January 22, 2009

An "Oregon" Day

It is wall-to-wall overcast, or I should say, mountain range-to-mountain range, Dragoons-to-Chiricahuas. That does not happen often, and I am very glad for that. It does make me realize however, how big our sky is when clouds are low and stretching as far as the eye can see. I never have the feeling here of having a ceiling overhead, but today it is definitely there. We are supposed to get some moisture from it too, and I see light rain in the mountains next door, but nothing much has materialized at the WD.

We took advantage of this cloudy day by trying to repair and improve our driveway. When it was cleared it was done in typical rancher way ("you have plenty of room and why would you want to keep those mesquites anyway"), so its width rivaled I-10 (almost). But because we live in the foothills, or on the bajada as they say here, of Blacktail Hill and Mt Glenn, we get quite a bit of sheet flooding during our summer storms, with water running downhill at a good clip. We have waterfalls in the front yard several times a year. All that water runs across the driveway, and has over the couple of years we have been here made some goodsize ruts.

So time has come for repair. This morning we made the entrance to our property a lot narrower, but still plenty wide for dump trucks or a semi. We used a lot of large rocks, another advantage of living on the bajada: whatever erosion does come from the mountains comes in the form of rocks of all sizes and if your place happens to have a wash across it, there are plenty of big ones. Not so much fun if you are trying to garden or landscape though.

Dan also graded the drive again, and the next step will be to make a rock retaining wall to slow the water down so it does not gouge out the driving surface. But that's for another day. If it's nice weather tomorrow, we are out riding.

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