Okay, so a week ago last Friday we had this truly absurd flash flood. And among the other damage it did…
It wrapped a big uprooted tree around my little cottonwood, then a mat of smaller plants, all of which served as a proper matrix for tons of dirt and stones. You couldn’t tell the poor tree even had a trunk.
That was nine days ago and I don’t know if the accumulated mess was harming the cottonwood but there wasn’t anything practical I could do while everything was so wet. Thankfully that’s the last time the wash ran, so things have dried out for the most part.
I went in with that little cordless chainsaw to see if I could rescue the tree.
My plan didn’t work very well. I didn’t reckon with tons of dirt and rocks, all mixed with pulverized viney plants ripped from the banks of the wash.
So I ended up slicing into the mat and peeling it away from the trunk a little at a time.
I exposed the trunk all the way down then worked the mat away from it, pulling off anything that came loose and cutting off anything that didn’t. At worst I’d see what that electric chainsaw, with which I had been prepared to be quite unimpressed, could do.
I’ll give it another shot another day. It was time for afternoon chicken chores, but there was another matter I wanted to see to.
That little cart has sat deteriorating in the sun for years now, and I always thought it was such a shame. TC brought it up and left it there; it ran when we took it off the trailer, I was skeptical about its usefulness but we deliberately brought it to the meanest hill I know and damned if it didn’t climb it. It’s not an ATV, of course, but it’ll go on any of these dirt roads.
Gasoline costs money, but electricity is free. I looked at that cart a lot. But by the time TC got his solar power working the rats had chewed through the charger cable, and it was none of my business anyway, but I wondered at the time whether the batteries were already ruined and if so how much it would cost to replace them.
TC died, and TC’s son practically asked me as a favor to haul the thing off. But it was too late.
It takes eight 225 amp-hour six volt batteries, or roughly as much battery as you can find in a local household bank. It’s twice the size of even the Lair’s expanded battery bank. You could buy a used Toyota for what it would cost to get this thing moving again, even assuming the batteries are all that’s wrong with it.
I dismounted two of the batteries and hauled them to Ian’s powershed to hook them to the BatteryMinder, because it has fixed batteries I thought were ruined before. But we didn’t even turn on the juice.
Completely discharged, battery electrolyte has roughly the specific gravity of water. Which means it will freeze. Which means it will split the case. These batteries are worth what you can get from a recycler and not a bit more.
Such a shame.