Friday, February 20, 2009
The Joy of Dirt Roads
The coolest thing about our dirt roads is that it keeps out the riff-raff, preventing people who want all the town things from living out here.They also slow down anyone who drives on them. And the dirt roads are excellent for riding horses.
Of course there is a down side, and it is that people with tractors who think they know what they are doing go out to "fix" the roads after a rain. These folks just do not comprehend the fact of putting in crowns, gates to take the water off the road, tilting the road, and various other facets of proper dirt road maintenance. They think that dragging it flat is the thing to do. I have given up attempting to educate these folks. I spent many years fixing the road with shovel and wheel barrow and helping a neighbor with a tractor and knowledge work on the road. Since this neighbor lives at the end of the road as I do, we maintain our last mile and leave the first mile to the ignorant.
Now we have a new resident with access to heavy equipment that could do the road a lot of good. We wish. He too has missed out on the idea of how to take the water off the road in the most efficient manner. He has done a good job on part of the road but really went nuts on another part. He decided to put in a large "Giant Bump of Death" across the road to channel the water off. The Giant Bump is tall enough that a car scrapes bottom crossing it. Even in a high ride truck, one must come nearly to a standstill to cross it. It is on the steepest hill and when the road is wet, coming to a standstill is a really bad idea. Once stopped, it is very difficult to get traction again, especially when the rain has rutted out the uphill side. What was he thinking?
The truly amazing thing is that the people who know nothing and have tractors do not learn from their mistakes. They just make the same mistake again. However, if the Giant Bump of Death is rebuilt, I'll take my shovel to it this time. And if I can ever catch him out there with his tractor, I shall have a little talk with him, although I doubt it will do any good.
It is interesting to note that the part of the road untouched by idiots, that my neighbor and I last worked on in 2005, is holding up pretty darn well. It is ready for some work but the crown, tilt and gates have been doing their jobs. My neighbor had never worked on dirt roads before living out here but learned by watching what the water does when it rains. As another neighbor said "You only have to be smarter then water and dirt."