Monday, September 27 2004
I went to the quarry on the King's Highway south of Saugerties again this morning and this time brought home 1.16 tons of gravel. I was a little more cautious on this trip and made sure both my rear tires had 35 pounds per square inch of air pressure before heading out. (I don't know what they're supposed to have, but I figured it would be best if they had the same and that whatever it was, it was more than the 15 pounds per square inch I'd had in my left rear tire when I'd picked up that first ton of gravel).
I spent much of the rest of the day transferring that gravel from the truck to the foundation trench along the house's south wall. I'd been a little displeased with how much fine rock dust was mixed in with this particular batch of gravel, so today I rinsed nearly all of the gravel off before moving it to the trench. This added step greatly slowed my progress and a made a huge mess. Deposited in low spots along the walkway, the rinsed-away rock dust formed a slippery blue-grey clay that proved remarkably resistant to cleanup.
Since I had nowhere near enough gravel to fill the trench, I cheated a little by burying old concrete blocks and pieces of drywall in the drainage gravel. I'm sure there's a reason not to do this, but I can't think what it is. Perhaps Carpenter Ants will decide they can raise their kids in the suburbs of the buried drywall paper. Speaking of odd places to raise kids, as I was removing the pieces of broken drywall from the pile that has lain on the east basement slab since my initial exploratory basement drywall removals back in August, not only did I find it full of Wolf Spiders, but when I removed an especially large piece a pair of Meadow Voles ran off and disappeared into the meadow. I later found their nest, which consisted mostly of chewed-up drywall paper. My animal rights bona fides aren't perfect, but if I'd known those voles were in there I would have probably left the drywall there all winter. Now they have to go build themselves a brand new home.
After I'd put all the gravel padded with random stuff into the trench, it seemed to be filled high enough to begin piling in some of the soil I'd originally excavated. First, though, I folded over the flap of permeable fabric I'd used to line the soil side of the trench. This would help protect the purity of the drainage gravel from clogging by clay. I'm thinking long-term here, since such clogging would probably take a hundred years even under the worst of situations.
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