Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Backroads Warriors

A battle is being waged along the back roads of Backroads. A battle of wills to which there is no easy solution. There will be no winner. Even the winner will be a loser. In times like these, I find it best to keep one's opinions to oneself.

Perhaps I've mentioned that I live on a gravel road. How presumptuous of me. How totally lacking in foresight was I. That's a statement. Not a question. Not even a rhetorical inquiry.

Pardon me while I set the record straight. I live on a dirt road.

Oh, it USED to be a gravel road. Perhaps you can still see the gravel in the photo. That happens to be a portion of the $1500 worth of gravel kindly purchased from the not-so-deep pockets of one individual. Who asked nothing in return. Who hopped on his tractor and bladed the road while the rest of us were at work. Leaving a rocky surface that defied standing water and mudflinging. Sure, the ride was a bit rough. A smaller grade of gravel might have been more appropriate. But still. FREE GRAVEL. And free labor spreading it out.

That magnificent mile lasted about three weeks. Then another dweller took matters into his own wheels. Tired of tirelessly complaining about the rough ride, and how slow he had to drive on the last portion of his homeward commute, AntiRocky threw down the gauntlet. He tractored-up and reapportioned that $1500 worth of gravel to the sidelines. The place where it eventually ends up anyway, needing to be bladed back to the center.

The rain at the end of last week made this section a muddy mess. Did you know that big ol' groovy tires like those on T-Hoe, tires common to those on similar vehicles that make this trek at least twice per day, fling bits of the roadway onto the sides of the vehicles? They do. Carrying away the road small portions at a time.

On Wednesday I passed a local on his tractor, spreading the wealth back into the mainstream for all to enjoy. He looked engrossed in his mission, and barely returned my country-folk wave. As I rounded this bend to the right, then the next to the left, I came upon another denizen on HIS tractor. His wife sat in a Gator, their dog ranging to and fro. THIS neighbor was using his blade to shove the gravel back to the sidelines. I almost though I saw steam coming out his nostrils. He also barely returned my country-folk wave. I had to wave at both, you see, because I don't want them to know which side I'm on. The Rockies or the Dirties.

The stony benefactor is the guy who threatened to shoot Hick one evening, and mouthed off to the resulting county deputy, and cost himself $6000 in lawyer fees to remain a free man. Funny thing is, they're the best of friends now. He even blades our driveway unasked. We stand with the Rockies. Anonymously.

Right now, the Dirties are winning.


  1. I can only imagine how much better a gravel road would be when rain comes. Without the gravel this would just turn into mud, right?

  2. Val--I think you should chronicle this with your video camera.

    I see a winner at Sundance in a year or two...

  3. I smell the start of a really good reality TV show.

  4. Rural warriors, my way or no roadway...it sounds like a feud that will only end when the black top hits the mud.

  5. Stephen,
    You are quite knowledgeable for a city slicker. Yes. Your hypothesis is correct. Dirt turns to mud in the rain.

    It could get dicey. I don't want to attract attention to myself with a video camera.

    Or maybe it's just the horse pasture across the road from my house.

    I'm not sure it will ever end. I'm afraid to go outside when I hear a tractor.