Monday, June 26, 2017

Dad the Excavator

Since nothing is ever easy in my life, I figured I might as well instill some drama into something as simple as buying a bucket of gravel. Several years back we had a new driveway put in and it's been working out beautifully, but like all things in life, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky. While our driveway has been holding up nicely, there are patches that have either started disintegrating or have been dug up from our plow guy. For the record, it's not his fault, it happens to everyone who plows in the fall or spring.

The biggest issue is that these damaged areas become really muddy when the snow thaws, or they fill with water and become small ponds. In an ideal world we'd just have the driveway redone every 10 years, but that's not very practical, and the way it is now, I get to practice my real-man in training exercises, which of course come with a neurotic story.

Last year I contacted one of the big driveway install/repair guys in town, the one whom everyone uses, and asked if I could just buy a bucket or two of hard-pack. He was agreeable to this and said to just leave the money at an agree upon location. He has piles of hard pack on his property because that's what he does. I never ended up getting the hard pack, so I didn't end up leaving the money, which didn't seem like a big deal.

This year the situation didn't improve (oddly enough this is the end result when you don't take any action) and I decided to actually do what I had said I would. I was going to contact said individual to get hard pack when I worried a little if he thinks I scammed him. After all, I never left the money, and even though I didn't take any hard pack, he doesn't really have any way of knowing this. A bucket or two is a drop in the bucket (no pun intended) when you have massive piles of the stuff like he has.

I went back and forth over whether I should call him and just ended up putting it off like all things in my life. In the meantime, I also needed some gravel and went over to West Leb to the big gravel pit. I've bought rocks there before, and it cost something like $5-10 for as much as I could carry away. They sell the stuff by the ton so a guy like me coming to get a few buckets is probably a bit of a joke. Then again, what else is new?

Well, as luck would have it, the gravel pit also sells hard pack. They have a $15 minimum charge, but for that price, I could fill as many buckets at I could fit in the back of my car, which isn't many. The first time I went I had two buckets, which was a bit of a waste. The next time I filled 6 buckets and realized that it probably weighed about 300 pounds. I don't know how many more buckets I could transport and figured 6 was enough. That's still pretty good for $15.

With those six buckets I was able to do some marginal driveway repair. At least enough to temper the mud and puddle problem, and more importantly to feel like a real man... or at least a real man in training.

I could probably use another 6-10 buckets, but for now I'm satisfied because I took care of the most egregious problems. From here on in it's just extra stuff.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to benjiman750 for the pic.

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