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Ditch Digging

Jack As mentioned in a previous post, the barn building necessitates moving our utility lines.  The new lines will be run underground from the barn up to the house.  That means there's a trench to be dug.

The trench runs about 90 feet.  According to code it needs to be two feet deep and two feet wide.  With all the rock on this island (it is an active volcano after all) digging that much is usually next to impossible.  I got smart (i.e. lucky) and decided to re-excavate an existing trench that runs along the top of a retaining wall where most of the ground is fill.

The existing trench contains existing water and power lines so it was in my best interest to dig carefully.  That means no backhoes or power trenchers, just hand tools and sweat.  Most of the digging proceeded smoothly, the only two difficult obstacles were one stubborn tree stump and one very large boulder, both of which were entangled in the existing PVC pipes.

A little extra digging allowed me to maneuver the chainsaw around the pipes and delicately cut away the tree roots until I was finally able to pull the stump out.  That giant boulder was more difficult because it couldn't be chainsawed into smaller pieces.  Lifting it out with the tracter was impossible because the pipes were in the way.  Luckily Valerie's father was here and he wasn't about to let that boulder get the best of us.  We spent several hours digging, prying and slowly inching that boulder out from under the pipes.  Now there's a nice clear trench all the way from the barn to the house.  And only one small pipe repair was required (my fault, not his).

Watch six hours of digging in 22 seconds (817 KB).

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