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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 8/24/2015

I thought it was time to update folks on my progress so far. There's been good and bad, progress and setbacks...pretty typical really:
  1. The plan to extend the road drains continues apace. I now have 1,000 feet of socked pipe stacked up in the garage; it would appear Home Depot gets one or two of the 100' rolls per week. At this rate I won't have everything I need before winter arrives, but at least I'll be ready to hit it come springtime.

  2. The new front door still hasn't arrived -- it's not due to ship until September 12th -- and as with the pipe I'm unsure I'll have time to install it before winter is upon me. Maybe if I were to prep the door area by stripping the drywall and such from the inside, and then have a three-day weekend to get the old door out and the new door in, I might be able to get it done. A lot depends on the temps outside when it arrives; we'll see. Might turn into another "first task of the summer" task.

  3. The teardown of the old shed continues; it gets a big push this weekend. The hardest part is moving the salvageable lumber up the hill and to the garage for storage--it's a heck of a lot easier to take lumber downhill than uphill.

  4. The quest to install a drain on the large window well also proceeds slowly. I got a trencher up here a few weeks ago and dug out most of it, but the ground was still so muddy that it was very slow going. Then, when I rumbled around to the rear to begin excavating back there I discovered to my dismay that the ground was so muddy that I promptly got stuck. Took me the next couple of hours to get the excavator and by then it was time to get it back to the rental place. I'll have to dig the rest out the old-fashioned way, with a shovel.

  5. The LED upgrade is going well at least. Since the last post I've replaced another 50 CFLs with LEDs and am nearing completion on the replacement of all standard style bulbs. Once these are all done (I'm within 10 or so I think) I'll be focusing on the floodlights (there are several good LED ones available) all around the exterior. The last bit mostly likely will be the CFL tube lights -- I've seen several good LED replacements at the local hardware stores, but haven't evaluated them yet.

  6. Graveling the road has turned into a "thing" I hadn't originally planned. The damage from the rains had caused enough damage in terms of ruts and such that I decided I had to do something, and so I began mitigation efforts to repair. 

    The first step here was pretty easy if tedious...filling the ruts with larger rock. If there's one thing this canyon has an abundance of, it's rocks of all shapes and sizes, so I've been able to do most of this with rockfalls and scavenging along the roads. I put the heavy rock into the ruts as an anchor for runoff (which washes sand down over the rock) and for the eventual gravel on the second step. There's no real need for it to match or anything since it's all ultimately going to be buried under the gravel itself, which is helpful.

    Step two was bringing in the road gravel itself, and that presented a bit more of a problem. Turns out that most gravel places hereabouts either have insane delivery fees (literally charging more than the rock actually cost) or drivers who aren't experienced in the ways of mountain roads. I had one company agree to bring up one of their larger 15-ton trucks (in fact they insisted on the larger one), but by the time the driver got here he was shaking and whining about any number of aspects of the road. And by the time he got back to the gravel yard his complaints had morphed into "the road is completely impassable", they refused to deliver any more, and that was that. I finally decided to just start hauling it in myself a ton at a time, and that's how I spent last weekend.

    This particular project will inevitably take what's left of the good weather to finish, but on the plus side it'll a.) be done and b.) doing it a ton at a time. I can control it a bit better, working on the worst spots first. Which is something.
So progress continues, though it's not always what I thought it would be....

Steven in Colorado

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