Building Trails Around our Off Grid Cabin – Part 1 – Video

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New trail on a very steep slope. Dubbed “Firewood Hill”

Nate and I had the most productive weekend yet at the camp last weekend! Why? How? Mini excavator power! This little machine did in one day what we have never had the energy to do in 8 years. Namely building trails around our property. As a bonus we got all the trees drug out from the steep section below the cabin. We’ve snapped about 5 ropes over the years trying to haul them out. The machine was a Takeuchi tb235 excavator with thumb we rented from a local company. We were allowed 8 working hours so we brought in a ringer, a professional operator that we knew from Vashon. He’s a pro, no movement was wasted!

We have 5 acres and we barely use 1 acre of it since most of it is so steep, heavily treed and filled with brush. The excavator and a really good operator was able to go down really steep hills and access trees we weren’t able to haul out otherwise. Great Success!

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Starting to look like an episode of Axe men up here? Well maybe the Kids Edition…

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Same trail looking down from cabin. This area is so steep no one goes down there. Now you can ride quads down it and up it in 4×4. Probably need some water bars but we’ll see. The soil is very well drained up here, comprised mostly of gravel.

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There wasn’t a trail here 30 mins ago! Dubbed “Takeuchi Cutoff Trail”


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You gotta drop it like it’s hot… stumps that is. Dropping them shakes the dirt out so they can be burnt without smothering the fire.

photo 1  Access road cleaned up

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Slash pile, we showed those Alders whose boss… pull there stumps and burned them.


mini excavator carries logs

The thumb on the excavator was the key to picking objects like logs, stumps or anything really. Without it we’d just be digging and not nearly as productive. Finding a rental excavator with a thumb was tough, but after a few calls I found one. The cost was reasonable especially when split 3 ways like we did it. $310 for a day which includes 8 working hours on the machine plus $130 for delivery, which is based on your distance from the yard. I highly recommend it, we make make this a yearly thing.

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