Strange title I know. My wife and I wanted to communicate the craziness of mud season in Northern Idaho. I decided that reading the “Tomorrow Speech” from Macbeth was a great way to express our mud bogging adventure. “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing…” If I can’t laugh at myself then I really have no right to laugh at anyone else. Especially, this time, it feels like I played the fool part well.
Last year, we decided to finally gravel our driveway. In the second scene of the video, with a few cuts, it pretty much expresses about 2-5 weeks of our excursion out of our driveway each day. After five years, we had enough and decided to take our savings for the future shop and drop it into road fabric and rock for the road. We no longer wanted to mud bog and hike the quarter of a mile in and out. The amazing part is the main dirt road seemed to be established enough to drive on during the worst parts of the season, until this year.
To get to the paved county maintained road, we have to drive about a mile of dirt road, a quarter of that being our driveway and easement. This year’s late snow storms somehow created a long extended break up transition to spring. Break up is when the ground’s frost layer some times 6 inches to about two ft deep, depending on the season, begins to melt on the surface. The ice layer underneath however stays frozen acting as a barrier preventing the ground to absorb moisture. The ground on the surface begins to melt and become saturated with water creating a slurry of mud. As it warms, the mud gets thicker and thicker, but is held in place by the frozen layer still deep in the ground. Once the frozen layer melts completely, the water can drain into the ground. Sometimes pockets of the frozen ground melt due to sun exposure through the trees causing deep treacherous potholes to form that can bottom out the vehicle and wreak havoc on the suspension system. The only sound way to avoid this is to use road fabric and a thick base of rock.
During the last scene of the video, in which we drive down the easement, I explain how much a quarter of a mile driveway cost us. The road fabric, 2.5″ to minus rock bed, and the smoother 3/4″ rock for the driveway with about 8-10 inches depth cost us close to $6,000.00.
The tale told by an idiot, which is me, seems to be all this planning to save ourselves from the poorly established driveway and easement was moot since the road for the 1st time in 4 or five years went to mud, and we still had to mud bog in and out of the road this year. The only answer is to place road fabric on the road and rock and gravel it all the way to the main paved road. Alas, we are one of the newest neighbors on this road, and none of the other neighbors cares enough to fix it and will do nothing about it. We have one neighbor using his tractor to level the road, but there are many others who have tractors and never lend a hand. That neighbor is planning to build a different access off their property, so when I get good enough at driving our tractor, I will be left in charge of road duty for the 3/4 a mile to get out. For years the neighbors have thrown rock on the road, but without road fabric to lock it in place, the next bad mud season the rock just disappears.