Saturday, February 4, 2012

Life on the Road to Nowhere

Good afternoon folks!  Well, we've just got all sorts of things going on here today.  Our trees arrived yesterday afternoon, so, since today was rainy, we did a lot of research to be sure we knew exactly where and how to properly plant these new babies.  We have: walnuts, pecans, filberts and chestnuts.  For fruit we have: apples, plums, blueberries, and one pomegranate.  So there are many different planting situations called for.  Tomorrow the weather should clear,
so we will be planting all the day long.  In the greenhouse today we planted echinacea and lavender, and also replanted cayenne and California wonder bell peppers.  The super early pepper planting has had pretty poor results and I have had to go through extensive efforts to get most of them to germinate.  Coming out of the greenhouse, I am making both ice cream (vanilla) and panir (an Indian cheese) since I bought a gallon of fresh milk from a nearby farmer yesterday.  Not bad for a rainy day!

This rain makes me think of the day recently (you may have read the former post) when our road was graded.  I realize that some of you may have been baffled by my irritation at the job these guys were doing.  Weren't they just doing what I pay taxes for them to do?  Well, I'll tell you, sometimes, now you may find this hard to believe, our government does things that are just a plain waste of money.  This is one of them.  Now don't get me wrong, I do not object to all road grading, just the grading of our road starting just past my neighbor's driveway.  

You see, the road at that point takes on a sharp downhill bent.  Once upon a time there was a person on the road crew who understood how to grade a hill like this one, but he's been dead and buried now for at least 9 years, and apparently he took all of his special road grading secrets with him.  Whoever took over for him has caused all sorts of destruction.  They have cut the entire road bed at least a foot deeper along its entire length.

They have cut so deep as to be down to the bare rock in many places.

They have carved out three drainage slices on the downhill side of the road which are rapidly turning into new ravines.

These new ravines shunt not just water, but also gravel (tons of it every year) into what used to be a beautiful slate bottomed branch.
Branch, Pre-gravel

Now, Why are they keeping this part of the road so well kept?  Is it an important throughway?  Do a lot of people use this road to get where they need to go?  Not quite.  Here is where our road leads:
 We're almost there . . .
If you look closely enough, you can see that there is road on the other side of the creek.  This "ford" is only moderately serviceable about a month or two out of the year.  The people on the other side of the creek have a perfectly reasonable route out to the main road.  Our neighbors and we have a perfectly reasonable route out to the main road. It is truly a road to nowhere.  

Absolutely nothing happens between my neighbor's house (still on top of the hill) and the creek.  Yet the county insists upon spending taxpayer money with the maintenance (read ecological degradation) of this stretch of road.

So, my gripe is twofold.  I am upset about the waste of funds (which are dearly needed in other parts of the county) and I am even more upset over the destruction of ecosystems on the slope, in the branch and in the creek itself (which has bluestone road gravel in it for at least a quarter mile downstream)  Perhaps it is high time for me to make my complaint official.  

In the meantime, I'll enjoy some good panir this evening!