Looks like I won’t be doing that again, anytime soon

First up, here are cute kitties!

A couple more showed up after I got this photo; I think I saw 8 or 9 altogether, with Potato Beetle going straight for the sun room.

I haven’t actually seen Broccoli for a little while. She is looking far less round right now.

I wonder where she found to have her babies?

Speaking of babies, I still can’t tell exactly how many are in the cat’s house. They tend to be all in one big pile, and I can’t tell one from another. I couldn’t even tell where the grey and white one was, it was to thoroughly buried by the others!

The tulips are getting a lot easier to see among the leaf litter. Just look at how many there are!

Now, if we can just keep the deer away, we should have quite a show of flowers this year!

With yesterday’s successful trip to the city, I decided to grab the big water jugs and get them refilled in town. I also wanted to look for something for Mother’s Day, thinking that I would surprise her tomorrow and meet her for church. I was pretty sure my brother would make the trip out, and we could visit her together.

I’m glad I made the trip today, because I don’t think we’re going anywhere for quite a while. I would not have wanted to discover this while driving my mother’s car, tomorrow!

I had checked the washout on the road to the south of us. Whatever heavy equipment I’d heard the day before, they were not working there. The water may be down, but the erosion has worked its way further across the deeper washout. As I was still walking towards it, I saw a truck coming from the other direction. It stopped at the washout, then backed up until it reached a higher driveway into a field it could turn around in. I was just wearing regular shoes, not my rubber boots, so I wasn’t able to do more than check the washout from one side, but as I did, another truck came by from the opposite direction. This one did drive through, but when it reached the deeper washout, I could see it struggle to get through.

This morning, remembering a neighbor that told me our road was good to the north, I decided to avoid the washout by the bison ranch and go that way.

That neighbor clearly doesn’t take the road to our main gravel road to get out, likely going north to a paved road, instead. His driveway is a little over a mile from our intersection. At about 3/4 of a mile, I reached a washout that was even deeper, if narrower, than the one to the south I’ve been checking.

This time, I was the one carefully reversing until I could reach a stable driveway to turn around in.

So I took the main road out, but when I reached the washout near the bison ranch, I could see that it, too, had eroded quite a bit more. I was able to get through but, clearly, this was going to be our last trip out until the road could be fixed.

None of these washouts can be fixed right now. Not even a quick patch job. The water levels may be dropping, but it’s still flowing way too fast over the roads. Any attempt to repair them right now would just get washed away.

With that in mind, I made sure to pick up the few things I didn’t get yesterday, though when I saw the price of even no-name brand vegetable oil, I was thinking I’d have done better getting the big restaurant sized bucket at the wholesale store, instead! While I was paying for my few items, I commented on how much the price had gone up on the oil. The cashier got quite wide eyed (they’re still forced to wear masks, so that’s all I could see) and commented on how ALL the prices had gone up. Yeah – as cashier, she would be seeing all of it going by! She commented that she’s starting to expect wagons to show up in the parking lot, pulled by horses, because people can’t afford the increased gas prices. I truly wouldn’t be surprised to see that.

Knowing it might be a while before we could get out again, I made a quick stop to pick up a couple more of those storage bins we’re using for the transplants, then headed back again.

In the time it took me to do that, the washout was worse.

I stopped to take a closer look before trying to cross.

It’s hard to tell from the wide angle shot I took, but there’s a darker spot about in the middle. Just past that, there’s a deeply eroded part more than half way across. The water on either side of it, though, hides other deeper areas – and those are on the side that’s still safer to drive through! The wind from the south is actually strong enough that the water was being pushed back. I could see more of the road than earlier, and was not encouraged.

While I was checking it out, I saw a truck coming, so I went back to the van. I watched him as he drove through and my heart dropped when I saw the start bouncing around in one area in particular. His truck could make it, though. He stopped beside me and we talked for a bit. He told me he thought it was better around the other way. The roads here are on a 1 mile grid. If I went back to the highway, went a mile south to the next gravel road, took it west one mile, then cut across, past the bison farm’s driveway, to the intersection on the other side of this washout, I’d be able to continue home. He did think I’d be able to make it through here, though. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken the road past the bison ranch and it’s not one that’s maintained as well as those that get more traffic, at the best of times.

So I went for it and drove through here.

Yeah. I’m definitely not going to my mother’s, tomorrow! Our van had a hard enough time; my mother’s little car could never make it.

As I said, I’m glad I decided to go into town today and found out how much worse it was, now!

Which means we are basically stuck again. It’s possible that I might find a route I could get through to the west of us – the opposite direction of the highway we need to get to. The main road is no longer closed and I’m sure I could go quite some distance, but the side roads would be no different than any of the side roads near our place. I’ve talked to quite a few people who say they simply can’t get out to friends and family that way at all, and that’s even using the paved road to the north of us that I’d hope to use this morning.

We are going nowhere.

I really hope at least the main road can finally be fixed soon. I haven’t gotten any shipping notices yet, but we’re going to be getting our potatoes and live trees mailed to us fairly soon. The potato company typically finishes shipping their orders by mid-May. That’s just a week away. Then there are the sweet potato slips and more than 40 trees that will need to be planted as soon as possible – and we can’t even start digging the holes for them, yet, because of all the water in places. The last thing I would want is for these to be at the post office while not being able to pick them up. The potatoes might be okay, but the rest can’t stay there for too long.

It all depends on how much longer it takes for the water to go down and not be rushing across the roads like this, then how long it takes for the road crews to fix them up. The one by the bison ranch will be a priority fix, since that’s a main road. As long as that one gets done, most people stuck as we are will be able to get through.

So once again, we hunker down. Which is okay. We are well stocked up, and there is plenty of work to get done! A whole lot of seedlings in the big aquarium greenhouse need to be thinned, potted up and moved to the sun room. The different types of pumpkins are getting such huge leaves! Meanwhile, the winter squash started at the end of April – Boston Marrow, Georgia Candy Roaster and Winter sweet – are doing much better on the heat mat. Almost every pot has seedlings exploding out of the soil! It’s so awesome to see!

With all of these, if the plants seem strong and healthy, we plan to thin by dividing. The more we have to transplant, the less of a concern it is, if we lose some to transplant shock.

And if they all survive transplanting, some may get eaten by critters, bird or bugs.

And if they all survive that, we’ll just have whole lot of squash.

I’m good with that.

We’ll have plenty to keep us busy while we wait for the roads to be fixed up.

The Re-Farmer

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