This (pictured, below) is our road. A street sign marks where it begins, not a green street sign but a reddish-brown one, signaling that it’s a private road. There’s nothing refined about it, nothing modern. I’d go so far as to say that to visitors and passers-by, it’s unwelcoming.
That humble track, along which are five residences, sees the occasional guest, delivery truck, repairman or contractor. Those folks are local, mostly, they’re invited, and they understand that in this part of the country a narrow dirt road is a common thing. Every now and then, the “Mean Dog Keep Out” sign on a post just past our place gives a first-timer pause, but that’s usually out of respect rather than fear — they’ll stop, call the resident who invited them and then press on.
As off-putting as I suppose the road can be, for Deb and me it’s always a warm embrace. It takes us Home, of course, but more than that it’s a barrier. It closes a door to the outside world. It brings peace.
Over the last couple of years, you’ve seen dozens of pictures of our road, and by now you might wonder why we don’t widen it, smooth it, somehow improve it. A better question is, why would we?
It welcomes us and our (few) neighbors. That’s enough.
Our road rises to where the breeze blows a little stronger and, in the summer months, the air is a little cooler. Trees arch up and over the road in places. Almost every trip, local wildlife is part of the experience.
Yesterday we saw five whitetails along the half-mile stretch we travel. In the last week we’ve been treated to sightings of eastern bluebirds and scissor-tailed flycatchers.
There was a time, I think, that we wondered about that road. Not anymore — it’s an essential part of living there, being there, and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Beyond what I talked about in my previous post, a bunch of other stuff happened on The Mountain yesterday. I hit only the high points. Deb and I did a whole lot more than sit around and watch the backhoe work.
Inside the RV, she unpacked the dozen or so boxes and totes I’d brought in from the truck, placing the contents in cupboards and on shelves throughout the coach. By day’s end all were empty, and we hauled them back to Harrison for the next round of packing. She finished the cleaning the carpet and removed adhesive residue from the shower floor. To head off potential leaks, she patched a couple of cracks in the exterior fiberglass shell.
In addition to filling our fresh-water tank, I swapped out the last two motion-activated solar lights. What I still need to do, but haven’t just yet, is to check the switched 12V exterior lighting. I know of three such fixtures on the awning side of the rig — a large white light up front, an amber “porch light” over the door and a little courtesy light next to the entry steps.
If I were a betting man, I’d wager that not one of them works. Based on my experience so far with this fifth-wheel, either the bulbs are burned out or the sockets are corroded. (Probably both.) Regardless, I’ll disassemble and clean all three, then install fresh bulbs.
The fill-and-gravel work we had done yesterday might seem like so much fluff, but it’s not. Adding gravel both expands the practical space on the homesite and, once it’s tracked in with use, will keep mud to a minimum. The woodsy parking pad, where we’d initially planned to put our shed, gives us an out-of-the-way spot to keep a vehicle. (Probably Mercy.)
Covering the septic tank and bringing it up to grade (more or less) also should help keep my sorry old ass from tumbling off the eight-foot bank onto the leach field below.
I have some shoveling and raking to do, just to knock down high spots and cover a couple of thin spots. After rain and traffic compact the surface a bit more, I’ll place decent-size rocks around the septic tank and along the edge of the pad to its south, as reminders not to drive over them (or off).
I shouldn’t have to go far to find enough rocks. Just a guess.
Another feature we want to add has to do with the generator. The Predator 3500 is equipped with small wheels designed to make it easier to move around on a smooth surface — but (like creepers) they don’t work on gravel. We stow the generator under the awning-side slide and deploy it 20 feet away, so Deb and I must lift and carry it back and forth.
Our idea is to lay a two-foot-wide path of pavers from the RV to where the generator sits when it’s running, which would make moving it a one-person job. Once we’re out of the fifth-wheel and in our house, those blocks won’t go to waste — they’ll be moved and used for other purposes.
Happy Flag Day, People. And here’s wishing a happy 77th to Trump.
This also happens to be National Bourbon Day, definitely an occasion worth observing. Yesterday’s haul to the fifth-wheel included our liquor, all of our liquor, and we almost came back to a bourbonless bus. Fortunately, before we left, Deb remembered to grab an open bottle of Knob Creek so we’d have something for tonight.
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.