Thursday, April 18, 2013

Grunt Work and a Pleasant Hike in The Forest

A good friend of mine asked if I could lend a hand to help level his front sidewalk.  Following our 'Open Mike' Sunday morning coffee, we drove to his home and, after looking at the task at hand, I agreed to meet him on Tuesday afternoon to fix the problem.
This was bull work.
Due to root growth, the sidewalk had warped to uneven and dangerous undulations.  Now, those who know my friend, Denis and I, know that very little makes us run away from a challenge.  And a challenge this job was.  These concrete blocks are extremely heavy.
Super heavy concrete sidewalks had to be raised to access the roots underneath.
 Using long steel bars, with long 2X8 boards, for greater leverage, we managed (without hurting ourselves) to lift a total of five large concrete walks, remove the roots, re-level and replace.
If we were to guess, the larger blocks had to weigh well over several hundred lbs.
Had we taken photos in advance of starting this sweaty project, you would have seen a completely uneven walkway.
The renovated look following several hours of calorie busting work and sweat.
After lifting, de-rooting and leveling two of the five large concrete blocks, we had no energy left to lift the third.  That called for a much needed break for water and rest.  Fifteen minutes later, we were back at it and the block was lifted.  We just needed to pace ourselves better.
Great looking sidewalk once again.
Some readers may ask why we would attempt to do this work?  Well, because we can! Having known each other for well over 30 years, Denis and I have always undertaken projects (for him or for me) that would scare others away.  We always succeeded. (touch wood)

I had real fears of waking up with severe 'rigor mortise' (unbelievable muscle and back pain), the next morning though.  But that did not materialize.  Other than a few minute sore muscles in the lower back (gone today) and a few very minor arm and leg pains, we survived this bull work project.  I don't think we have ever faced a more physically demanding job as this one was.  Using our heads, as much as our bodies, we managed to lift, remove and replace the sidewalk.  I'm sure some of Denis' neighbours had serious doubts about our abilities.  Hey, we showed them!!!....and surprised ourselves too!!!

Denis and Odette now have a beautiful and level sidewalk ,once again.

Yesterday was equally sunny and bright and we had the pleasure of a one hour visit with  Easton and his mom, Ginette,
Always excited to walk....anywhere and everywhere.
 Easton is so close to walking but, for now, hanging on to Grand Papa's fingers works well.
Enjoying a bit of lunch.
Once Ginette and Easton left back for home, Jeanette and I headed for a 4 kilometre hike in one of the nearby forested trails.
Very quiet.....and no one around.....!
We met only three or four hikers during our two hour walkabout.  It was so contrasting to walk in a thick forest following so many months in the sandy deserts of southern Arizona and California.
Sure signs of spring.  the dandelions are numerous and in full bloom.

The forest is greening nicely.
Having heard about some of the testy winter winds that hit the BC west coast during the winter, we were not surprised by the high volume of dead fall in the forest.  For every tree that is felled, several new seedlings are planted.

The groomed trails are in great condition.
We returned home and I got to work on the research and reading of a potential multimedia drama project I have been invited to participate in.  More on that in a later blog.
Calm stream....but no signs of fish....yet!
That's pretty much the story around here for now.

Thanks for dropping by.


  1. Whew, that was a project! Glad you have no sore muscles!

  2. Well done fellas. It's a great thing to be in good enough shape to tackle the difficult projects.

  3. Great job of levelling that side walk, glad you did not hurt yourselves!

  4. What a job - and a perfect looking result. I admire you guys for taking on such a back-breaking project, my arms and back are sore just from looking at it.

    Easton will be joining you and Jeanette on those beautiful hikes before too long now! Once he's walking on his own, soon from the looks of it, there'll be no stopping him.

  5. My Fella is a back at work 12 hours a day at the golf course and I have some back-breaking, challenging projects to finish on our new RV lot this summer ... when are you and Denis available ??? :)

  6. Kelsi,

    LOL...If it doesn't involve lifting and leveling hugely weighty concrete sidewalk blocks, we would not qualify for RV lot renovations.

    Good luck with that! Hey what else would you do with all of your free time?