Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Building a Bridge!

Do rocks count as "secondhand" treasures?  I'm going to say, yes!  Last summer, our family built a rock bridge on a piece of property we purchased.  It's a seasonal creek, so it was dry when we worked on it.  But, as soon as the rains came in October, it was wonderful!  We put the culverts up high enough so the water would back up on one side and create a pond, complete with waterfalls.  Not only did we build the bridge, but we also lined each side of the creek with rocks...gathered from the property.  Actually, the lining of the creek bed was mostly my job.  Let's just say I hefted a TON (or two, or three, or ten!) of rocks last summer!  The day I took these pictures, I was lucky enough to catch a rainbow.  Read on if you want to see pictures of the whole process.






We have a several seasonal creeks on the property. Most of them have simple concrete culverts over them, but this is the main one you cross over so we wanted to make it special. With no shortage of rocks on the property, and I mean lots of rocks, we decided to build a rock bridge. Five days, 4000 pounds of mortar mix ( that's two tons people!), lots of water to drink (since the weather was in the mid to high 90's all week), and some help from each of the family members and a friend, who is an experienced stone mason and just so happened to need the work, and we ended up with a fun bridge that will hopefully give us years of enjoyment. Eventually, we will plant some trees and shrubs around it, but that's for another time!

THE PROCESS...

This is where we started once my husband and son put in the culverts and the gravel trucks brought in the gravel.


My husband and our friend worked the first day scraping away the extra gravel with the excavator, setting up a plumb line, and placing the first stones.


On the second day, I joined the crew and this is how far we got.


Day three was spent on the other side.


We decided to put some sort of cap on top of the rocks to make them look more finished. (Okay, these weren't "secondhand"...they came from Home Depot!)  We spent day four finishing the caps on the first side, then going to work on the second side with more stones.


On day five, everyone one had the "blessing" of working, including our youngest!


My husband mixing up one of the many batches of mortar mix...a dirty job! We used over 50 sacks of mortar mix...80 lbs. each. Thanks Dad for the use of the cement mixer and generator!


Still day five in the HOT sun, we finished the rocks and put the capstones on the second wall.
That was one L..O..N..G day!


Of course, with the hot weather, one of the coolest places was inside the culvert.


Our youngest had fun in there, too!


If you had to be in the sun, a hat was essential. Our youngest is sporting his 50¢ garage sale hat. So cool!


At the end of day five...mission accomplished!  


And, one more look at it when the creek flows...I'm lovin' it!


Linking to THESE great parties.

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UPDATE Dec. 2013

I just had to add these pictures taken of the bridge after we had 7" of beautiful snow.  Quite a difference from the 90 degree plus weather of the summer!



19 comments:

  1. wow great job! job well done at that! it is beautiful country where you live so lucky!
    Jess @ the balanced libra

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  2. Awesome! I am forwarding this to the builders in my family...
    ~JamieS@ Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

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  3. I would love to have a stream to do this with. I love this so much, I added the pic to my Pinterest page! http://pinterest.com/ms_tru/my-dream-outdoors/

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  4. you built the bridge? That's amazing! It's beautiful. I admire your self sacrifices for the sake of others. MAny people will be blessed because of your effort!

    love~mongs
    mythriftycloset.blogspot.com

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  5. wow I wish I could build something like that on my property. It looks wonderful. I am your newest follower and I hope you can have a look at my blog. what great inspiration.
    thanks for sharing
    Caroline

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  6. Wooo! Y'all did a fabulous job! It was sure worth it all! Congratulations! It's really spectacular.

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  7. Beautiful! What a great project, that took a TON of work. It all paid off, it's gorgeous. Thanks for sharing at DIY Thrifty Thursday @ www.thrifty101.blogspot.com
    ~Michelle

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  8. What a beautiful project! Great job, I admire you!

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  9. wow, I'm impressed. You guys did an amazing job. http://caribbeanmissionarywife.blogspot.com/

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  10. Wow! This is super cool! Your property looks wonderful and the bridge you built fits in so nicely!!

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  11. The Buddha mentioned building bridges for the public good as an example of a meritorious deed!

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  12. Cool bridge and the pic with the rainbow is priceless. I am a new fan following you from the hop via GFC.

    http://www.ourbananamoments.com
    http://www.facebook.com/ourbananamoments

    Marsha

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  13. That is stunning. What an incredible amount of work! We have tons of field rock in several piles on our property, but I'm not sure I could tackle a project quite that big! Love the waterfall effect.

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  14. I love bridges. I would like to tear down our brick wall and redo it with stone, probably smaller than it stands now. This got me thinking. I don't know if we could pull it off, but it would be so cool! Thanks for sharing your adventure!

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  15. I'm so grateful that you linked up in this week's Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :) This awesome post totally rocked the party!

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  16. That is amazing!!!!! It is my goal to someday live on some property that has a creek. You are livin' my dream :)I LOVE this!

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  17. I'm impressed! This is beautiful. I really want to add a water feature to my yard. Maybe next year!

    Now Following!

    ~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage
    www.shabbyfrenchcottage.com

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  18. absolutely fantastic! Wow, I am ever so impressed with your bridge building... gorgeous... speechless.. everything I type just sounds stupid!!

    Anyway, love giving old things new life. We are singing in the same choir. Grateful to have found you today!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the feedback and always look forward to reading what you have to say! Susan

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