Road conditions – extended!

This morning, while switching out the trail cam memory cards, I found a new sign on the main road past our place.

That is not where I expected to see a road closed sign! This road has a lot of traffic, as it’s the main road to get to quite a few farms. I wasn’t surprised that there might be a problem, though. The municipal drainage ditch that washed out the road I’ve been checking crossed the main road about a half mile up from here. I just would have expected the road to be closed further to the east of this intersection.

I saw a large excavator going by our place yesterday, so I decided to walk to the washout and see what, if anything, was done there.

It turns out, nothing. I could see the tread marks continue past the washed out area.

This is the section that’s too deep for me to try and cross with my short rubber boots. The third area I saw yesterday that was starting to wash out has gotten bigger, but overall, things have not gotten much worse. During my walk up, it seemed that the water had receded in a few places in the fields, too.

I did get some video; this is raw from the camera, with no editing.

The winds from the north were quite high – enough to make me glad I wore my winter parka this morning, as I was walking back against the wind!

With the amount of snow that has melted away, and the water around the inner and outer yards somewhat receded, I went over to check on the septic field (which, as my brother pointed out when I called it that, isn’t actually a septic field, because we have an ejector. It’s the area where the grey water and, this spring, at least, runoff collects) and the sheds that I could get at. There was enough snow gone that I decided to check our back gate.

I’m glad I did!

It’s completely torn loose! The other end is held up by the chain and lock. You can see the U nails/staples in the gate post. The wire mesh of the gate was torn right off. Considering there is snow on top of the mesh, this happened quite some time ago, but we haven’t been able to get over this way to see it.

My guess: deer on the road got startled and plowed their way through the gate.

This secondary driveway accesses the main road. Since the gate was down anyway, I decided to walk up the road and see why it was closed.

I found out what the excavator was doing, yesterday!

It patched a section of road that had been washed out completely, at a culvert that drains into our quarter section. As you can see, the patch is already starting to wash out!

I didn’t try to walk any further (I’d already walked about 2 1/2 miles by then), but looking further down the road, I thought I could see another area that was washed out, maybe a quarter mile up the road. I’m thinking at, or near, the municipal drainage ditch.

Just look how far that new gravel has been washed down!

This culvert is not part of the municipal drainage ditch system. I believe it’s been here since before my parents acquired the farm. I remember playing in the culvert when I was a kid and, from what I can see of it, I think it’s still the same culvert, and hasn’t been upgraded or anything like that. No need to fix what ain’t broke!

Not far beyond the fence line is an area that I remember being just a really rough spot across the low area. There is water flowing here only during spring melt, or in excessively wet years. When the cows walked through it, their hooves would sink into the mud, squishing the soil into hills and holes. At some point while I was living in other provinces, a pair of narrow culverts were buried here, to create a sort of low driving lane. The washed out gravel is actually starting to go over this “lane”, and you can see just beyond it, where water is flowing through the small culverts. This seasonal “creek” continues on to the field the renter has been growing corn in the past two years, and eventually connects with the municipal drainage ditch. Which means that this water is contributing to the flooding that has washed out the other road.

On the way back, I freed up the gate from the remaining snow on it, and make it look like it’s fixed. πŸ˜€

It’s actually being held up by a single barb on the lower strand of barbed wire. We’ll have to come back with tools to fix it properly. For now, it’ll likely come down again with a stiff breeze! πŸ˜€ What I should probably do is find a post to wrap the wire mesh around, then affix it to the gate post in a way that’s more flexible. Maybe even add hinges. We’ll see.

On the list of things we want to do is extend the main driveway all the way to this secondary driveway with gravel. It came in handy the first time we found our gate’s lock glued shut, and we had to go out this way to get to town – and buy bolt cutters! Once we get past the collapsing log building in the inner yard, it gets very bumpy. At some point, someone had driven through when it was muddy, leaving deep ruts all over an area of it. We’ve tried to keep at least a lane mowed, so we can see where we can drive through without hitting rocks, or who knows what else that’s hidden in the grass and thatch.

When I have the chance, I want to make my way through the fence around the outer yard and check the gravel pit that the renter dug out last year. It should be very full of water, right now!

After checking out the road conditions, I also checked out newly accessible parts of the inner yard and found some things that got me very excited – but that will be for my next post! πŸ˜€

The Re-Farmer

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