Knock-Down Drag-Out

Demolishing concrete, without heavy equipment or power tools, is goddamned hard work. I’ve been working on and off for the last couple of weeks at removing the sidewalk that runs along my driveway, and I’m nowhere near halfway done. I started with just a sledgehammer and a 3′ crowbar, but today I bought a smaller four pound sledge and a 12″ concrete chisel. The work isn’t going any faster, but I’ve been up against a particularly hard piece of concrete that appears to be bonded to the foundation of the house. There are at least two layers of concrete, one old and brittle at the bottom, and a newer layer over the top that’s much harder. In some places the top layer is thicker than others, and I’ve been working on the thickest section of it. Pretty soon I’ll have the arms of a blacksmith.
I didn’t do much over the long Memorial Day weekend. I did manage to get out for a short hike yesterday, but some heavy rain and sleet cut it short. I went with Samantha and Mark and their two boys to Gentile Wash. We parked on the side of US-6 and hiked about 1/2 a mile up the canyon, then turned back and checked out some cliffs closer to the highway. I want to go back there this week when the weather is nice to hike to the end of the canyon, which would probably end up being a four mile round-trip hike. I haven’t been able to figure out why somebody built a road going up the canyon (probably prospecting for coal), but it’s been out of use for so long that it’s only a foot trail now. I hope to find some old ruins or something else interesting up there, though it’s possible that there’s just nothing there.

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