Jun
25
2009

  Filthy Dirty In The Road

I had a very productive day today! I took William with me in the morning while I ran errands, and was gone from about 9:30am until 2:30pm. I got nearly everything on my list, so I'm well on my way to being ready for the weekend's activities.

When I got home, I fed William, and Terry fed me lunch. Then I was out on the tractor from 3:45pm until about 6:45pm. Terry got a box blade attachment earlier this month, and he got a new top bar for the 3-point hitch, and he hooked it all up earlier this week so it would be available for me to use to grade our road.

The road we live on was particularly bad with ruts this year, due to all the rain. There are a few potholes up at the top of the road, but you can drive around them. The ruts were down the hill, and were up to 12" deep and probably around 8" wide, and they crossed over the road from one side to the next in a meandering path, so there really was no good way to drive around them.

So I gave the new box blade a whirl, and got rid of them. The proper way to get rid of potholes and ruts in unpaved roads is to scrape down to the bottom of them, then fill in the road on top of the newly flattened area. Just filling them doesn't work, since whatever filler you put in will wash out with the next storm. I was able to scrape down to the bottom of some of the ruts, but not all of them. I'll need to do more work on the road before anyone puts fresh gravel down.

My next door neighbor has a client that grades roads, so he said he'd get the cost to have it professionally graded. But I went ahead and smoothed it out since I don't think my parents and friends would necessarily be able to navigate the road with all the ruts in it. Terry and I are used to dealing with poor roads, but most people are not. Most people don't even spend much time on gravel roads, let alone dirt.

I was too lazy to use sunscreen, but figured it would be ok since I was going out when the sun's rays were starting to get weak, plus only a bit of my arms were exposed (I wore long overalls over a T-shirt and a sun hat). But the road gave me its own sunscreen in the form of a layer of dirt.

You can see in the photo that I'm positively black with dirt-- the clean part of my arm was under the ace bandage I'm still using to remind myself to try not to further strain my wrist. I stepped into the house and saw a puff of dust come off me with each step, so I backed out and took my clothes off on the front porch and then proceeded directly to the shower.

Once I was clean, I rested. I've had a long and tiring day. But the road looks good!