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Rock Rustlin’ at Strawberry Ranch

flickr foto
Rock Rustlin'
Rock Rustlin’
available on my flickr

Using a pickup to pull a boulder out of a hole intended for a tree.

Not all of our holiday break time was lounging around the cabin vegetating to DVDs. This is a little sport we call “rock rustling”.

You see, our property sits flat, but falls away south of the cabin. We must be very close to the bedrock Coconino Sandstone (the thick white cliffs of the Grand Canyon are the same rock), so that you cannot stick a shovel in the ground without hitting rocks, from baseball sized nuggets to some pretty big honking boulders.

So this is a spot where we planned to plant our live Christmas Tree, and sure enough, while digging a nice planting hole, I struck one of the “big ones”, a boulder about 3 feet on the side. Working it loose was work enough, but then I had a 150 pound or more rock sitting in the bottom of a deep whole.

It was not going to be easily lifted out.

So this is where my wide and I act like city slicker cowboy and cowgirl. With some leverage of a pick, I get a rope tied around the subject, and we tie it to the back of the pickup, 35 feet away on the street. With some slow leverage (and 2 broken rope attempts), my wife drives the truck, Cadu the faithful dog watches from the bed, and the rock has been “rustled” up and out of the hole, clearing the way for a tree to grow.


The heck with learning objects and wikis and web pages, it is good to do some “real” work.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. It is funny how people can be separated by geography but connected in other ways – We have been struggling today with digging a hole for a post – through volcanic rock – and we were ably “assisted_not” by an errant black labrador, who thought he could assist.

    Auckland is built over the geological fields of at least 49 volcanic eruptions.and in our back yard you cannot dig more than 10cm down without hitting the results of a low viscosity basaltic lava flow from the past. Makes any sort of excavation an “authentic task” and puts all other mind games in perspective.

  2. Very synchronous indeed, “Artie”! Basalt is a lot tougher to bust through than our sandstone, so it would not be wrong to suggest small explosives! I bet though, it gives you good soil plus all the generous rain fall you get there (I’m a big fan of the city from previous visits).

    How about “Punding Rocks 2.0?”

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