Sunday, December 19, 2010


I relearned an old lesson this week...there's only so much a man can do...limiting factors like endurance, fortitude, and energy reserves are largely learned or earned skills, but one's gotta play the cards one's dealt.

The latest storm system to slam into the Tahoe Sierra has kicked ass and taken names...take my Friday night experiences for example...

I got all my sleep for the day...I headed out of the DaveCave a half an hour early. There would be some snow removal to be done before I could drive to work. I climbed the stairs to my driveway and was greeted by a four foot tall, five foot wide berm of half frozen, waterlogged snow and ice blocking the driveway...all 22ft of it...the berm was under the front end of my pickup, and the backside of the Landlord's wife's Subaru wagon.

Sans earplugs, I fired up the Snowblower and blew away the berm from the front of my truck and the back of the Subey. I fought my way to work up Interstate 80 and arrived a full 30 minutes late.

No biggy really...the whole swing shift crew was hanging graveyard crew was there...and the fleet was in tatters...which is to say in various degrees of disrepair. I felt l;ike I'd reported for duty in Hiroshima, Japan circa August 7th, 1945!

Welcome to Craterville 
Population: Two sad grooming crews.
My crew of four was asking who could go home...there weren't enough cats to go around...One Bison X lost a wheel (fortunately the wheel went astray right outside the vehicle shop) Another Bison was misfiring, and had an awful exhaust note...and was down on power. One Sherpa winch had a hydraulic leak on it's winch, and my tractor's windshield wipers had given up the ghost after four hours...not good...

The fleet could only field three tractors until the graveyard wrench came to work at 0300. We ran the leaky winch as a free cat, and one guy (my Hero) waited for the mechanic to arrive. I needed to have all hands on deck come morning.

I roared off to work by myself (you can run without front wipers, as long as you control the light)...Our Graveyard Mechanic pulled in a half an hour early, and set about fixing the funny sounding Bison. After 6+ hours, I brought my trusty old BR350 into the shop for the wiper problem.

Fried wiper motor gearbox...remove and replace...I was back on the hill before was still dumping...Big Time...

Those wiperless 6+ hours were feeling like 12+ hours now...the snow was pretty wet, making every move more creeks were raging torrents again, and my bridge To-Do List went on hold for another day. At least I had all hands on deck fore the final push to opening!

I wrapped my shift in Hell after 11:30...I limped home and collapsed into dreamland...just in time to wake up and do it all over again...that's another story that I'd rather not tell. I've got a whole one night off, and I'm going to savor it now!

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