A few months ago I included this photo in a post.
In that post I mentioned that this tree, which is laying across one of the trails on our property, has been slowly settling and now I can't get under it without ducking. I also mentioned that for now, instead of doing something more permanent to resolve the issue, it would be just one more place where I'd have to learn to duck while doing my laps.
Well apparently I don't learn very well.
A few days ago, with weighted pack on my back and head down as my little feet chugged along trying to keep up with the brisk pace, I ignored the need to duck and for my insolence promptly got knocked flat on my ass.
Then yesterday, after making it past the spot unscathed on my outbound trip, that damn tree reached out and dope-slapped me upside the head again on the return trip. Thankfully it was just a light, glancing blow this time, but unless I was ready to start wearing my hardhat and a neck-brace when doing laps, clearly something had to be done about this!
Soo - - - Nope, trusty pruning saw, which even though it hardly ever refuses to start when I need it to, is 10 inches.
Tree: about 14 inches.
Damn! The math, even new math, or whatever confusing crap they're experimenting on our kids with nowadays, just doesn't want to work.
I have two chainsaws, both of which are large enough for the job.
But neither one of them is a Stihl, (Ever notice that almost all the people on those off-grid shows that rely on their tools for survival have Stihl chainsaws?) and both of them fight me in different ways.
The small one's carb is all out of wack (I suck at carburetors!) so it is very difficult to start and then keep running.
The big one starts fine, though it idles like crap, but I can't seem to keep the chain properly adjusted. If I don't stop every couple of minutes to re-tighten the chain it throws itself off the bar creating a hell of a mess.(Yes - the chain gets all tangled up too, but mostly it scares the crap out of me every time!)
Besides, with 2-stroke fuel and bar-oil both these saws are stinky and messy and noisy and heavy.
I've got a 6 ounce roll of surveyors tape sitting right there on my computer desk! (Doesn't everybody?!)
So back up over the ridge with tape in my pocket
And, with a surplus of intelligence and trail-smarts, problem solved!
I left the tails long enough that even if I'm leaning wearily into my pack with head down as I crank out the steps I'll be able to see it in plenty of time to duck.
At least that's the plan - - -
This is a 34 second video, with narration, of me successfully negotiating the downed tree this morning on the outbound trip.
Alright. Much as I'd like to ignore it and leave y'all thinking I'm a genius, here's the reality edit:I wrote this a few weeks ago and in a perfect world I'd be able to say that was the end of it, but - - - well - - -
Just to remind me that I'm not quite as smart as I think I am, over the next couple of weeks I picked up a few more divots in my head.
Not on that big tree! That fix has been working great. But apparently, now that I don't have to worry about the big stuff, there are a few smaller obstacles in head's way that feel like they can make themselves bashly (brashly?) known.
Fortunately the small stuff - such as this one which, even though it's right at eye-level where it can hardly be missed has still clipped my hat off a few times - doesn't hurt quite as much, but it is still annoying.
So, if a fix works once it should work again - right?
I hope so!
And since I'm not quite as dumb as I look, I've stashed a supply of head-knocker-tape in my GPS case where I can quickly get to it whether I'm stopping to pick up my hat, busy rubbing the pain out of a new head-divot, or laying flat on my back wondering what the hell just happened.