Saturday, September 22, 2007

"The Sidewalk Project"

And after 9 days straight at work, I finally got the weekend off.

It began by going down to the local flea market, which took me an extra 20 minutes and several miles out of my way to get to due to a "mini marathon" a bunch of people were running as one of the activities of that local town's yearly festival.

The flea market was a wasted trip.

So on the way back home I stopped by a housing supply center to pick up two bags of Quik-Crete, getting ready to pour my sidewalk. The first thing I did was unload said two bags of 80 lb. mix from my back seat near the walk, then out to the garage and tool shed for a number of various items I knew I would need. Then a quick trip down to my mom's shop to borrow a wheel barrow (the one item I really do need to purchase soon for myself), and grabbing some caution tape I banded off the area of walk-way to be replaced.

I then took my pry bar and stared lifting the various slabs, a lot of which were literally in pieces, from the pathway. Now...the plan was... that I was going to replace this walk way with those 100 bricks I had recently acquired from when they tore down that local old hotel. You know how plans go. Under this walk was yet another 4-to-5 inches of old concrete. And I do mean old; probably 70 years old from some long time in the past that they poured the original walk.

And after maybe 45 minutes to an hour and a little break, I finally got all of the old walk way up including the extra mess, leaving on either side two large piles of debris. I knew right then that I'd never get that area level enough to lie the brick flat to the ground, and decided instead to pour the Quik-Crete around several walk-way preformed circular stones I had kept for maybe such a use. I began mixing the concrete and pouring same and leveling it, but to my dismay, after two full bags of the mix I had only finished maybe 1/4 of the area.

So I bit the bullet and went back down to my mom's, borrowed the pickup truck and went back to the supply store where I purchased yet another 6 six bags. I was determined to get this job at least partially finished today.

When I finally finished what I could and got the walkway all the way to the house, I could tell that it had a low spot. In fact, the whole walkway will need raising about another inch to ground level. But, not today. Instead, I cleaned up all of my mess, put all of the tools away save for a rake, shovel and wheelbarrow, and started getting up all of the broken slabs. Knowing there was nowhere to dispose of these, I used the flatter ones in the rear of the house where I had planned to make a rock garden, and the ones with too much extra crap on them I turned upside down and put around the edges of the back of the house and around the cactus garden. (I'm surprized at how well they actually look!) The real small stuff I shoveled into buckets and dumped in the driveway, which is gravel anyway, so no big deal (it just blends in).

I guess my NEW plan will be to still use some of the bricks, but now I've decided that after I finally get the walkway leveled and the stepping stones up and level as well, I'll edge around the whole thing and line the bricks on each side "just for looks". I'll have plenty left over to use elsewhere in some future project.

Time spent on this today----at least 7 hours.


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