Well hot damn we got ourselves a driveway! Can’t really do much of anything unless you have basic vehicular access to your property, so a driveway was a first logical priority. We had been recommended to a local guy, who happens to live off-grid 2 miles from us, who has a tractor and a dump truck and does driveways! So he came over the day after we arrived in town a couple of weeks ago to check out our lot. We needed not only a driveway, but also a leveled out spot to put our cabin.
The next morning he came by with his tractor at about 7am, we were fresh up from camping out there, and we got to work. We helped hand saw some scrub oak down, while he started clearing with the tractor. It didn’t take more than a couple of hours to bulldoze everything down and create some nice flat dirt areas. Scrub oak is rubbery stuff that can be hard to tear out of the ground with a tractor, so we sawed the rest of the roots out of the ground while he went to get our first load of rock.
He was able to get three loads of rock that afternoon, both 3″ rock and 3/4 minus gravel, to get the driveway portion almost finished. The next day he brought two more loads of gravel for our cabin location. It looked pretty good, plus we’re on a budget, so we kept it at that for a few days. After some careful consideration though, we decided one more load would be just right, so he came back a few days later with one more load of gravel. We were able to level it out and spread it so we have a good spot to put our cabin.
We moved our camp up to our newly graveled flat spot, and admired our accomplishment. Of course, it rained and rained and RAINED while we were there, so we spent a lot of our time inside our tent, or giving up and going into town for awhile until the storm died down. It made us that much more anxious to get shelter up there. Poor Loki had been bitten by some sort of insect and was nursing a swollen paw the whole week, so he didn’t feel good as it was. He spent most of the day sleeping in the car or putting himself in the tent while we did various projects outside.
We cut up some of the scrub oak that had been pulled up for future firewood, and limbed a few of the ponderosas of their lower dead branches, also for firewood, aesthetics, and general health of the trees. So between rainstorms we were hand-sawing wood, collecting dirt for garden beds, and enjoying a few beers. We saw a beautiful buck deer wander through the lot next to ours, a mama doe with two spotted fawns down the road from us, I caught a glimpse of a doe meandering through Amelia’s meadow, we watched stellar jays do their ninja dances in the trees, and we were warned a couple of times about the amount of black bears in the area.
Remember those first 3 priorities we had? Storage, driveway, shelter? Well, we managed to accomplish the first two, and the third has been ordered. For this trip we rented a uhaul and packed it with most of our big stuff, then stuffed a 5×10 storage space in town. Now a lot of our things (even with the small amount of stuff we feel like we have, I need to downsize STILL) are in storage, including a wood stove given to us by a friend. Our next trip out there will be for the delivery of our tiny house cabin!