I certainly can’t. Well, today in a cool turn of events it worked out for Bennah (who just turned 8 a week ago) to meet the doctor that delivered him.

We got a good start departing Winnipeg this morning and got into Minot, ND with plenty of time to swing by the hospital where Bennah was born. We were just going to show the kids the building, but on a whim, I thought – what if Dr. A. F. is still working there? So, I went inside, picked up the phone labeled “Information” and asked the nice lady at the other end. Sure enough! And she forwarded me to OB to check on his availability. So, after 8 years and 4 more children, we got a chance to say hi to the kind gentlemen who helped us with our firstborn. Crazy. And of course, he remembered us too… well, our situation was rather unique afterall – Renee on bed rest for 5 months of the pregnancy, and our request for an 8th-day circumcision, and several other unique things about our story, but I’ll leave it at that.

Then, we went past our old apartment (the second floor of an old house and probably the most favorite place we ever lived… tied with the last house in Alexandria, VA maybe… of course, current “home” notwithstanding, which doesn’t count because it’s way too awesome to even be compared)… anyway, it’s still there and it looks exactly like it did the day we left. Same colors – everything. After 8 years.

Of course, the Wal-Mart in town has moved and been upgraded to a Super Center; picked up some necessary road supplies… but the Sammy’s is still here and pretty much all our original favorite places are intact. Both thrift stores. The coffee shop / used book store. The photolab Renee worked at for a while. Etc. Talk about memory lane. It was so much fun to share this all with our kids, even though they probably just wanted to get out and run around and squirt each other with the new water guns from Wal-Mart…

And as for Bennah – I’m sure he just wanted to try out his new bike seat. He just learned how to ride a bike. On literally his second try. And some friends blessed us with an awesome bike for him (they had extras) but it needed a new seat. Up until today he’s been riding it around the campground with a shoe over the post to act as a seat. After he took a few spins around the Roughrider Campground where we’re parked now in Minot, he said he actually likes the shoe better. But he never actually sat on it I don’t think. His bony bum isn’t very comfortable on the new seat that he can actually sit on… but he’ll get used to it.

Long day of driving tomorrow and I should have been in bed a while ago. But this had to get captured. It was another great day.

May 15 2009

Day 33: Made it!

by andrew

Well, we made it! We’re in Winnipeg! (12km west of the perimeter on #1, anyway, but that counts!) We’re settled in our cozy warm trailer (heat cranked as it’s down to 35F / almost 0C outside now, and judging from the ice on the ground around our water hook-ups it might get even colder yet tonight). Hmmmmm….

We wanted to call you all  (yes even you strangers who might happen across the blog), but we haven’t figured out how to get our cell phones switched over to Canada roaming yet [Verizon gave us an access code to use once we got here but it didn’t work and we don’t have a cell phone signal to speak of at the campground]… BUT our handy dandy AutoNet Mobile router has 40% signal to some other cell network and that’s enough to get this post out as a close second and regrettably impersonal alternate option.

Thank you for all the comments! I wish I could respond to them all in depth. They’re so fun to read and it’s encouraging knowing others are traveling with us.

Long day… We hit the road at 8:30am and had several stops along the way, but we rolled into the campground right around 9pm after an hour or so of  driving through the flooded southern plains of central Manitoba, which was actually a perfect backdrop for contemplating an upcoming post that will probably be titled something like “Death by Bureaucracy: Archetypes of the Hidden Worldwide Slave State that permeates everything and can be found in something as simple as trying to legitimately cross the longest undefended border in the world…” It will ramble on about how we’re all slaves to a system that controls us far more than we realize until little moments give us glimpses, but then the glimpses pass and we forget again… about how – even with the level of freedom we seek to attain in our travels – there is yet a strong opposition in the world to anything that resembles true freedom (not freedom of “choice” to do whatever one wants, but true freedom)… about how there is a spiritual freedom that should be impervious to such encroachment – that certainly goes far deeper than any physical freedom to do or say – but how even that can be stifled if the mind gets in the way… about how odd it is that so many people can’t fathom or process or even contemplate that some crazy folks (like us) would actually NOT want to live in one place all the time… (the simple question, “Where do you live?” in fact belies how narrow minded people can be)… and, how foolish it is that every modern societal construct in our fancy western culture is wired to the fundamental assumption that one must have a home address (not merely a mailing address mind you) where they can be found most of the time… how silly would the Bedouins or other ancient and modern nomadic peoples think you were if you asked them “Where do you live? … Where is your home?” …….. After today I can completely relate, and I’m sure none of the 3 border crossing guards at each of the 3 levels of redundant-question-asking-security (2 of which were completely new to me in crossing) had any idea how silly I thought their questions were. Ah…. it was once such a simple thing to cross the border. I did it every weekend for a year (give or take a few weekends and most of those when I was in Mississipi) when Renee and I were engaged and I was stationed at Minot, ND. And as long as you seem “normal” and they can measure you and quantify you and rely on you to act predictably (like pretty much everyone else) you can slide right through no problem. Well, no such simplicity here. HOWEVER, we did get through, and YHWH can certainly provide crossings in even more impossible scenarios in the future.

There, now I don’t even need to write that post after all.

So, after a cruise around the campground and an hour and a half setup (connect electric, off the hitch, level front to rear, slide-out, stabilize and level side-to-side, connect sewer line, connect water line, etc etc) while Renee got the kids tucked away in their beds it will finally feel like we’re here after a couple “normal” nights’ sleep that aren’t followed by driving days. YEA! See some of you soon! Although we are thinking that we might just lay low this weekend and get some rest, recover from travel, settle in, tend to some loose ends (like showers and laundry), that kind of thing… if we can get away with it 🙂 We’ll see how it goes.

Since I’m posting this, we do / should have normal email access, which might be the best way of contact until we get the cell service figured out… ok… supper and then bed!

May 13 2009

Wisconsin I-94W

by andrew

B . I o balls if orien . Us dr is X is Drive xrng .th roogh Wisconsin trying to write witln left fingers nails on pocket pc. Letter lreccogn.izer.while focus on drive …:

Had to mentioned this mfolrnings adventure breakfast while we waiting for camping world’s repair on trailer still having to replaced converter myself as .they don’t have thenn in sto.re. .The converter is what’s cavsing external GFI to trip even tho its putting out right voltage + amps. Prol..y losing volts on some tiny internal short …
So anyway about breakfast because that’s what this is really about ..: Pine Cone Restaurant in De Forest , WI jvst off of I-94 & 51… Oh mamma ! Imagine a giant cinnamon roll sliced horizontally from the bottom up and then cooked like french toast with butter & syrup drizzled on top! Oh yeah thats wh.at I .had.

Lovinj Wisconsin I-94 : 60 mph @ 700 pyro / 1800 rpm most of the way..:
Jvst .passed mile 106 on 94W. 4:30pm 5/13/09 – 120 miles to St. Paul.

May 10 2009

Day 25-29: Over the Appalachians

by andrew

We are surviving our first bout of hard-core travel and campgrounding, but it hasn’t been without … um … “events” shall we say? I think I have previously lamented the fact that there are not enough nanoseconds in the day to do these tales justice with the flowing, detailed narrative they deserve. But let me recap the last few days of adventure in bullet form lest current events overtake the record and press it with their own need to be captured.

Day 25 (Wed, 5/6/09):

  • Intended day of departure from PA… slow going with all the final preparations even though we had done most of it the day before…
  • 3:00pm, still planning to leave and make some progress, final checks on the truck… needed oil change badly… likely not going to get on the road after all…
  • 3:30pm, Jaiden (age 2) falls in the creek and gashes the back of his head open, Reayah (age 5) was right with him when it happened, watching him like we’d asked her too; she got Bennah (age 7) right away because he was close by; Bennah pulls Jaiden out of the creek and stays with him (he’s soaked head to toe, his head is bleeding, and he’s screaming from the shock; knowing Bennah is with him, then Reayah runs to the the trailer (just a few hundred feet away) to get us; I run down there, scoop up my little brave soaking wet explorer and hustle him back to the trailer; Renee cleans him up, and we get ice on his head; he shows initial symptoms of a mild concussion; we pray for him, battle our fear, and the symptoms clear… at that point we were obviously not going anywhere that day… wanted to watch him closely and make sure he would be alright.
  • Jaiden was quiet for a bit but was his old giggly self before too long and the delay worked out to let us go visit some other dear friends about an hour away who we hadn’t seen in a long time.

Day 26 (Thurs, 5/7/09):

  • On the way to get some errands done in the morning (one of which was getting the oil changed) I got stuck behind some SLOW traffic with no passing lane. There were alternate routes I could have taken into town, but I was keenly aware of YHWH saying that the situation was an example to me: He is slowing us down, every part of our lives… our previous life was lived in such servitude to schedules and TIME… always trying to get things done in a rush or having to be somewhere quickly… we are learning to slow down and become more aware of the NOW.
  • Of course, that approach leads to things like 2pm departures. But we were finally on our way.
  • And our first real mountain driving across I-80… what another example of slowing down… pulling 17,000 lbs total up some climbs brought us down to 30 mph in a couple spots to keep all the gauges in the mostly happy zones. Average maybe 45-50 mph. 60 mph on the downhill. Slowing down like that was HARD (for me because I much prefer the speed limit +5 rule of thumb). But I learned how to ride my gears on the auto tranny based on the precise position of the pedal and the current RPMs, speed, and incline of the road.
  • How do I know we were pulling 17,000 lbs? Because we finally found a scale that worked. For $5 I found out that:
    • my front axle was carrying 3140 lbs (GAWR 4250)
    • my rear axle was carrying 5380 lbs (GAWR 6000)
    • my trailer axles were carrying 8760 lbs (GAWR > 8800)
  • What a relief – we were under ALL our limits, which up until then was actually quite doubtful. We are pulling more than the overall recommended weight for the stock make / model / year, but we’re not driving a stock vehicle… and we can always sacrifice speed to make sure we don’t overwork the engine.
  • We rolled into a Wal-mart in Ohio at 10:30pm only to discover we had NO power from the trailer battery. I knew I needed to replace it, but it had never been totally drained before. This meant no tongue jack (to relieve some weight off the truck for the night and stabilize a bit) and no slide-out (which means the kids room is barely accessible and the bathroom is inaccessible – except to Jaiden and Zach who can squeeze through). Then, after getting the kids to bed doubled up on the pull-out couch and fold-down dinette, some initial checks on the wiring suggested that the trailer outlet on the truck wasn’t wired right and maybe hadn’t been charging the trailer battery during travel. It was a project for the morning, but it was going to mean a LATE departure.

Day 27 (Fri, 5/8/09):

  • Renee entertained the kids in Wal-Mart the next morning while I discovered that positive cable connector had completely snapped off the terminal (hence, no juice). Battery also needed replacement. Not satisfied that the trailer plug on the bumper was resolved, but it could wait; new battery and cable rewired, we pulled out around 1:30pm, gassed up and hit the interstate once more.
  • We entered Sabbath with an Indiana sunset and a spectacular visual reminder of what we love so much about traveling.
  • For whatever reason, I was determined to get to Chicago that night, and be done with it. But wondering if we shouldn’t heed the lessons of slowing down I tried to stop at a Flying J around 10:oopm but it seemed to be rigged only for trucks (or cars) but there didn’t seem to be anywhere for RVs to park… which was very strange… but we pressed on…
  • YIKES. 90/94 W through Chicago at 10:30pm on a Friday night… talk about some serious prayerful towing driving… that is an experience I’d rather not have to repeat… ever…
  • 11:01pm pull into Wal-mart on the other side of Chicago and join the ranks of a couple trucks and a couple motorhomes.
  • Stabilized on the tongue jack but still not using the slide-out after confirming that the new battery did not charge during the day of travel.
  • Settled in for a crazy night of some of the most insane wind we’ve half-slept through ever. The Windy City’s way of greeting us I suppose. The trailer rocked and shook like a dingy tossed around at sea, and that next morning Wal-Mart’s array of plants outside the Garden Center in the parking lot had suffered the damages of a tornado through a trailer park on a botanical scale.

Day 28 (Sabbath, 5/9/09):

  • 9:00am on the way to our final intended resting spot for the area – Illinois Beach State Park – another hour north.
  • 10:00am pulled in, found a site, set-up, registered, Jonathan (my brother who lives in the Chicago area) arrived, and we thought to ourselves – smooth sailing from here!!!!
  • or not
  • Discovered that the fridge wasn’t on and wouldn’t turn on.
  • Zach (age 4) found a small bead the exact size of a 4-year-old ear canal and he had not been previously, properly trained about what things (i.e. everything) should NOT be inserted an inch or so into one’s ear.
  • Between Zach lying on his side on the couch, ear hanging over and down, Jonathan holding his head level, me underneath looking up from the floor with a headlamp shining like some sort of mechanic pulling his ear down and forward while squirting water into it with a syringe while Renee consulted her mom (a nurse) on the phone regarding the correct angle to pull a child’s ear when it has become the container for a foreign object… and MUCH prayer… we finally got the crazy thing out. I’m not kidding, initially you couldn’t even see the bead without pulling the ear back first and shining some light.
  • I finally found the access panel (on the OUTSIDE of the trailer) to check if the fridge was even plugged in… which it was not (shaken unplugged in our travels) and that was working again so we could finally explore the campground a bit.
  • Came back and headed to Jonathan’s (an hour a way) for an awesome home-cooked meal (thank you Jonathan!)
  • Back to the trailer after that only to discover NO power – AGAIN! Even though we were plugged into the campground 30 amp service. No matter what I did, every time I plugged in, I tripped the 30 amp GFCI breaker….

[historical background digression]: there is a story here. When we first got the trailer, I discovered that the ground pin on the main 30 amp shoreline cable was broken. Now I suspect that this was done by the previous owners intentionally after having some frustrating electrical issues with GFCI circuits at campgrounds, but at the time I was thinking… this is not right, it needs to be fixed. So, I cut off the old broken plug and wired in a spiffy new 3-prong 30 amp plug… and I immediately started tripping the breaker in the garage that I had previously been plugged into without any problems. Safety = Pain in the Bum. Just like in the programming world. (Security = Pain in the Bum). In fact, the overkill in both arenas of Safety and Security largely result from the moronic behavior of a few individuals who make life much more complicated for the rest of the human race. My solution a few months ago – plug into a different outlet in the garage that was not GFCI protected, and forget about the whole thing.

  • Ah… the GFCI incident came back to haunt me didn’t it, here months later, in the up-until-2-am-with-a-multimeter-and-internet-forums kind of way. Current theory: electrical systems in RVs can be a Pain in the Bum. Solution so that we could have heat, keep the battery charged, and I could go to bed: break the ground prong off of an extra 30 > 15 amp adapter and plug into the 15 amp service (also GFCI) for now. [THIS IS NOT SAFE. DON’T DO THIS. YOU’VE BEEN WARNED…. but if it comes down to survival… ;)]

Day 29 (Sun, 5/10/09):

  • Renee and the kids out for a walk while I narrowed down the electrical issue at least to a specific circuit in the trailer… the one that has most of the receptacles (outlets) and the converter (which converts the AC to DC for charging the battery and running the DC appliances). Now if I can just dig up a little more electrical know-how than I currently possess I might not have to pay someone to fix the whole mess for me. I get the feeling that it could get involved. Especially if most or all of the outlets on that circuit were wired with the ground and neutral bonded. Ugh.
  • Met Jonathan for a tasty lunch, because life must go on.
  • Got some grocery shopping done and other errands.
  • Including a couple outlet testers from Home Depot that ended up telling me nothing I didn’t already know (they say all the outlets check out just fine, so the mystery continues).
  • Took the kids to an amazing playground. There will be photos of it posted somewhere eventually.
  • Brought them home, fed them, got them to bed.
  • And here I am typing this.

Congratulations, you have passed the very useful course: Reading Andrew’s Long Winded Posts (Even When They’re Written in Bullet Format) 301.

For further entertainment:
Updated Trip data
Updated Map

I also have a bunch of photos queued for upload (and more that I have to sort and queue) but I have to wait for a decent hard connection to get the upload done.

Apr 13 2009

Up Periscope

by andrew

The e-silence is broken! I have finally rescued the laptop from the truck. I think this is the longest I have gone without  being connected in quite some time… In fact, it has been rather quite nice. I was <gasp> reticent, in fact, to jack back in. But I figured a quick recap was in order… for the record. And all the lovely Facebook comments / responses really inspired me to get an update out there – thank you ALL for the friendship and kind thoughts.

We didn’t actually end up pulling out until 9pm, Saturday, April 11th. It truly was the endless day. It took an hour or so to hitch up because the weight bottomed out on the truck further than it had when I blocked it up last time. Basically I couldn’t pull the tongue jack in far enough to get all the weight on the truck as it was still resting on the blocks as well. So, I had to use jack stands, pull the tongue jack all the way in, remove s few blocks, jack back up off the stands, remove stands, jack back down onto truck, there. I know you find that all incredibly interesting.

The trailer was HEAVY and we weaved and bobbed a mile or so to the gas station for a precarious fill-up and the obligatory bathroom stops even though EVERYONE had gone before we left. And then we prayed and gave our trip to YHWH. There were many uncertainties yet: would the truck handle all the weight we had dumped into the trailer? Would it pull us all over teh road? Would I ge ttoo tired to continue? And so on… It was immensely helpful to take all those questions and throw them into Trust.

9:40pm actually finally on the road. Puttered along at 50 mph average to keep all the gauges happy. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower depending on the terrain.

11:00pm-ish it was obvious I was physically incapable of staying awake. For those who have braved the noble road with me, you will recognize immediately that this is quite uncharacteristic. I have driven solo from Colorado to Virginia straight through. I have driven solo from the coast of Louisiana to Canada straight through. But there was no way I was going to safely make the 4 hour cruise after the delightful schedule we had been keeping. With no rest areas or Walmarts anywhere in GPS sight, I thought at least a beverage was in order. Sheetz gas station turned out to be very hospitable and gracious hosts and I caught a couple winks between various kids waking up grumpy.

1:30am-ish back on the road. I hit equilibrium at 2am on the dot. There is this Place on the Road that I am quite fond of. It is a Place of perfect awareness that fatigue cannot touch. It is a Place of Perpetual Motion. It is a Place of Grace and Life where every physical and spiritual sense is completely alive. It certainly helped that I stumbled upon an amazing radio show to provide the soundtrack: http://www.starsend.org/broadcast.html – that Place on the Road always demands a soundtrack, and I tuned in right before 2am when Arc was up on the Playlist. Now, I’m the kind of person who believes that everything happens for a reason – for a Purpose – and, though I also realize that one can read too much into things as well, I find immensely curious if not downright cool that the inaugural song of the trip was by a group called Arc. The layers of puns and meanings there are numerous, but the more obvious ones revolve around feeling a bit like  we’re here now in our own little ark riding along atop a sea of circumstance over which we have incomplete control.

4am we finally pulled into the driveway on the Farm… after 2 puke incidents (there has been something going around), and 2 stops at the very end to reattach each weight distribution bar (something screwy going on there on certain angle turns or something).

The last couple days have been full of fellowship, realization (as the surreal slowly gives way to the uberreal), rest (although not quite as much as I’d like yet, because…), and unpacking / sorting / organizing. It might sound funny, be we really do have a lot of unpacking to do. We’re now in the move in phase: i.e. how can we possibly organize everything so that it looks like things are not cluttered. It is so much fun.

We’re parked by a pond. We have power, water, and sewer connections. The kids have a Farm to explore. Renee and I already have a long to-do list to streamline this new life. Photos and GPS data will get posted when I get around to it. And I should have gone to bed 3 hours ago 🙂 Some things change hard. We are feeling so blessed!

Feb 26 2009

6 weeks and counting…

by renee

In about a month or so, we will be leaving our 5 bedroom house in Virginia behind for good. We will be driving away in a blue diesel Suburban and pulling our 32 foot travel trailer.

Since before we were married, my husband and I talked about living on the road in a trailer or a sailboat. Well, it looks like that dream is finally going to happen. We sure didn’t imagine doing this with 5 kids though. We’ve done some test runs (a short vacation and sleep-overs in the trailer in our driveway!). There will definitely be some adjustments. Okay, a lot of adjustments. But the kids are excited and have actually been very cooperative and helpful about selling and giving away many of their clothes and toys that won’t fit in the trailer. I seem to be the one that wants to hold onto things. Especially their homeschooling books and games. I have 5 file bins full of books, activities and crafts that we might need.

I have all my crafts and paints and paintbrushes that I just can’t seem to part with. It’s interesting to see what’s most important to me. My jeans, my art supplies. And of course, my Mac. I had a hard time parting with my shower curtains, but, I got over it. My dishes (breakable) and coffee maker (too big) can always be replaced if we decide to settle down in a house again. For my oldest son Bennah, it is his sketch pads, Legos and nature encyclopedia. My oldest daughter Reayah has her Treasure box. It’s a collection of jewelery, hair paraphernalia, movie stubs saved from family dates, unique stones found on walks, and other beautiful and shiny treasures she has found or bought. She loves her books and tea set too. Zach will be happy with just his toy cars and Duplo blocks. Jaiden will be happy as long as he has what everyone else has. Joy, who is only 4 months, will be content to have a toy that she can chew on and that makes a crinkly noise. And maybe I’ll keep a few board books like “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” and “Good-Night Moon”.

We are all looking forward to this adventure. It will hopefully be a simpler life full of opportunities to minister to whoever Father puts in our path along the way. We just want to walk in YHWH’s purposes wherever he leads.

I hope to stay in touch with many of you. Don’t forget us!

Feb 18 2008

Winter Mulch

by andrew

We came across a most curious sight on our drive up to / through Pennsylvania this past weekend. Right along 104 there were these immense mountains of mulch steaming from the decomposing process and a front-end loader taking smaller piles and putting them onto bigger piles. It was truly amazing… perhaps all the more interesting because there was still some stubborn patches of snow clinging to the surface in spots. I didn’t really have the time that I would have liked – such as 8 days or so 🙂 – to truly document the spectacle properly, but in the few short minutes I had while my family waited in the truck, I jumped out and fired off a few quick rounds. It was hard to decide which one to post, but this captures the essence. Sadly, none of the shots I grabbed captured the enormity of these mulch piles, nor the precarious position the loader was being driven into. The pilot literally drove this thing up the steep side of these piles to drop a new deposit on top. It was expertly accomplished, but I thought for sure the giant machine was going to tip and come rolling down the mulch mountain right at me.

mulch loader