Thursday, August 14, 2014

Heat and dust......and lots of rocks

We were so excited to get started at last! Our first order of business was to get water and power  (and TV and Internet) to the property; this involved digging a five-foot deep trench from the nearby highway along a 2,700-foot long dirt road to our property. I use the term ‘road’ loosely here since it was more of a goat track formed over the years by people repeatedly driving back and forth to access other nearby properties and the mountains and canyon area behind our property.  

We had to accomplish a lot in one week since that was all the time that my husband and I could take off from our jobs:  pick up the spool of communication wire (TV/Internet/phone) from Panguitch, a little town about one hundred miles away; dig two trenches, one for the pipe and communication wire and the other for the electrical; stake the location of the cabin and future main house; and, last but not least, meet with local building contractors to discuss, and hopefully obtain, quotes to build the cabin. 

It was a week filled with long, hot, dusty days, hard work, lots of little annoying flies (‘no see-ums’)--- and lots and lots of rocks, from the size of my foot to the size of my car.   The contractor that we hired to help dig the larger trench for the water dug up hundreds of medium and large boulders, which very soon lined both sides of our entry drive from our property to the highway.  With our time there so limited, we were only able to move a portion of them back to our property.  Our plan is to gradually get them all moved to our property—or give them to someone who needs some extra boulders (hah!, this part of Utah is one large pile of boulders). 

We worked from dawn to sundown, which was around 8:30 PM, and usually ate our dinner around 9 or 10 at night; very exhausting and tiring and dirty, but rewarding as well because we were able to accomplish everything we needed to, and we were doing it on our beautiful property! 

View of the sunset from our trailer-- lucky us! We get to camp on our property.

Placing and orienting our cabin and house on the property was easy because no matter where you looked, there was an amazing view:  Boulder Mountain to the south; the Henry Mountains and the tops of the Capitol Reef rock formations to the south and east; Thousand Lake Mountain to the north; and nearer rock formations and canyons to the west.  

My job was, in addition to running into nearby towns to get more fuel for the equipment, buy groceries, and buy tools and supplies, was to operate the small bobcat (a first for me!) that we rented to smooth and ‘finish’ the surface of our entry road after the trenches had been filled in again. 

As I struggled to learn how to run the bobcat (I’m happy to say my learning curve was steep—I was a fairly good equipment ‘operator’ at the end of the week) I would stop every once in a while and look around at the dusty green of the junipers and pinyon pines, the varying grays and gray-greens of the sagebrush and grasses, the red cliffs across the Fremont River valley, and the wide, blue, blue sky above, and think to myself that this was probably one of the best vacations I’d had in a long time.  I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt this ‘in-the-moment’ and happy.

We have water!


  1. It's amazing what can be accomplished in a week when you have to get it done. The property looks so pretty and peaceful. A very exciting start to your cabin!

    1. Thank you Cecilia! It’s very peaceful there.