Posted by: SoccerGirl | May 25, 2008

Building & Burning

So over Mother’s Day weekend we headed up to the mountains again (second weekend in a row for mom & dad). Since I was along for this trip there were two purposes in going. One was to meet with a road builder and the second was for my dad to put me to work! We drove up on Saturday morning arriving around noon, spent some time using the house plans to measure distances for the driveway/road (at least that’s what I think we were doing, my dad just told me to hold the tape measure and walk to certain distances). I also got the chance to check out the wooden bench my dad had painted and brought up a few weeks back so we could have someplace to sit while we’re up there.

Then the road builder arrived, so it was time to talk to him. This is the same road builder my dad had met with back in October and whose price was considerably lower than others he had talked to more recently. It had been decided that if his price was the same the road would get built sooner rather than later, especially since it seems like the price of everything just keeps going up these days! His price was the same so my parents told him to do it, so sometime in the next month or so we will have a road on the property leading to the future home sight. Hopefully we’ll be able to post some pictures of the work once it gets underway. One interesting thing that we learned in talking with the road builder is that gravel is cheaper in Ashe County than in neighboring Wilkes County. and that the quarry we would be getting gravel from was actually just a few minutes down the road! And here it is: (Click on images to enlarge)

QuarryQuarry 2

Once the road builder left it was time to get down to business and work. It was a beautiful day to be outside, not too hot, sunny, but a little bit windy. With that in mind we were a little nervous about one of our tasks for the day, burning brush. But my dad, being the prepared kind of guy that he is came equipped with a fire extinguisher, jug of water and a sprayer to hose down any areas that might get out of control. Oh and he also made sure to get a burn permit ahead of time. So he dug and cleared a pit in the meadow and after several attempts to light the fire with matches, we were able to get a fire going. I was assigned the job of “burn boss” as I like to call it, basically I put brush on the fire and broke larger branches into smaller ones and made sure the fire didn’t get too big. My dad used his DR PowerWagon to haul brush from one of the logging roads down to the burn area.

Let me tell you that thing can hold a lot of brush, and it’s quite fun to ride in (but kids, don’t try that at home)

Meanwhile, my mom had gone up to the store to get some gas for another power tool we had brought with us, the DR Trimmer/Mower, which I got to use to mow some of the meadow. It was very easy to use, make sure to wear safety glasses though, and I would recommend wearing a face mask to avoid all the grass flying in your mouth and nose (it’s easy to keep your mouth closed, but not much you can do about the nose). After awhile of taking care of the fire, my mom returned and she took over that job NCMountainMama Hard at work tending the fire

while I mowed and then helped my dad gather brush to burn.  My self portrait while sitting in the PowerWagon

Since you can only watch a fire burn for so long, it was decided that my mom & I would go to the friends’ house with whom we were staying and leave my dad to finish out the burning, but of course pick him up later, don’t worry.  It felt great to get to the house, change clothes, and relax for the evening.  Of course we told my dad not to work too hard while we were gone, but as usual he didn’t listen and when my mom retrieved him he was quite exhausted.GoTheDistance lounging in the PowerWagon

After such a beautiful day on Saturday we awoke to a cold and rainy morning on Sunday.  After going to church in town and eating breakfast we headed off to meet Builder #2 again and tour a timber frame house he had built nearby.  It was nice to be able to see a timber frame house in person, and the homeowners were very gracious and answered many of the questions my parents had for them.



  1. I know you’re just trying to help your dad save face, but it’s pretty clear that he has the job of supervisor down pat!!

  2. Really, don’t let the lounging picture fool you, after we left he mowed almost the whole meadow according to my mom. We were a little worried he might not be able to walk straight the next day!

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