February, 2011

 

February came in like a lion!  A moist layer of air came up from the south and collided with a descending cold front.  On the night of February 3rd, It dropped the most snow that I’ve seen since I moved to Texas back in 1990.  I think that the “official” snowfall for our area was 7” - not much by our northern kin’s standards, but a heckova lot for us!  Unlike a “normal” Texas snow, it didn’t fall in the morning and then melt away by the afternoon.  The cold front stalled on top of us and it hung around for almost a week!

 

I walked outside early on the morning of February 4th and took some pictures around my house.

 

 

Walt L., on the other hand, lived just a couple miles from T14.  After the snows has stopped around noon, he ventured out in his 4x4 truck and headed over to the airport to see how it had fared.

 

99% of the airport was just fine.  Unfortunately, all the hard work that we’d done to build a cover between the two containers was for naught.  High winds had preceded the snow.  It had been very late when we finished it that previous Sunday.  We didn’t have any metal screws with which to attach it to the container tops.  It was planned to do that the next weekend.

 

“Next weekend” didn’t happen, unfortunately.  The high winds lifted our roof off of its resting place, bent it over backwards and snapped the 2x4 frame like it was a twig.  There must have been a foot of snow between the two containers.

The rest of the property looked like a true Winter wonderland.  The snow covered most of our cones and blanketed the rest of the property.  But there weren’t any “real” disasters.  It would not have been much fun, if we’d been living there then.  But the road held up pretty good - all things considered.

02-11 thru 13 - FINALLY a work day (or two - kinda)!

 

By the next Friday, the snow had almost completely melted and we were back at it again.  I’d found another treasure on one of my online auction sites and had been the top bidder for four palettes of raised computer flooring.  I thought that it might be a good thing to use as flooring between the two containers.  We’d put down a layer of plywood on the bottom and then fasten the raised flooring on top to provide a surface that would always be above the water line.  Everything that we stored between the two containers should stay above the soupy mud that is prevalent on the property.

 

On Friday, Walt L. and I drove down to south Dallas and picked up my purchase.  It was relatively late in the afternoon when we returned.  I went straight back to the house with my load while Walt headed back to T14 to drop off his load before turning for home.

Did I say that our road was in good shape?  Boy!  Was *I* wrong!!!

 

Although our crushed asphalt drive had held up admirably through the torrential Fall rains, a layer of snow covering it and soaking in was more than it could stand.  We had built up the road a bit without doing much for drainage.  The massive water runoff pooled against the uphill side until it overflowed and deeply soaked into our road material.  The whole road had the consistency of soft mush.

 

The worst part was right at the entrance where the most water had pooled.  It flowed out over the property entrance and straight out onto CR 3511 - completely missing the ditch!

 

Obviously, it was past time to do some terraforming.  I didn’t come out until the afternoon to give things time to dry out a bit.  The only thing that we could do, after dropping off my load of computer flooring, was to dig a ditch to channel the runoff water down along the side of the entrance and into the ditch where it belonged.

 

It was so muddy that there wasn’t much we could do, so I opted to not come back on Sunday and slosh around in the mud anymore.  At least we got a decent solution started to any future water-pooling problem.  When we rent the little back hoe next time, we’ll dig a better ditch.

02-19 - Building a Parking Ramp.

 

One of the things that we were dedicated to doing was to level out a parking area for airplanes.  Although we had worked diligently on the runway, airplanes didn’t like us anymore once they ventured off.  One would instantly feel like, all of a sudden, he’d gone off-roading in Colorado.  Back before the first fly-in, we’d pulled the box blade over 700 ft. or so of the east side, but we didn’t have a lot of time for that first attempt and it didn’t do a lot of good.  Rachael was out of town at a baby shower for my daughter (and soon-to-be new granddaughter), so I headed over to the airport on Saturday morning to start work on our next project.

 

Walt L. put the disc on Mini-Me and worked over the original 700 ft. of parking area, making a few passes and discing up the dirt.  When I got there, we hooked up the roller behind the box blade onto Mo-Fo.  I hopped aboard and worked it as flat as I was able.  After we finished, we could tell that we had a good start going.  Airplanes pulling off the runway would have a relatively flat area to park.

02-26 & 27th - More Road Building.

 

We started off on Saturday by fixing the road.  While Walt L. pushed more material up with Godzilla (our dozer), I started up Mo-Fo, picked up some buckets of our remaining load of construction rock and fixed some road areas that were still holding water.

 

The road originally stopped back at the turn around the containers.  We had started to build it up last year, but pushed it all back and tabled the road building because it was getting close to the next fly-in (we didn’t want inclement weather to turn it into mud before we had a chance to work the material into a road).  This time, we pushed crushed asphalt up past the travel trailer and up to the water tank.  Hopefully, we’ll have a chance to pack it in and grade it before the weather gets bad again.

 

After we finished our primary road building, we started on a second driveway into what I want to be the RV parking area.  I hope to have a couple of bonafide finished and leveled RV parking spots before the next fly-in.  If time permits, we’ll run electricity and water and have a couple of full hookup spots.  That’s a BIG wishlist, however, and I don't know if we’ll have enough time to get facilities out there before the next fly-in.  Plans are to have a few full hookup spots available in the future, however.

 

Saturday was my only work day on the property that weekend.  I sold one of my motorcycles to a friend.  So Rachael and I, and a couple of good friends, took a long bike ride on Sunday around Dallas to Haltom City to deliver the motorcycle to its new owner.

 

That took us to the end of February.  It started off wet, cold and nasty.  It ended with a nice weekend to do some work around the place and then go bike riding.