The plumbers arrived at 7 am and got to work digging in my garden. This is what it looked like before their arrival:
I hopped on Jackson and we rode up the road to the property line. I could see the goats, all five of them, racing around like they were possessed. They were running from one end of their area to other, bounding and bouncing off of boulders as they went. Bella and Bear yelled at me from the top of the biggest boulder as I rode by.
Jackson and I went back to our property, up the back driveway, around the barn and into the arena. It was hot and slightly humid but Jackson was a trooper. I'm trying to build our fitness - his muscle strength and my cardiovascular - with sets of trot work. Today we did 8 minutes, short break, 8 minutes, short break, 6 minutes. The first set I focused on letting him stretch and warm up. I asked him to lift his back and he got there but it took most of the eight minutes. The second set, he was working in a very nice frame so we worked on transitions within trot, some leg yield and 10m circles to help with his balance, and a little bit of canter to keep us happy and forward thinking. The last set I planned to trot for four minutes but he was going so nicely that we kept going for six. We worked on sitting trot, transitions from my seat, and some canter. We were both sweaty when we finished. I iced his hocks while giving him a liniment rub down, then washed his tail and put him back in his stall.
Meanwhile, the plumbers had made a run for supplies (including a jackhammer to break out my beautiful brick path). There were two guys and one of them was up to his armpits digging the hole. They finally found the pipe. I asked the digging guy if I could take his picture in the hole and he said okay but he wouldn't show his face. He was embarrassed at being dirty. Seriously! Like anybody stays clean for more than five minutes up here.
At 2 pm, when the temperature had reached 93F, they cut out the sewer pipe connecting to the septic tank and found the problem. The pipe had a good fall going to the tank, but then it bent at the connection, and there was a big crack in the coupling. The head plumber knocked on the door and asked me to take a picture of it for my blog. He also asked me to put a picture up of the back of his teeshirt. I'm happy to oblige. They did an awesome job for a fair price.
Mission accomplished. "All" they had left to do was install the new pipe, fill in the hole, and install risers on the septic tanks so we can find them next time we need to have the tanks pumped out. My garden looked like this:
I expect that the artichoke plant is not going to survive this assault to its root system. If that's the biggest collateral damage, I'll be pleased.