Tuesday, May 27

Road work

Since last Friday we have gotten over an inch of rain, 2.5cm, which came slowly and soaked in rather than ran off into the streambeds. When it seemed to be over we broke out the road grader and took advantage of the newly softened soil to do some much needed repairs to the rockier parts of our driveway. Most work took place a bit over a mile, 1.6km, from the house where we were able to widen a turn by a creek enough to make the really long horse trailer and really long boat trailer get around it easier. Then we smoothed a long stretch of rockiness. That was all yesterday.

Today the clouds seemed to be getting thinner and the weather prediction was for clearing, so we tackled a portion of the road right outside our first gate, a red-clay-and-rock stretch about 500 feet, 150m long. The rain had loosened the soil nicely, and after about a dozen passes (remember, this road grader is small) I managed to make the entire stretch nice and smooth. It started to sprinkle lightly, but no big threat. Then it rained harder. The roof of the grader kept me dry-ish, but Karla, who didn’t have rain gear, retreated to the dry protection of the car she had brought along with rakes, hoe and shovel for the patchwork that always has to be done when we work the road. The rain steadily increased until the newly-churned red clay started sticking to the tires of the grader, leaving long streaks on the road. Soon the entire road glistened bright orange, turning into a slippery mess. This is just the thing we try to avoid every spring when we do road work—wait till the rains end, work the road, and let it mellow and harden. We sure missed it this time, since we got over half an inch of rain, 125mm, in an hour’s time. Now, about two hours later, it’s raining again. Glad we don’t have any pressing need to use our newly-smooth (slick) road!

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