Excerpts from DES update…Rene’s tour, a trip to the local quarry, and Aric’s FB.

In early July, our own Rene Duquesnoy began serving a tour of duty in Kuwait for six to eight months with the Air National Guard. We send a package his way every handful of weeks. If you want to send something, let us know.

Southern Illinois News

This is how farming was going this Spring:

It has become a trend in recent years…

…so Aric and I sold our 50 acres. No tears were shed. It felt so good to visit the farm and not have to do farming!

However, we do still have one rental property left, which needs substantial drainage work in order for us to sell it. We need to install a french drain around the foundation, which is basically a perforated tile line, in a fabric sock, encased in gravel.

First: get a truckload of gravel. We figured we need about twelve tons.

Turns out that (a) my brother Aric has a Commercial Driver’s License, which means he can drive an 18-wheeler, and (b) Walquist Farm has a gravel trailer and a semi tractor to pull it! I love farms.

Aric checking the tire pressure on the (slightly used) gravel trailer.

All’s you have to do is head down to the local quarry with your rig, drive up and weigh empty, and then drive right down into the quarry…

…where you talk to a guy in one of these, and he tells you which rock pile to pull up next to, and fills you up. In this pic, he’s weighing the 2nd scoop on his frontend loader’s built-in scale. 12 tons is not quite 2 scoops. At $9 per ton, gravel is relatively cheap, so getting a little extra is not a big deal.

Then you drive back uphill, weigh out, and get a scale ticket.

Then it’s back to the site, and dump. Twelve tons of gravel sounds like a lot more than it looks. It was half a trailer load (probably fortunate it wasn’t a full load, considering our awesome gravel trailer’s brakes were not working).

Tune in next time …

In July, Aric and his son Andy and I hiked up Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the contiguous U.S.

(Mount Whitney as seen from a Mac OS X desktop background. Alabama Hills in foreground.)