The gravel road

Latest Résumé Addition: Pothole Remediator

We live on a private, unpaved road – it’s a bumpy ride on rock and dirt, y’all, nothing fancy. Winter weather does a number on our street, and it’s pretty eroded in places. One of our angel neighbors has been on self-assigned pothole duty since we moved here a few years ago. We’ve helped a couple of times, but we felt like we needed to take the initiative.

In multiple ways, we realize that we are city kids who moved into the country knowing nothing about rural life. It’s been an education, and not always a pretty one. But we are learning and have accepted the inevitable mistakes that are part of the learning process.

In early March, before we shut everything down, we ordered a small load of rock (about 5-6 cubic yards) from a neighbor who mostly does commercial projects but makes deliveries in our neighborhood. The neighbors on the street have been talking about having the road redone, but it’s a pretty hefty price tag, $20-30K. (Be grateful for your city-owned and maintained streets.)

So we ordered the rock to do our part in filling in the potholes. We ordered one-inch minus, which means it isn’t screened to one size, and you get everything from the one-inch rock down to rock dust. Our street is about .5 mile. I would guess there are about 200 holes. I haven’t counted them all; that’s just an estimate. Some are small, and some are huge. We tried different methods but landed on this: we shovel rock into about 15 of my super-versatile black buckets recycled from Trader Joe’s and load them in the back of my truck. Then we drive down the road stopping at various points to fill in the holes. Some holes require half of a bucket–some holes require 5 or 6 buckets. Sometimes we do one run, sometimes more than one.

We have no idea what we are doing, and I doubt this is an exact science, but some of our patches have held up well and seem cemented in place. Some got overwhelmed by the torrential rain we had recently and were underwater with some of the rock floating away. Also: most people do not drive gently on our road, so that kicks up the rock in the best of times.

I give us a solid B for the execution and an A for effort. I’m also counting all of that rock shoveling and hauling as a workout!

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