Wednesday, November 16, 2016

the brown road in our backyard

This is the road in our "backyard."

This is what it looks like from my bedroom: a nice big wall of brown dirt. 

Sadly, it previously looked like this. So idyllic, beautiful, and peaceful.

Back in June the National Guard bulldozed the hill and proceeded to make a red road out of it. It is their land so of course they can do what they want with it. But in June we and our neighbors had no idea what was going on. Finally in July I made some phone calls and was put in touch with the officer or General who was in charge. The new road was a part of their Golden Coyote exercises. Apparently they needed practice with their big equipment, plus there's a land owner at the top of the new road that had a special deal with the National Guard to put in a road for their access. However, the guardsmen only finished the road to 30%! The General assured me that they would hire a contractor to finish the road.

The summer passed and the fall was half over before any sign of finishing began. But finally on October 21 the contractor showed up and started moving dirt.

There had been three levels of red dirt and in addition, that culvert absolutely dumped water into our neighbor's yard during the one gully washer storm we had. The first thing the guy in the tractor began to do was dig out the middle of the road. At first I had no idea what they were doing but that didn't stop me from sending far too many photos to my family. 

By the end of the day they had pulled the old culvert out.  

By the following week the road was all smooth, which was a very great improvement to the messy three levels of dirt. My brother wondered what they were going to do over the storm flooding issue since there was no culvert anymore.

See what I mean about improvement?!

At the end of the week they proceeded to dig up the nice smooth mound and put in another culvert! This time they dug down further, all the way to the surrounding ground. The previous culvert had been halfway up the hill.

 Next they had to smooth everything out again, but then they started adding brown dirt along the sides, starting up at the top of the road. They also dug up a square hole just below the culvert and dropped a grate of large rocks into it. I supposed that since they can't connect the culvert to the sewer, this new rock grate drain is the next best thing. I'm sure our neighbor will still get water in her yard though. That hole will just fill up with water and overflow into her yard! 

Two weeks in to this renovation the big equipment started moving the brown dirt over the red right behind our house. I was hoping this was because it was better for planting grass in but there's no sign of that so far.

It was November 3rd, and a beautiful day. We've had amazing weather this fall. This day was like 75 degrees. Anyway, the kids and I sat outside after school and lunch and watched them work. 

Ezra especially thought it was fun as he sat in the sandbox with his toy tractors.☺ 

I waited a couple weeks hoping they'd do more work after they leveled the brown dirt out, but nothing more has been done. I think they added gravel on top though. 

South of the new road is some of the contractor's (?) equipment just sitting there though... 

I was hoping they'd spread or spray grass seed, hay, and netting over the dirt, but nothing so far. Perhaps it's too late in the season. I hope they'll come back and plant stuff in the spring or else it'll just be a giant weed patch. We used to have such a lovely area of field grass. :( But at least I can still climb up here and take pictures of the sunset!

A closer look at that culvert and drainage grate. 

This is the view we have now from the corner of our yard. Pretty beautiful culvert right? 

So, to recap, this is our current view. Our house and our neighbor's is situated at the low point so it's kind of like living in a bowl surrounded by a wall of dirt. 

But at least it's not three levels of red dirt anymore!

However, it used to look like this. So sad :(

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