Still, nature aside, it's nice not to walk in the mud when it rains, and the old road, always sticky but OK with leaf litter and forest duff, got rutted and exposed during logging and its aftermath. The logger was good enough to scrape it smooth before leaving with the dozer, and I've intentionally not driven up it except when it was frozen solid, and then only in four-wheel-drive.
Monday morning early, our road maintenance guy and Cullowhee Fire Chief, Tim Green, arrived with a small dump truck load of gravel, enough to mitigate the mud and make walking a cleaner endeavor. It covered the main entrance road, the left turn up toward the mossy plateau and the log cabin, and even the steep climb to the trout ponds, up which I had to use my truck to pull not one but two VW camper vans here for Burning Pig Festival last August. The three roads create sort of a "Peace Sign" configuration, dividing three main wedges of land -- soon to be a blueberry patch, a small orchard, and a goat pasture. In the spring, after the fire brigade burns our piles and after the freeze-thaw cycle ends, we'll add another load for good measure. Here are some pictures...
|Down the fence line, Wolf Knob above...|
|Goat cabin in the distance, and you can make out the lower and higher (bigger) dams that create the two trout ponds|
|That steep drive in the foreground access a large picnic/camping plateau, the drinking water well, and both ponds. It's too steep without 4WD, although if that #57 washed rock compacts before a big rain it'll be like concrete.|
|Blueberries on the right, goats on the left, and apple trees up close. Meadow grass and wildflowers will be everywhere.|
|In February, the fire academy will burn those massive piles -- the one on the right is 60'x60' and full of big fuel.|