The Last Load

For weeks now I have been digging. Pickaxe, shovel, wheelbarrow, hard manual labor, and it just gets harder.

One last load of dirt and rock to remove from the work zone.

I am digging away at the slope behind the garage, solving longstanding drainage issues, creating a nice level walkway, building a small retaining wall.

The first stage was digging out all along my garage, reworking the slope, pulling the soil away from the foundation, giving the water somewhere to go other than right along the wall. This involved a couple dozen wheelbarrow loads of soil and rock removed and about thirty feet of two foot retaining wall… Done!

The most serious part of the work is underway now. I am continuing the retaining wall out along the driveway. Part of this was digging away at the slope to create another parking space worth of room. This is where the digging got serious.

To get the job done I have been digging every other day, with work sessions in the morning before going to work. Four barrow loads is the goal each time. It got harder as I dug into the slope, having to pick each load from the broken, rotten, and increasingly solid rock.

This weekend saw the last load removed. Work sessions would see only one load removed at the end as I spent more time with a pickaxe than a shovel, chipping the new retaining wall foundation into the rock. I needed a four to six inch deep trench for the base of the wall… Done.

Today saw me stacking rock back into the excavation, the first course of the new wall. About two thirds of the rock needed is stacked to one side, it came out of the hole, now it goes back in.

A borrowed cement mixer sloshes away, bucket after bucket of cement, some rebar and wire, it is starting to look like a wall rather than a hole in the ground. Nine bags of concrete got poured, a good morning’s labor. Looks like the concrete will have time to set properly before the storm arrives.

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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