Monday, July 9, 2018

Paving Tick Ridge And Other Trivia

I can remember when Tick Ridge Road was gravel. It was widened when I was in grade school and a layer of tar and chip put down. The state calls that an “improved surface” road, but the mud holes and wash-boards tend to come back, it tears up if many heavy trucks go over it and they often end up grading it just like they did before it was ever “improved.”

At the time, there was a small ridge of dirt by the edge of the road along this place with trees growing on it. After Dad gave them another five feet of right-of-way, they blasted out the trees, graded the ridge down and widened the road. I was in school, so I missed the blasting as much as I hated that. Dad was working here at our old mill most of that time, though, so he got to see the work progress.

Over the years, they’ve put more tar and chip, then paper-thin layers of asphalt on the road, and widened it a few inches at a time, often putting new asphalt on bare dirt or a couple inches of limestone there at the road edges. As a result of never having had a good base, the road is subject to recurring potholes where the old mud holes used to be and the edges are always trying to chip off. After several years of putting patches upon patches, they’ve finally decided to repave it this week.

We saw where they’d parked their equipment at the valley end of the road Saturday morning and were oiling and greasing it up in preparation. I heard the familiar sound of dump trucks on the road soon after dawn this morning. Paving was the one job that I hated when I drove a dump truck. Staying in sync with the paving machine is bad enough, but having to clean the tailgate and latches between every load is the biggest aggravation. Then, you need to spray the bed with kerosene just before you load, so the fresh asphalt won’t stick to your bed. I’m not sure that’s legal, but the soapy water they want you to use simply doesn’t work.

The contractor is using mostly trucks from my former employer to haul the stuff; one of them waved at me when I was taking the dog out about 11AM, so I knew it was one of the guys that I used to drive with. I wish I could have spoken to him a minute, but I was too far away.

There’s a little job out by the road that I could do (dragging the limbs from the yard that I cut a couple evenings ago), but it’s pretty hot right now. I went out to do it yesterday evening, but the neighbor on that side was having a pool party for the kids, and I didn’t want him or his friends thinking that I was working over there to get a peek at teeny-boppers in bikinis. You know how people’s minds work (usually a reflection of their own).

I gave Eliquis one last try yesterday after laying off ALL supplements for two days that had a similar effect. Three hours later, I was peeing pink again. That’s three strikes, so it’s out. PERIOD. There’s no point NOT dying of stroke or heart attack, only to die of kidney damage instead.

The missus is sitting on the porch with the Mighty Dachshund for now, so they should both be happy. I guess they used to do that a lot when I was working, but that’s going on three years now, so she doesn’t do it much anymore.

This is the third beautiful sunny day in a row here. But each keeps getting a little warmer. It’s supposed to be miserable again by the weekend. Stay hydrated and in the shade (or under AC) if it’s that way where you are my friends. Copyright 2018


Sunnybrook Farm said...

Sounds like how some of the roads are done here. We have problems with the edges of the road as they don't have enough base. It is nice here today, weeded more of the garden and mowed the back yard while the wife had a cleaning frenzy concerning the front porch so all the furniture is in the yard and she has gone to get paint.

c w swanson said...

High summer where I am. I was just now mentioning that to the wife. On the way home all the fields are crispy brown and yellow, not a sprig of green grass anywhere. The sky is clear and blue and the temps are getting up there, although we've only had one day of over a hundred so far. I'm starting to pine for the rain, even snow, and the yellow aspens, and it's only July.

Gorges Smythe said...

Too hot to do much here, SF.

I can't blame you, CW.

Ralph Goff said...

We are a little above normal temp and humidity here too and its hard to work much in near 90 degree temps unless it is in the AC equipped tractors. Our thin membrane highways suffer here too thanks to closing down the short line railways and putting all that heavy traffic onto the highways.

Gorges Smythe said...

Yeah, they closed down a lot of rail lines in this country, too, Ralph. We'd be in a real fix if WW III ever occurs.