Yesterday Travis and I worked on the backstop for the shooting range for several hours and have pretty much got it completed. The first step was to put one more railroad tie on top of the front row of ties, then we used 2x4s and lag screws to secure all three stacks of ties together. As I said in a blog the other day, it’s not pretty, but it will definitely stop anything I’m going to shoot at it.
With that done, we took the front forks off the tractor and put on the bucket loader. The part I bought at Tractor Supply the other day to replace the adjuster arm for the three-point hitch did not work after all, so we couldn’t put the 400+ pound box blade on the back of the tractor for added stability. Which meant we knew we would besomewhat limited in how much dirt we could move with the bucket. But even so, Travis did a great job attacking a big pile of dirt that’s been sitting in the back pasture for years. It’s been there for so long that it was almost rock hard and took a lot of work to break up enough to move.
He could load up to three bucket loads of dirt into the back of the Kawasaki Mule, which helped the process move along quite a bit.
Once we had the Mule loaded, he would also take a bucket full of dirt with the tractor to the backstop and pile it up in front of the railroad ties. Then I would back the Mule up and we would use the dump bed to empty it.
It was a slow process, but we eventually had a big pile of dirt that would help stop any bullet before it got to the backstop. By the time we got done I think we had almost as much dirt on ourselves as we did in front of the backstop.
Since he did so much of the work, I thought it only fitting that Travis be the first to take a shot at the backstop. We put some empty soda cans in front of the dirt and he perforated them very nicely.
Even though I’m sure that what we have now is more than enough for safety’s sake, I still want to get a little more dirt piled up in front, and also in back, of the railroad ties. But I think I will wait until Tuscaloosa Tractor gets the part I need in for the three-point hitch so I can use the back blade to compact everything once all the dirt is moved. It’s been an interesting project, and now I’m looking forward to getting out there and burning up some ammo!
It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of my friend Suzie O’Connell’s Starlight Magic, from her popular Northstar romance series. Can the magic of the stars heal a tormented soul? Single father Brodie Dunn aims to find out by putting his heart on the line. Recently widowed artist Celeste Dawson desperately needs a tranquil place where she can rebuild herself. Two months after her husband’s violent death her career is in jeopardy and she can’t engage in the art that was once her escape from the world. She hopes a trip to Northstar will help her find peace. There’s no place better for healing, especially after she meets her charming new neighbor, ski hill owner Brodie. He suspects Celeste is going to be trouble right from the start, but he can’t ignore the pain in her eyes. On the saddest night of his life, he made a promise under the stars to laugh instead of cry and to help any wounded heart he comes across. He’s sure that philosophy and maybe a little starlight magic will do wonders for Celeste…if his apparent inability to take anything seriously doesn’t drive her mad first. A tale of forgiveness and hope, Starlight Magic will grab you by the heart.
To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books and audiobooks to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.
Thought For The Day – When the past comes knocking, don’t answer. It has nothing new to tell you.