Here’s a fun one for you. This past Friday, I spent the entire day shoveling sand from a pile up near our driveway into my handy ATV trailer and then emptying that trailer all the way back in the woods. My goal was to make a short road through a wet area so we wouldn’t have to hop from rock to rock anymore as we were trying to cross. While it’s not too treacherous to cross mid-winter while everything is frozen solid, it’s a real pain during the spring and summer. Oh yeah, and fall. I’ve wetted a foot wet on more than one occasion. And the thing is, it’s not even like there’s any water there. It’s all mud. So anyway, I wanted to fill the area in so we would have an easier time with our walking as well as an easier time crossing with the ATV.
You already know about the quad. What you don’t know about is my new Polar ATV trailer. I bought this trailer a few months ago from Home Depot. They delivered it to me for free and it’s been in storage since I purchased it. This past Friday was the first time I used it. It’s rated to carry 1,500 pounds, so I figured it would be fine to move some sand. Who the heck knows how much sand weighs? Apparently, a lot. More on that later.
Here’s a photo of the quad and the trailer.
This is the trailer while empty.
And here it is with about two wheelbarrow’s worth of sand in it.
I figured that I would drive the ATV back into the woods and cross the wet area about half way. Then, I’d dump the trailer and pull the sand out of it. Easier said than done. The first time I tried to cross, I got stuck. So that’s where I dumped the sand.
While the setup doesn’t appear to be stuck in the above photo. It was. What’s tough to see is the hitch that’s resting on a stump. Once I emptied the trailer and flipped the ATV into 4-wheel drive though, I drove right out of the area.
The entire purpose of this project was to make it easier for me to ride back into the woods while pulling the trailer to haul firewood back out. And since I had a pile of wood sitting near the area in which I was working, I thought it would be a good idea to get a feel for that type of hauling. So, I filled the trailer with wood and pulled it out. Boy did that feel good.
After a day’s worth of digging and hauling, a path/road began to form.
Good thing my friend Ian stopped by to help during the day. He did a heck of a lot of shoveling and his assistance was much appreciated. He’s an animal!
This is the road about half way finished.
We did some more work after this last photo, but it’s still not finished. I’ve got to install a pipe that will lie across the path (under the sand) and then I need to transport even more sand back there. I still have a few yards left. I may even need to buy more of it next year to finish up. I walked back there this morning after a full day’s rain yesterday and there’s one mushy part. That will need to be addressed.
The big issue that surrounded all of our work was the bending of my trailer’s axle. While these trailers are rated for 1,500 pounds, I wouldn’t recommend putting even half that weight in there. The tubing of the axle seems to be thinner than tubing elsewhere and it’s not a tough thing to bend. Take a look.
I mean, the metal actually wrinkled. That just shows how thin it is. I actually bent it back yesterday, so at least it’s straight. This Wednesday, I’ll be visiting a steel fabricator to purchase two 2×2 steel tubes. I’ll be bolting those tubes onto the axle and the hitch bar. That was slightly warped as well. I’ll discuss my ingenious bending technique in my next post. For now, thanks for reading!
Completed Sand Path Through Woods
I’ve had a pile of about three yards of stone dust (sand) staring at me ever since the last time I dug into it. That’s got to be a few weeks by this point. I haven’t been too eager to transport it to the area of the woods it was intended for because I’m not sure my back has healed since the last time I did that. It’s so repetitive. And tiring. I’m not lazy by any means, but digging this stuff is just so exhausting. And repetitive. Did I mention that?
Still, it needed to be done because the cold weather is upon us. I woke up to frost this morning, which means the pile of sand will be frozen solid in no time if I don’t put it where it needs to go.
I’m always so amused with myself when I try to show off our frost. In a month’s time, we very well may have four feet of snow sitting on the ground and I’ll yell over to Laura, “Hey, remember that time I was telling people that we had frost?” Too funny. As much as I love snow though, hopefully it’ll wait a little longer than a month to rear its head. Although, it does make for some wonderful hiking. Hmmm…
Anyway, let’s get on with it.
Yesterday, I moved seven trailer loads of sand. It was the entire pile. And yes, I was hurting by the time I finished my digging. Between Friday night’s Jiu-Jitsu and Saturday’s shoveling, I felt like I got hit by a bus – twice. The Jiu-Jitsu is bad enough and getting worse as I get older. But that’s fine. It keeps me svelte.
Part of me was eager to finish up the road in the woods because what I had already completed had settled some. Its appearance was somewhat lumpy and I so wanted to see a smooth path I could be proud of. Luckily, I had just enough material to make that happen. Take a look at this. The product of my labor.
Do you find it strange that this path doesn’t appear that involved but it’s actually a good 12 yards of material? That’s a pretty decently sized dump truck’s worth of sand. It really doesn’t look like a lot at all when it’s just sitting there like that.
Oh yeah, the reason I wrote, “Until Next Year” up in the title of this post if because I intend to add a bit of width to the “land bridge” in the spring. It’s good the way it is, but I would like to have some wiggle room when I drive the ATV over it.
We had a good solid rain a few weeks ago. When I went out to check on the road (yes, I do that in the morning), I found that water had accumulated in one side of it and was flowing over the sand. I knew the area was wet, but I didn’t know that it was actually a path for water to escape the area. Moments later, I found myself standing over it with a piece of pipe in hand, along with a shovel. I dug a trench and placed the pipe in it. Then I covered the pipe with material and watched as all the water flowed through. That pipe wasn’t buried too deep before yesterday, but now it’s down there pretty good.
Good thing I had a lot of pipe on hand or else some of the sand may have washed away. I’ve got over 100 feet of the black flexible type.
So that’s basically it. I shoveled a lot, moved some stuff and did the necessary raking to smooth everything out nicely. It was beautiful here yesterday. About 55 degrees and sunny. It was the perfect weather for taking care of some projects outside. Besides the sand, I also cut down two small dead trees for firewood (which we’re burning as I sit here and type) and cleared a small area in the woods so I can easily drive my ATV in a loop when returning from a sand run as opposed to unhooking the trailer, turning around and then connecting the trailer again. It’s so much easier this way. Today, I plan on heading back there again with my chainsaw to start on a new trail. It’s going to run through one of the more beautiful areas of the property, so I’m excited about that. Lot’s of pine trees and moss underfoot.
Here’s one last view of the road. It’s primarily for me to stare at during those winter days I can’t get outside. But you’re welcome to enjoy it as well.
And this is a look up into the woods. I’ll be back in this area in just a few minutes with my saw and some clippers. I can spend hours back there and I do. Have a great day!