Building More Walls

With the big wall completed along the driveway, and a bit of a break over a hot muggy summer, I am again building walls.

Back Yard Wall Excavation
Excavating for a series of terrace walls in the back yard.

This is not the sort of wall between people, I detest those, but rather a real rock wall, terracing the backyard to make the space available for landscaping and other projects. This puts into action a plan that has been brewing for years.

Part of the impetus is that I have a source of rock secured, a very large pile of very nice rock found in a Waimea backyard. One of my co-workers casually mentioned he needed to rid himself of a pile of rock, to which I quickly asked… How much rock?

A lot. More than I can carry away in a couple loads.

Thus I stop by the house in Waimea each day after leaving work, load about 500-700lbs, as much as I can in the vehicle, and drive home. I will be at this for much of the month. At least the road home is downhill.

It seems that the builders of his house just piled everything along the back lot-line. It is nice, solid and somewhat weathered basalt, excellent wall building material. Of course basalt is pretty much every rock on this island. This particular basalt will look nice and mostly match the rock I used along the driveway.

As most of this wall will be much shorter than the driveway wall I am building more of it, about half the height, and twice the length. As it need not be quite as structurally stable I can use less concrete and forget the rebar.

The result should be a couple more terraces in the backyard, leveling the slope in places and providing for more area to landscape. I also plan to continue the driveway wall out to the back yard, wall along the upper side of the vegetable garden, around the compost pile, and on the down-slope of a couple of the fruit trees.

I have most of the wall foundations excavated at this point, the most laborious of tasks. The physical labor is deliberate, a good form of exercise which I need. Exercise with a product to show for the effort expended! Another weekend’s work will see the excavations complete, then I begin stacking rock.

Let the puzzle begin!

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i.

2 thoughts on “Building More Walls”

    1. Soil? Not Really. What I have is mostly rock and soil mixed, with the proportion going more rock as you get deeper. It is the top of an old Mauna Kea a’a flow with ten thousand years of dust and debris filled in between the broken rock. I have to use a pickaxe to dig anything beyond a few inches, a lot of the rock for the wall is coming out of the trenches I have been digging.

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