Jer and I had made multiple weekend trips to the property back-to-back. Fall had descended on us and we knew if we were going to take any kind of serious action, it had to be now, before winter.
Honestly, I had grown tired of going back and forth. We still had our tiny trailer but no access road into the property. We took a couple weeks off to plan, rented a large tractor, and picked a week for Jer to take off to work on it. I would go up for the last five days.
At the last minute, my brother offered to help. Thank God. He had ran this kind of a tractor for several years. My brother expertly cut in our eight-foot wide driveway that wound through the trees, nearly four hundred feet into the property to where we planned to build. He did this in one day, saving us several days of work. I fought hard to save every tree possible but we did need to take out a few smaller trees.
A couple of our sons came up, one day each, to help. There were some concerns that the gravel truck couldn’t make it through the narrow winding road. It became pretty clear at some point we would need to widen a few areas, including the round-about we had created.
Burn piles were assigned to me. Many tree limbs needed trimming and burned before the grave truck could make it all the way in. It was supposed to rain, a lot, but I prayed God would hold it off. He answered that pray for the first few days. At the end of each day we’d drive down to the campsite, dirty, wet, and exhausted. Jer and I would take a shower, eat, and go to bed just to do it all over again the next day. Putting on our now dry dirty clothes, we’d head back up the hill.
To our surprise the very large truck didn’t sink in the fresh dirt and was able to back most of the way in. Unfortunately, the first load was the wrong load, it was top rock instead of the larger bottom rock. UGH! So frustrating.
Our plan to get the first layer down on Friday didn’t happen. The second layer was coming on Monday . This meant we had plenty of manual labor over a wet weekend. I’ve decided raking and shoveling gravel sucks. We had to pull the rock into the turn-around where the truck couldn’t fit.
We got it done but not without our struggles. I did learn how to do burn piles; each one was bigger as I gain confidence. This is not the end of the story to our week of graveling but it was a great beginning.