Jul 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!


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!