Progress report... Working in the snow and just barely freezing temperatures turns out to be not too bad at all. I got a lot done today, and I'm back on track to make the trip back to Jamul in time for Thanksgiving. Hooray!
The first thing I did today was to fill the trench over the water pipe to a depth of 2 feet. That took from 7:30 am to 3:00 pm. It wasn't physically difficult, as the tractor did nearly all the work – there was about 6 feet of trench I had to do by hand, but the other 250' was all with the backhoe. I had to jump on-and-off the tractor a few hundred times, to switch back and forth from driving to using the backhoe. That turned out to be just enough activity to keep me warm. I got wet later in the day, and that chilled me pretty thoroughly – but a 15 minute break in the nice, warm house cured that.
At 3:00 pm I went to work laying the two network cables in the trench. I had to shove them through the hole Jim J. drilled in my basement wall on Friday, then unspool the rather tight coils for 220' along the trench. I left plenty of slack so the dirt under the cables could settle and move the cables without breaking them. That whole job only took 45 minutes.
Then I spent an hour shoveling, filling the hole next to our house's basement back up. I don't want it to freeze there, because our water supply enters the house right next to where we dug the hole. I got about 3' of dirt in there, roughly a cubic yard of wet, mucky, heavy stuff. By the time I was finished, I was drenched in sweat and very hot. That was a big change from just a few minutes before :)
I called my builder (Jim J.) tonight to verify that we were in sync. He's planning to be here in the morning to lay down the gas pipe. With any luck at all, that means I can completely fill in the trench tomorrow afternoon. Then on Tuesday all I need to get done is to place the transformer foundation – and I'll be finished with everything that must be finished before I leave for Jamul.
When I looked out the window this morning, I wasn't at all sure I'd be able to get anything useful done. I was far too pessimistic – it turned out to be rather a good day to work!