Evening shot of cleared peninsula.
I’ve been telling you that we have big stuff happening out at Flyrock. Big changes. Huge.
Up until about a month ago, the peninsula was overgrown with brush and ginormous rocks piled on top of each other, making it impossible to walk out onto it without twisting an ankle or breaking a leg. And for awhile last spring, it seemed like every one of those big rocks had a snake under it. But no longer.
A few weeks ago, we managed to get a big track loader and haul truck, along with guys to run them, for a couple of days. And now . . . for the first time ever . . . ready for this . . . drum roll, please . . .rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-ta-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-ta-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-ta-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat. . . we have access to the peninsula. It’s exciting, the views from there are stunning.
One of the guys from the excavation company suggested we build a big terrace into it. A brilliant idea and we’re very thankful for his input. They cleared the area by pushing some boulders off into the water and burying others—with a whole lot of dirt brought up from the North end of the property. They roughed it in and then we went to work with the little tractor and box blade putting a finish grade to it.
We spent an entire day, a few weekends ago, building stone steps between the two levels. Another weekend was spent gathering rocks for a dry stack retaining wall. I found it a little ironic that we were bringing loads of rocks to an area where we just covered a multitude of them. That same weekend, we saw rain in the forecast, so our son and youngest daughter sowed grass seed one afternoon. The gamble paid off, it rained that night, and in a few days we had grass sprouting.
Peninsula access isn’t the only change. Another big job we wanted to tackle, with the help of the heavy equipment, was pioneering a road around the lake. If you can imagine the scene, my husband digging through the brush, weeds, thorns, and poison ivy, on foot, with a walkie-talkie, guiding the operator in the track loader on a meandering path around the lake; the huge machine pushing over trees and digging up rocks, the tired old man crawling in front. We had a really tight budget for time with the heavy equipment, so we had to keep things moving. He’s also been planning a path down to a rock shelf that covers a big area, maybe a quarter acre or so on the far side of the lake, that we think will be one of the most fun areas for camping and swimming. It sits low and level, and water access is easy. Until now we could only get to the shelf by walking, and even then it was tough; as brush grew up this past spring it became almost impossible. But now it’s easier than ever with a big wide foot path cut down through the trees and boulders.
At this point, what we call the road around the lake, doesn’t even qualify as a dirt road. It’s rough, rough, rough — just a wide path through the trees. We imagine it someday as a picturesque country lane, with green grass growing between gravel wheel tracks. There’s a long way to go and a lot of work to be done before it meets that description, but right now it’s nice to have access to areas of the property that we haven’t seen since last winter.
This past Sunday my husband and I went out to work on an area at the leading edge of the peninsula, creating a circle drive. A couple of friends joined us to build a rock wall around one of the trees. We plan on making it a landscape feature, with a boulder or two and maybe some low maintenance plants.
The peninsula isn’t finished. We still need to complete the rock wall at the terrace. We need to clean up the trees on it, work on the edges and lay rip-rap down the slopes to the water, build steps down to the water and a little dock off of the point, and maybe build a gazebo and a pizza oven on the top level. Oh, we dream big, but we never dreamed we would be as far along on it as we are after only owning Flyrock for eight months.
Early morning view of the peninsula.
Early morning view looking east from the peninsula.
There are times that I still have reservations about what we’ve taken on. And yes, I still have reservations about moving to the small town. After doing my share of griping about that, I think I need to say that so far, all the people we’ve met from this small town are some of the nicest people we’ve ever met. Our closest neighbors at Flyrock are becoming wonderful friends and are so generous in helping us. It feels like we’re making friendships that will last.
We come home from Flyrock dirty, stinky, exhausted, barely able to walk, with aches and pains that leave us sore for days, and sometimes we come home with injuries that end up costing us the big bucks. See Curious George Visits Urgent Care. We’ve spent more money than I care to think about on a tractor and implements, tools, a second car, and cute work boots. We’re making sacrifices, like not buying a new car for me, even though I would sure like one. Right now, not having a car payment is a very good thing. And there will be no big vacation this year, even though I sure would like one. We might not take one for a few years to come. But as we see the transformations — the peninsula taking shape, the road pioneered around the place — the dream becomes a little more real. We’re building something, something solid, something that will last — rock walls, roads, good friendships. Even though the work ahead is daunting, it’s also fulfilling and worthwhile. It’s becoming a part of us. It’s what we do on our weekends.