Bar none. Oh my god. Looking at these photos... Have you ever been stuck? I mean really stuck, like stuck in the mud?
Turns out we need at least one more post to extend the deck in front of the door. I had the builder dig a 4ft deep hole for this post while he had the excavator there. It then rained for two weeks... The hole filled with water, and the sides caved in. When we finally got a sunny day I took on the project. I first tried to dig out the hole, no way. The walls kept caving in which was wildly frustrating. I realized I was going to have to use a caisson to control the dig. I built a 12"x12"x18" box and pushed it down in the mud. I tried to use a shovel to dig out the box, but it didn't work that well. The mud was sticky, had the consistency of wet bubble gum, and filled with rocks. Each shovel poke brought out an unsatisfying amount of mud. So I switched to digging by hand. Literally, I reached down into the box and pulled out handfuls of mud. But pulling the mud was hard, like pulling on a rubber band. Each step caused my feet to get further stuck in the mud, the rocks were hard on my fingers, and the mud made a smacking sounds as I pulled hard to release them from the suction grip. After a while I'd dug out one foot of depth, but it was not deep enough for the cement footing to be below the frostline at 4 ft. I had to go deeper... I built a second box and mounted it on top of the first, and continued to dig by hand. I had to bend over more and force my body into this narrow space, which sucked. Each time Becca came by the see me I was more and more frustrated, in a semi-hysterical state. She asked if she could help and I had to tell her the best thing to do was to leave me alone, this was too frustrating for me to offer any patience. I asked her to take these pictures as a record. I'm surprised I could smile, while performing the worst job ever.
Oh, and it the mud smelled like putrid decomposing organic matter.