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Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Road Goes Ever On

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known. 
- J. R. R. Tolkien
The blog is back.  We've been very hard at work putting in a road.  It has turned out to be a daunting task, taking much longer than we anticipated.  From the main road to where we want to build our home is over 950 feet.  That's a long way to make passable, especially through swamp and over some rough terrain.
As you can see our road into the farm was in rough shape.  For the past 3 or 4 decades tractors have been driving in and out to hay the field.  They've thrown some stone in the road from time to time but when a tractor tire makes a rut (especially in wet weather) that rut can quickly turn into a pond when it rains.  This summer has been very dry.  Any water that had collected in the road (upwards of 10" deep in some spots) has dried up.  Now we can start building the new road.

 This is the "bridge" that goes over the creek.  It is 8 utility poles - none of which are level.  We'll walk you through what we did here in another post.
Up past the swamp and into a nice wooded area with Tamrack and Scotch Pine.

Around a corner and into an especailly rutted part.

Then into a straight away and into the field.  You may be wondering what all the gray rectangles are.  Well we decided that in order to give our road a good base we would put as much rock and concrete in the bottom of it as we could.  All of this concrete was in our woods.  They are concrete slabs that go on silos to protect the silo from the metal bands that hold the silo together.  There were about 10 pallets of them that needed to be brought from the woods to the road.  Nate did that with the skid steer.

Of course all of the pallets in the woods were rotten so each piece of concrete (about 2" thick by 2' long by 1' wide) had to be loaded onto new pallets by hand and then thrown into the road by hand.

We also collected concrete pieces from about 10 miles away in New Bremen.  Our friends Kim and Scott had an old minigolf course on their property that had been shut down.  Using the skid steer and 2 dump trucks (the first one blew a tire because we over loaded it) we hauled all of the concrete out to the farm and put it in the road. 


Next Ken Landis from LandisExcavating came and dug trenches on both sides of the road.  This took dirt form the sides of the roads and put it on top - giving us a good road bed and creating ditches for water run off at the same time.

 Believe it or not this is the beginning of a road.

One of our many "picnic meals" out on the farm while we did road construction.  I think this one was baked ziti.

After the dirt had been brought up on the road, all the tree roots had to be picked out.

A finished section of road before it will be bulldozed level.

More road building posts to come soon!

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