The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

With a big enough tractor...

Friendly neighborhood tractor

Tractor fording a creekAfter five months stuck in the mud of the floodplain, our truck is finally free! Our movie-star neighbor deserves a medal for knowing just how to use a long cable with a tree as a fulcrum point to yank out the truck on the other side of a bend without getting bogged down in the muck. Plus, his tractor just happens to be almost-but-not-quite-too-big to go up the ford --- what luck!

Stuck truck yoga

A short chain and a long cable turned out to be the perfect attachment for full-frontal pulling. I think I'm doing a yoga position in this photo --- perhaps Stuck Truck Warrior?

Testing a chain

No, Mark, you can't pull the truck out all by yourself. (Actually, Mark's testing the chain in this photo to make sure it's hooked in properly.)


I'll admit up front that Mark and I were both dubious of our neighbor's choice of days. I mean, look at the driveway --- it was wetter than ever. Shouldn't we wait until the deep freeze, at least?
Driveway swamp
"Nope," our neighbor replied. He kept the tractor in the (semi-)dry, then let a long cable rub up against a tree at the curve. With Mark steering the truck and our neighbor driving the tractor, our mud-encrusted vehicle was yanked free in no time. The diciest part of the whole endeavor was the way Lucy kept trying to jump up into the moving truck in search of a mouse that had taken up residence under the hood.

Here's where I admit that our neighbor was 100% right and we were 100% wrong. We owe you one, Frankie! I'll never doubt you again.

Crossing the creek

Coiling a cableOf course, this doesn't mean we have two vehicles on the road once again. Frankie actually pulled the truck another mile down the road to our other neighbor's garage since the truck no longer wants to run after you get the engine going. Surprise, surprise --- five months in a swamp wasn't good for the truck's moving parts.

But we're thrilled anyway. Not seeing the truck sunk nearly up to its axles as we walk past will make us much happier on a daily basis. And today also marked the day when yet another neighbor (this time the one who gave us our trailer many moons ago) dropped by to scope out the possibility of carving a non-swampy driveway into the side of our hill. More details on that potential project in a later post.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I'm so happy for you guys!
Comment by Torina from Tubaville Tue Jan 6 11:56:12 2015

use brute force.

Not always the best option, I'll admit. And it does pay to use your brain first and brawn later. But in cases like these...

I hope you'll be able to get a better driveway, seeing how the current swamp has claimed one of your transports and damaged two others.

Comment by Roland_Smith Tue Jan 6 13:35:57 2015
Always see the drive muck. Why not dump some river rocks down each time traversed? A chipper and the wood chips? Courragsted drainpipe lowest spots to river?
Comment by Jim Tue Jan 6 19:16:55 2015
Why did you leave the truck there for all those months? All that water corroding everything????? I understand being stubborn and wanting to do something yourself, but the money you "saved" not calling in a wrecker with a winch you are now going to spend on frozen brakes, wiring, ball joints, etc!
Comment by Eric Tue Jan 6 22:46:32 2015

Have you considered getting a UNIMOG??? Half truck, half tractor and all Mercedes so even a movie star could be seen in one.

Comment by Chris Wed Jan 7 07:33:57 2015
Could the swampy area be bridged? And if so, would that be any cheaper/easier than routing a new driveway?
Comment by Emily Sat Jan 10 17:41:23 2015

profile counter myspace

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