Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Joys of Mining

The machine arrives at the drop off point.
 Gene is currently mining in Oregon, and provided us with a few vignettes of the operation so far: 

I bet Gene's thinking, "Hey, where's the other bucket?"
Gene recently arrived in Oregon and began purchasing all of the relevant supplies for his mining trip to Graveyard Point in Oregon. He went to the gas station to pick up off-road diesel for the machine, but his card to turn the pump on did not work. Gene planned to move the machine the following day, and needed the diesel that day in order to begin work on time. So he managed to convince the gas station staff to call the owner at home in an attempt to fix the pump problem. The owner came in to work, got the pump pumping, and Gene got his diesel on time.

The excavator fords the river.
It has been a wet, cool spring in Oregon.  Gene met his appointment to move the machine at 9am on a Monday morning. The machine arrived with only one narrow bucket – Gene had ordered it with a narrow bucket for moving rock and a wider bucket for moving earth. The driver radioed for another truck to ship the bucket to the drop off point later in the day.
Philip happily driving through Succor Creek.
The machine cannot pass the narrow bridge over a canal on the main road to the mine. Gene and company must drive the machine 6 miles on back roads to the mine, which includes wading through Succor Creek. The machine treaded through the creek fine as usual. Then it was Gene’s turn. Gene forded the creek successfully, but nearly got stuck in the mud on the other side. Philip Stevenson drove into the creek next and firmly planted his truck in the muddy bank on the other side. Water began seeping in his truck’s doors and trunk, but left the engine running to keep water out of the exhaust – and by extension, the engine. Gene grabbed the logging chain he happens to keep in his truck for just these occasions and hooked Philip’s truck to the machine. One gentle tug and the truck sprang free.
Gene tugs Philip's truck out of the creek.
The creek leaked out of Philip's truck for days afterward.