Slow and Steady

A pretty good sized creek crosses our road through a culvert. We fondly call it the Watson Creek (get it? Think DNA) When we first moved here over 40 years ago, the county road commission was kind of letting things go on this road, hoping they might be able to abandon it as they had several other local uninhabited roads. When it became clear we were here to stay, our local road crew dug up the small old concrete culvert that contained the Watson Creek, and installed a large corrugated metal one. This culvert has served us well all the years we’ve lived here.

We’ve had an unusually wet spring this year, and the culvert is starting to show its age. Erosion is starting to set in on the edges of the embankment. If much more road crumbles into this creek, we could become stranded in that direction. So I decided to act.

Franco and I walk on this road daily; usually after supper. And I find my part of the walk is more enjoyable if I have a project. Over the years, I’ve hunted for road copper, and fixed deep ruts with rocks I gather along the way.

My assessment of this problem is the rushing water from the outflow of the culvert is washing away enough of the dirt at the base of the culvert to cause the banks to slip. What is needed is a rock base to disperse the power of the running water. So our evening walks now include a hunt for suitable rocks. I can only carry a few rocks each time, which I dutifully toss into the pool of water below the road bed. But even just a few each day can start to add up, as you can see in the picture. It can be discouraging when your hard earned rock just disappears in the pool, but I know it might stop the next rock from rolling too far, and after a hundred days or so, we’ll have a nice little pile of boulders down there just daring the road to wash away.

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