Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Monday, July 25, 2005

Bigger stacks and, would you believe, a bigger tarp?

So, because of our most recent experience tarping a hay stack, we decided to try it again - with an even bigger stack. Yes, we went ahead and purchased a year's supply of hay from Len, a guy down the road who knows our neighbor Tom quite well. So, of course we needed to tarp that hay to protect our investment. I was thrilled - we could yank that huge hay tarp off of our measley 1/2 stack and put it to real use.

Only, Dave had to rain on my parade by telling me our tarp would be too small for this stack. Excuse me? It's way fricking huge, how in the heck could it be too small? Well, specifically, it's too narrow for the way this stack was built. Grumbling, I went to Murdoch's with Dave to see what they had. We were theorizing how we could get a second one and lace them together side by side. But that would put the seam right along the top of the stack - exactly where we wouldn't want it. So we thought we could get a role of plastic and over-tarp the seam - but then the problem is how do you keep that secured in place... It just seemed like a losing battle the more we talked about it.

So we bought a whole new tarp - 33 x 48 feet - counting on tarping a really big section of the stack well enough for it to sit over the winter without any additional protection. We made arrangements to meet Len over there 4:30, so I could catch up with them on my way home. After folding the tarp just right, Len lifted it to the top of the stack using his tractor.

Wind, you might imagine, is one of the trickiest problems in deploying these tarps. Len was quick to instruct Ginger and Dave to just sit on it until he and I had at least the corners anchored.

It took 3 hours, but I think we can all rest assured it's as well protected as we can hope for.

The big tarp covered 75% of our stack, or there abouts. We were still having discussions as to exactly how far down the stack belonged to us when we left - unfortunately Len was already gone so the discussion was mostly moot. The big tarp fits great - all the way down to about 2 feet off the ground on both sides. We used our other tarp to double tarp the top of the rest of our stack and then some. Dave was absolutely correct, our original tarp barely reached from one top edge to the other, so it really wasn't appropriate. But still, it's better used there than at our place (not to mention it's out of my hair over there, so that alone is useful!)

We finally got some rain yesterday! So we're curious to run back over and see how our tie-down job held. However, we're off on vacation in just 3 days to sail the Virgin Islands and yet we have an unbelieveable list of things to do before then... so the hay may just have to sit tight for a few weeks.

As will this blog, since I doubt we'll be able to get the internet from the boat. Though that thought certainly is amusing... maybe the ports down there run wireless hot spots?



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