Image: A 17 hole golf course.
“We haven’t got our cabin built yet. But we have the most important thing … a 17 hole golf course,” Ken jokes.
OK … most people look very puzzled by our sense of humour. But we certainly do have 17 holes where our cabin should be. A little big for golf balls, I must admit, but there they are anyways.
So why the holes? Well, without serious earth moving equipment, it’s actually quite hard to get level ground. So rather than flattening the earth, with all its associated damage, we are going to put the cabin up on piers. However, the piers must be firmly grounded on hard-pack or rock, and must be dug in deeply enough that they won’t fall over under a load. So we have holes … 17 of them dug as deeply as we can, to a depth 18 to 24 inches, before we hit hard pan and large rocks. Why 17 of them? Just because …
Now I must admit, digging those holes was a little tougher than I expected it would be. Once we dug through the humus layer, we reached a packed layer of sand and gravel, cemented together with clay. This stuff is hard! My hands ache just thinking about it. We had to break it up using a bar, one inch at a time. And there were a few surprises. Liberally mixed in this hard-pack layer were cobbles and some rather large rocks. We discovered a new use for the Mule – we hitched the ATV up to a stump and then used its winch to pull a large rock out of one of our holes. Then there were the stumps. Many of them we managed to avoid, but one old, half burnt, mostly petrified, buried stump was right where two of our holes needed to be. Removal of as much of this stump as we could turned out to be a two day operation of digging, chain-sawing, and splitting.
Image: Large rock in one of the pier holes.
I can’t say that I’m going to learn to play golf anytime soon, but I certainly have developed an appreciation for the hard work that homesteaders and pioneers have done in the past.