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Moving 10 Tons of Gravel Using 3 Pails, 2 Shovels, 1 Dude and 1 Dudette

I’ve found another favorite place to go besides the dump! It’s the quarry.  This is where Dude and I went about a week ago to order gravel for our garden and drive way. It’s located about 20 minutes from us and has the most beautiful, red, marble rock.

I was completely fascinated the minute we drove into the quarry. They had all sorts of machinery and earth moving vehicles and it was all surrounded by red rocks and stones of all shapes and sizes and also giant mounds of red dirt. I was amazed that just anyone could wander around the area, no hard hat required.

Dude and I found some nice red and white marble rocks to put in the garden area. We aren’t going to be driving in that part of the garden so we wanted something a bit more “chic” than just the average gravel. When it came to the driveway we purchased something less expensive, but with a beautiful reddish tint to it.

The guy in the office set us up straight away for 10 tons to be delivered to our house on Wednesday. That day was also going to be known as “the day of pain”.

Wednesday came around and we were ready for the delivery. The truck showed up around noon but since it was too big to pass through our gate, the driver had to leave the 3 tons of the garden stones in large bags just inside our gate and the 7 tons of gravel he had to dump just outside our gate and onto the street.

Dude and I immediately got to work. We first laid down a barrier in the garden area to help keep the weeds from coming through the rock.

Then it was time to start “the day of pain”. We wanted to finish as much as possible and we only had 3 pails and 2 shovels and just the two of us to get the work done. We didn’t have a wheelbarrow. We went back and forth about buying one, but in the end we decided not to since it would only be used for this one day. We really didn’t want to waste the money on it.

We started with the garden rocks. I shoveled the rocks into the buckets and then handed them off to Dude to throw down in the garden.

We kept this assembly line going and after 3 hours we were finished with the garden! It turned out to be not as bad as we thought! The red color in the rock will show up quite nicely once the powder on them is washed away.

Then it was time for the gravel in the driveway. We proceeded with the same idea as with the stones only this time both Dude and I were filling the buckets and then throwing the gravel down. We began in the very back of the property and worked our way up to the gate. It looked at one point that we might not have ordered enough gravel, but in the end we had plenty. The goal was to not only cover the drive way but also make sure that the coverage was 3 inches thick.

Around 5pm, our neighbor on the left peeked his head over his balcony to see how things were going. He couldn’t believe how far we had gotten with a couple of pails and shovels! After our few minutes of discussion we went in for a break. We hadn’t realized that we had worked for 5 hours straight moving rocks and never stopped for a break or a snack.

At 6pm we were back out there and cracking the whip on ourselves to finish. And guess what??!! We actually did it! By 10pm we were done.  Just me and Dude with our 2 shovels and 3 pails and now we have 10 tons of gravel in our garden and drive way.

The house looks so much better now. I can’t believe what a little stone and gravel can do to spruce up the place and yippey for another job on the house done 🙂

Oh! We were able to get the rest of the delicious cherries off the tree, too. This time we didn’t even need to wait until they ripened up before we could enjoy them!

Still Diggin’ Trenches and Laying Pipe

Sunday and Monday was spent finishing the trenches. We needed to dig them a bit deeper so that when the pipe was in the ground and covered, it would be deep enough to go over with the car on a daily basis without risking the pipe cracking.

The trenching wouldn’t have been so bad except that our entire yard (and pretty much all of Provence) is entirely made of rock. We ran into rocks continuously and it really slowed our process. Both Dude and I couldn’t believe the size of rocks that were coming out of the ground. By the time we were done digging, we found enough rock to build a whole new house!

The good rocks were transported to the back of our lot and we now have a rock garden. We also found asphalt, dishes, roof tiles, a fossil and some bones. Man, the crazy stuff you find in your yard when you’re digging around!

Once the trench was to the depth that Dude thought was good, 25 centimeters on the down side by the gate, we put the pipe together and checked to see if it was level. We had to check, trench, check, trench and check and trench some more before we finally got the pipe to lie correctly so the water would flow properly. Then we wrapped the pipe is some weed barrier to stop the dirt from getting into the holes and only allow the water in.

Then we proceeded to start covering everything back up.

On Monday, Dude connected the pipes together at the entrance of the gate. Since we have two pipes running parallel the length of the drive way, we needed some way to connect them so that they would eventually hook up in one spot with the pipe the city would put in.

After spending some time on that, and a few runs to the material store, the connection was complete and we proceeded to cover the remaining pipe and start to level out the terrain.

Around 3pm, two men from the building department arrived at our house. I had gone to the building department last week to have someone come out to the house from the service technique so they could see the street leading to our house. I mentioned in my last post that one of our problems was that the water can’t exit our property. There was never any drainage put into the street by the city when they made the street and also, the street is now so old and bad that all the water runs into our property instead of away from it.

We showed all of our pictures to the city workers. The ones of the flooding and the ones of the work we had done. They were very nice and surprisingly said that someone would be out to survey the street and to evaluate what needs to be done for proper drainage and water runoff. They made no promises of when the work would be done, but at least we got the ball rolling with them (that’s what Dude said).

Once they left it was back to fixing the terrain so the water would flow properly (as much as possible) in the correct directions and down the drain pipes. Dude also cemented in the drive over drain box that we put in next to where the rain gutter ends.

Now it looks like we were ready for the 10 tons of gravel to arrive!

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