23 April 2017

What the hay!?

So the car parts swap meet here at the racetrack was amazing.
100's of junk vendors,
an event I can relate too.
More on that later.
I'd never worked a swap meet before,
especially of this magnitude.
Also I've never been to a swap meet that was based on grass,
in rainy weather.
Come to find out,
wet conditions turn grass into mud.
People bring all sorts of stuff to combat it,
like plywood, 
wood chips,
I showed the guys how to properly load a flatbed Papa style!
My grandfather knew how to pack a truck!
We did this a couple times.
The track supplies hay bales for $5,
but vendors don't take it away.
They leave it for a sparse group of volunteers,
and us track workers to rake up.
Lotsa hay.
Lotsa wet hay.
These guys had been doing this hay thing for years,
and had never figured out the tarp trick,
another Papa thing learned when I was 5 or 6.
They'd walk each pitchfork of hay,
20-80 ft to the asphalt.
It was borderline ridiculous to watch,
and surreal to think of the lost hours and wasted footsteps.
I tried to bring it up during our morning meetings,
but these guys are a lead by example type crew.
There was that "ohhh..." moment for sure,
when they watched me and another noob worker Andrew
finish a section in 1/3 the time.
As the hay piles mounted around the track,
our boss Andy would scoop it up with the loader,
which meant Andrew and I packing the bucket
with pitchforks and rakes,
cause hay doesn't scoop easily.
Thankfully nobody was stabbed or crushed.
Since I may be the only one capable of backing in a trailer,
I got to load and unload a few...days...
Later on some other guy shreds the brush pile,
and the mulch sits and roasts while it composts.
Last year this pile caught fire.
I'd wondered why the tractors had ash in the filters!!
Just when ya thought the hay was handled,
there'd be more hay spots,
scattered in the 100's of acres of grass.
Three or four days,
lotsa overtime,
how could I complain?
Not much different than brickin or yardwork.
It actually was a great workout,
and the weather stayed relatively dry.
The swap meet cleanup started Sunday.
The track was hot on Thursday!
These racers are an antsy bunch!
These guys zippin around the racecourse,
like nothin' ever happened.
One guy slammed into the guardrail.
A big reason why it's so important 
to have the grass clean.
Slide not roll.
I got called in to do some metalwork.
Just like old times,
working til midnight using a (less than) 34 watt drop light,
cutting and fitting with a torch.
Needless to say I've got a bit more appreciation 
for what the heck goes on here!

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