Sunday, February 8, 2015

Creating a Path Thru the Woods

I've decided on the location of the new rabbit hutches. It's up near the house along a section that is not being used for anything else, not even pasture. The ground had been cleared as part of a perimeter roadway by a previous owner, so all the major trees are gone. It's almost all shade all day long, perfect for the rabbits. Being within 200 feet of the house makes for easy access for taking care of them. But the only glitch is that there is a section of woods between me and that stripe of land. So what to do? Create a pathway for access. 

I first decided I wanted the path wide enough to drive the ATV on. So I scouted out a line where I wouldn't need to chainsaw down any major trees, plus didn't have super major boulders. I didn't mind if the path wasn't straight. If it meandered a bit through the woods, that actually would be rather nice. 

The other problem I have is that the area is full of strawberry guava saplings. I actually encourage these saplings and harvest them for various uses. I coppiced the original trees years ago and now keep a thick growth of new wood so that the poles will be reasonably straight and tall. I don't mind sacrificing a swath in order to create a pathway, but the thick growth just makes for one more obstacle to deal with. 

Once I got an idea of where the path should be, I started removing the guava saplings right down to the ground. The ground surely isn't level here so there are holes and valleys that need filling in. Ah-ha, rocks! Yes, all the rocks that I'm removing from my patio project can be used as fill for my pathway project. Ha! 
So this is what it looks like after a couple hours of work. Yes, I got sidetracked off the patio project, but such is life. I removed a bundle of saplings out of the path and dumped wheelbarrow loads of rocks. So far so good. 

Yesterday morning I wanted to harvest more sapling poles and got carried away. Hack, snip, drag, drag. By mid-afternoon I had quite a pile of useable poles. All the little stuff got chopped up and moved to a biotrash pit. I was pretty pleased with the progress. 

Today I moved more rock to level more of the path and used some gravel to smooth out the rough spots. It looks good in the photo above, but what you don't see is that there are still plenty of mini hills and valleys to deal with, plus one boulder that needs a date with a sledgehammer. So the pathway still needs plenty of wheelbarrow loads of rock. But I can start using the ATV to deliver that rock to where they're  needed. Far easier than using a wheelbarrow! 

So the progress in this project will now slow down, because it's now just several trips of rock moving. How boring. But when the path is fairly finished, or when I start using the sledgehammer, I'll post an update. 

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