6-18-2016 Sunny and a hot 91
After a trip to the Ranchers’ Feed and Supply store in Edgemont to pick up a mile of barbed wire, slick wire, clips, and treated posts for the corners and gate, we were eager to get started on our fence project. We knew the digging would be a challenge so we rented an auger that would fit on the Bobcat and got started today. We both have a new appreciation for all the fences we see along the road!
Today’s goal was to get the corner and gate posts in, we came up short so we’ll be back at it tomorrow. We are realizing that every time we undertake a project we say, “It shouldn’t take us that long.” Then we end up working hours longer than we anticipated, but only if it is on a day when the temperature is soaring and the South Dakota sun is high and unforgiving. That was today! We are not complaining, though. The humidity is so low here (24% on a high humidity day) that you can work out in the heat and not sweat to death. Plus, what could be more fun than working on a project for yourself?
The big obstacle today was the rocky soil or should I just say rocks. We were using the auger to dig 24″ post holes for the corners for our fence. We have 3 timbers in each corner plus four at the driveway gate, so that equals 16 holes. It sounds easy enough, but the Black Hills can be very rocky. Some places we put the auger in the ground and it easily went down four whole inches before it hit flat, impenetrable rock. Other places, we put the auger in and it easily drilled the 24″ through soft sand. There is no way to tell from the surface what lies beneath, so our original plans for where to place the posts had to move at times, but moving one post affects the whole operation if you want to keep the corners square. Square corners are important because the corner posts provide the tension to keep the barbed wire taut.
We successfully put 8 posts in the ground so you could say we are half way there. Back at it today!
Update: 6-19-2016 Sunny 83
We got 8 more posts in today.
Update: 6-22-2016 Sunny 75
Great day to finish setting the corners, clear skies, a light breeze and a mild 75 degrees. We had four poles to set and one to pull and reset because we hit solid rock at about 18 inches and that turned out not deep enough to be a sturdy support post for the H. So, we pulled it up, dug out all the rock and dirt we had packed in and used Quikrete to set the post. We had the same issue on another post on the SE corner.