This morning I can take satisfaction in a number of things.
First, that the excavator was able to pick his way through the frozen hardpan, to get the new water line and farm hydrant installed. Instead of the "less than a foot" of frost we all expected, there was three to four feet. As I watched Bob picking away at it, using a frost tooth (instead of a regular backhoe bucket) all I could think was, there is a good man! He was getting beat up pretty badly in the cab of the track hoe-he would extend the tooth, bring it down, apply the hydraulics for a backwards pull, and the entire machine would bang around when the frozen hard stuff gave way in small chunks. I have always held a great amount of respect for those proficient on those machines, but now I am totally impressed. It was very hard digging, and then some. The first day he only got a small length excavated, and spent hours using the frost tooth to break up the surface. Yesterday, he had to switch buckets a number of times, lengthening the trench dug.
Second, I have new found admiration for my neighbor Rick, who ended up giving up an entire day to help get the hydrant installed properly. What a wonderful guy, and we really owe them for his assistance and advice. He is the one who helped rig up the hydrant itself-including the heat trace cable, and the steel casing the hydrant is inside. He brought over some extra insulation for the hydrant itself, and his own farm tractor to use for backfilling the trench. If it wasn't for his experience in installing his own hydrants.....well, I am sure we wouldn't have done as well.
Third, I have to hand it to my husband for thinking of everything...the insulation, the heat trace, the (expensive!) electrical splice kit that of course we ended up needing, plus the extra cable-the whole works. It was an all day long project and went on well after dark. All this so I won't have to deal with 400 foot of hoses all winter long, lol
I am very grateful for the new hydrant, despite whatever the cost might be. Now, it is done properly and should last for years to come. In addition, it's over 60 foot closer to the stock tanks, which means I won't need to lay out hoses over the drive area any longer. And, I can use one hose-not 150 foot-a real improvement. In retrospect we should have installed it up there to begin with, but that's okay, it worked out in the end.