As longtime readers of Blue Ridge Muse know, Amy and I have battled Mother Nature for the past 14 years to keep our steep gravel driveway passable.
This year’s assault of heavy thunderstorms and washout brings that battle to the edge.
The builder of the house we now own urged the original owner to put in serpentine driveway, one that used curves to soften the ravages of rain and storms. He ignored the advice and our driveway climbs straight up a steep incline to the spot where one makes a sharp left turn into the garage, the only patch of level land anywhere on the property that surrounds our home.
So when hard rain come down, so does the gravel as strong streams of water carry stone and what was, for a while, a hard surface.
One recommendation, I’m told, was for the builder to cut a serpentine path off Sandy Flats Road through the woods behind our house that would provide less incline and more protection before it reached the entrance to our garage.
The other option, of course, is paving the 557 feet of driveway up the steep hill, which would create a wall of snow and ice that would melt slowly since the sun doesn’t reach the stretch of road until late afternoon.
Last estimate to pave? Oh, about $35,000.
Heavy rains Thursday night and again on Friday leaves the usual gullies in the driveway and mud in a section at the bottom that has not been dry for the past two months.
If the storms ease, which is always a big “if,” and the surface dries enough, we will fire up our trusty Kubota tractor with a large blade on the rear and try, once again, to bring the surface back under control.
While doing so, I will keep muttering vile things about Mother Nature.