Two Blondes on a Build Story #6: The Long & Winding Driveway part 2

Hello friends!

Following on from my last blog post, I am happy to share with you this second episode of our two parter about how we constructed our long and winding driveway up a steep hill in the forest on the side of a mountain! It took a few months of heavy work and equally heavy equipment but we got there. I learned so much from my husband Brett, who seems to have no problem turning his hand to anything and becoming a master. He is amazing!

You can watch this episode by clicking on the embedded video below.

Transcript of the video narrative

Brett: ”Hi folks and welcome to part two of The Long & Winding Driveway. In this part we will show you a little bit more about what we did, how we built and how far we got to the top of our property and I hope you enjoy it as you see the ins and outs including saving the big trees wherever we could and maybe breaking a little rock.”

Sarah: ‟This is one of the two rock bluffs we talked about in the last episode. Imagine listening to this noise day in and day out. Thank God for ear defenders.

For Brett to finish the driveway, he puts two layers of rock down. The first is a three inch diameter crushed rock and on top he pours pit run crushed gravel, which compacts down very nicely to make quite a hard surface. And here is the guy from Key Pawn Trucking with another load of three inch crushed rock for us now.

Here‘s Captain Excavator with a handy piece of equipment. Yes, he is using a tree trunk to smooth down the crushed rock. What a great idea!”

Brett: “This is how you add a little weight to a machine so you can pack the road

…As you can see folks, there’s one or two big ones on our property and we are keeping them!

… Here she is, backing down the hill with the excavator. Look out, woman driver! Yes she is still going folks, backing down the hill, listens really well and you know what, she’ll maybe be a good operator one day.

… Well folks, we made it to the top of the hill. It’s a two-wheeled drive Journeyer and it’s steep but she made her! Let’s take a walk. You can see that I’ve got a little bit of fill left to do here and there but this spot that we are at right now is light years away from where were when we first got here. This little area here is where the drill rig will set up and they are going to be drilling the well approximately here. The witcher will be here on Saturday with the rig and they will set up right over the spot he chooses and we will be drilling starting Monday and hopefully by Wednesday, Thursday we will have a hole in the ground that has water in it.

Now we are going down and we are going to head down through the woods. This, at one point was two ridges. I have just walked over one and you can see on the side there is quite a bit of rock on the right hand side where we have come up a ridge and this ridge was probably three feet, four feet on a slope. So we cut into that and we built up this bank a little bit, more for the ability to cut down on the angle of this particular piece of the road.

Now this area here was originally as high as I thought we might get but you never know until you get here, how far you can go. You will see that there is quite a few big trees in this area and we didn’t want to cut anything this massive. It’s just you know, it’s been here a long time…”

Sarah: ‟Almost as long as Brett…”

Brett: “Yes, well. Now as we head down to the next level you will notice these stakes with the pink tops. That’s our property line on the outside edge and our property goes about a thousand feet that way. So we are heading down, again this has been built up now probably six feet here and maybe as much as ten feet down here on the right hand side, the outside edge. As you can see we have had to take out this face, which came out almost to the centre of the road here when we first started breaking rock. Now this area here, we have only raised the outside edge probably four feet and that is because we are on a bank that is very sloped so the inside edge, again we had to break some rock here. This little edge came out virtually to here but we are also about three feet of fill along the edge of the face at that side.

Down we go again. You can see down here where we started the road way down there. My little parking spot for the excavator, my little Yanmar…”

Sarah: “Our little Yanmar….it’s not just a big boy’s toy anymore you know…“

Brett: “Well, I know you drive it now too. Now, we were lucky because if you look at this face, it looks like I have done some on it and I have, maybe a foot off of that area. Most of it, we have just gone right along the edge. As you look down here this triangle is the slope and we are about three feet above that grade right now. And this where I have been getting the fill and the rock by the truck in the last couple of weeks. We will get one more load in here in the morning just to finish up and from where I am standing, here, it is approximately twelve feet to fourteen feet down to the bottom. This all had to be filled in, in order to get a turning spot here and off we go again. You can see how steep the slope was, to get it level we have had to raise, you know up to fourteen feet and slowly down here we are probably eight feet and then it winds down to just a few feet. We have still got a lot of brush that we can’t burn because there is a no burn order on and here we are, where we started. We put the culvert in to start with when we first got here and built this road. So that’s it folks. That’s how you get up to a hill that’s a hundred and fifty feet, maybe a hundred and eighty feet above where we are right now, so we can build a house.”

Sarah: “He’s gone from Captain Excavator to Captain Compacter! Yes, Brett is doing the finishing work now, compacting the driveway, hopefully to get it ready for the truck tomorrow. The drill truck and the crew are arriving tomorrow to set it up with a view to drilling on Monday This is a hell of a lot of work!”

Brett: “Well hello folks, as you can see we are up at the top of our property. I put this section of road in just as a working road so that we can get materials up to the house area. It will eventually be a trail, we don’t drive up this far. A couple of things that have happened. I am up for my OB (Owner Builder) exam, I should be getting it by email any day now and I have five days to complete it and send it back to them. We’ve had a couple of different septic companies come up and we have decided to go with a Biorock system for our property, which will….its on order and it should be here in a couple of months probably, it takes a while. That’s fine. We have talked to a sprinkler company about putting sprinklers in the house, because of the steepness of our road it has been suggested by the fire department, who had come out to inspect the road that we have a sprinkler system put in, which we will do. So we have had a lot of things going on. We are hoping in the next few weeks to be all ready, where our plans are in the works, the first set of plans should be with us in a couple of weeks, hopefully, and as soon as we have okayed them or made any small changes that we want to make, they will be sent off for a final print and that takes another maybe six to eight weeks, because of engineering. Once that is all done we can start building.“

The Music

I am learning a lot about putting videos together and I am really enjoying the process of matching images and video clips with music and sounds. I have found that the YouTube Audio Library is a wonderful source of royalty free music that I am allowed to use without infringing anyone’s copyright.

There are some incredible artists showcasing their music in this way and I love to support them by featuring their music in these films so that more people become aware of their work. In this short film I used the following pieces music:

1. Sunn Forest – by ELPHNT

2. Come with Us – by Nat Keefe and Hot Buttered Rum

3. Home – by JHS Pedals

We hope you have fun watching this video!

I would be very grateful if you could subscribe to my channel and share the video link, as well as my blog, which you can do so below.

Thanks for reading and watching.

Our next Two Blondes on a Build episode will focus on drilling our well and I will post this up in the next couple of weeks.

Until then, sending you peace, love and light across the miles,

Sarah x

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