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Thursday, September 13, 2012


The need for change bulldozed a road down the center of my mind.  

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I remember when we lived in the South one of my co-workers informed me she lived on Gravels Road.

"Oh" I questioned her grammar.  "You mean you live on a gravel road?"
"Well yes" she replied, "and the name of the road is Gravels Road."

Not quite understanding here I began to think that the "s" in gravels must have been preceded by an apostrophe, so I asked, 

"So is your road named after
someone with the last name of Gravel?"

She looked at me strangely, "No, we just thought it would be cute to name the road after what it was made out of."

"But it's made out of gravel," I replied.  "There is no plural for gravel.  One gravel is the same as a whole road full of gravel."

Another odd look from her followed and then in earnest she informed me that a road full of gravel was not just gravel but gravels.  Plural.

Who was I to argue....after all it was Virginia.

All that to say.....a few weeks ago now...the gravel road was finished at the farm.  Here are the quick stats:

-900 feet of landscaping fabric.
-620+ ton of 1 1/2" crusher-run gravel
-9 tandem dump truck loads.
-Each truckload weighed close to 70,000lbs.
-12 1/2 hours straight of moving the gravel into place with a skid steer and by hand.
-1 very nice road to drive on when done.

Here we are, on a peaceful August morning, waiting for trucks.


First we laid down landscaping fabric.  This holds the gravel in place - not allowing it to get crushed into the mud and dirt of the road bed.  It's 12' 6" wide and 300' long per roll.

The truck would drive in and dump its load on the fabric.  I only put out enough fabric each time for him to dump a load onto....that way he wasn't driving over the fabric numerous times - which would have ripped it up. 

When the truck driver saw our bridge he was impressed....but a little hesitant...not being sure the decking boards would support the weight.  So he ran up to his sawmill (you know all truck drivers have a sawmill) and 1/2 hour later brought back 12 - 2"x10"x14' long boards.  We nailed those down and they worked great.  I watched as he drove over the bridge 8 times....at 70,000lbs. The boards didn't even flex!  I think we can say with confidence we've got a good strong bridge.

The whole family pitched in to spread gravel(s).

At first I thought we could move all the gravel by hand.....yes go ahead and laugh now.  After about 20 minutes I realized that was a joke.  I ran down the road to a farmer we know and asked to borrow his skid steer.  Thank you Arlen!  You saved the day!

After we spread the gravel with the skid steer we raked it out.  We were striving for a road about 4" thick.
The truck in action.  By 7:30pm that night we had 7 loads delivered and spread out.  The driver - who happens to live down the road from the farm - brought back two more loads on consecutive nights.  Finally all the gravel(s)?  were in place.

Next came the York Rake to put the level and smooth everything.  Scott came up to drag it for me and I have to say it was so beautiful when he was done that we didn't want to drive on it.

 A few days later we started spreading hay in the ditches.  This will slow erosion and give time for plants to grow in them.  Another farmer down the road donated some rotten hay bales to the cause....and Denise dug right in.

The road is done!  Finally!

Here are some before and after photos.







1 comment:

  1. WOW! Great pics, videos & postings of you all. It's a very very nice long long road.I remember my father telling me he had to shovel their driveway by hand when he was a boy. It was 1/4 mile long. If it was snowing when he started by the time he got to the end at the main road he shoveled his way back to the house. Guess you'll have a plow on your truck. LOVE the still pics of "Mom"&"Dad"&seeing Ella, Nevin and Zane. I'm sure you're building up muscles Nevin working so hard. See you for our B-days Nevin. Looking forward to seeing you all! Love, Mom/ Nana