Well, it has finally come, the grains of sands are just about finished falling for this year and the giant blog clock is just about to turn to year … wait for it .. wait for it .. TWELVE. So many years, so many words, so many photographs and still enjoying every minute of it. Well, maybe not those times when I am up against the wall trying to get the blog quota in before the turn of the month. I haven’t finalize plans for the New Year yet (do not like to rush into that due to my absolute commitment to fulfilling whatever resolutions I come up with), but it feels at this point the blogs will be once again a mainstay in 2019. As likely the last post of 2018, decided to close out the Halloween posts. So far I covered the prep and two posts on the trail itself. Only thing left is to talk about the tear down. The way this usually works, is it takes a couple of weeks to get it all prepped, another 3 or 4 days to get it set up and then excruciatingly tiring hours to get it all hauled back up the hill once all the guests have left for the night. This year it went a little different thanks to the rain that started falling as the party was winding down. We had to take the final pictures during the rain (thankfully the tree canopy kept us fairly dry). By the time everyone left, the rain was coming down too hard to get the vehicles down and up the now very muddy hill. Only thing I could do was put on the rain coat, turn off all the props, remove the sensor batteries and haul up a few of the smaller electronic decorations I didn’t want expose to the night of rain. That took over an hour to do that resulting in one rain soaked Bri.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots from the tear down.
The decorations had to stay down there until the rain finally let up a few days later. Also had to add some additional time for the trails to dry up enough to get the equipment down there. Opted to get the larger stuff we carried down by hand taken care of with the tractor. There was less concern about keeping everything together since the party was over. Eventually the big hill dried enough to get the truck down there for the major part of the haul – now there is some Posey carnage.
Here’s Paul getting his stuff gathered up. The ATV is a workhorse to get all the items to the other side of the gully ditch. Once we get over that, we can load up the truck beds for the final trip up the big hill. It seemed like it took forever to get all the stuff collected this year. Possibly due to being more exhausted than usual – then again, we added a LOT of stuff this year. Doesn’t seem that bad when you are gradually putting it out leading up to the party.. plus help from the volunteers. Tear down event this year was just Paul and I. You can tell it was still early in the day, Paul still has a smile.
We were well into the night by the time the last of the decorations were brought up. The Nightwings are a bit fragile with all the linkages and electronics in them, so opted to bring those up individually. Most of the fragile things I carried up the hill on my own, but Linda took pity on me and chipped in risking life and limb to get those damn things up the hill. Hey kids, don’t do this!
Thanks to all the props getting totally soaked in the rain, I had to let everything dry out for a few days in the out building. What a mess! While they dried, I spent the time taking all the batteries out so they would be ready for the pack phase. I chuckled to myself thinking what someone would have thought if they had tried to break into the building and been confronted with all those clowns.
.. and there everything sat for a week until they were ready for final storage.
A key tenet of the Haunted Trail is to design the decorations for minimum storage footprint. All that above along with the stuff not shown in the pictures have to fit into a predefined space – namely the space available on the new shelving I built earlier in the year. Looks like I have plenty of room to still add more items for next year!!
In case you are wondering, probably the largest expense of the trail is the electronics and batteries. Some of the electronics ended up getting wetter than I wanted while I was gathering them up the night of the event. Thankfully they dried out without damage. I didn’t take the time to count all the batteries that were need this year, but did getting them organized so I could keep the different types together. We try to use those up during the course of the year. Whatever is left makes its way back on the trail next year.
Well, that’s a wrap on the posts for the Haunted Halloween Trail and likely the last post for 2018. Hopefully you enjoyed all the content over this year – more of the same planned for the New Year. Take it easy everyone and best wishes for a Happy New Year – stay safe!