Building An Earthship In Darfield, B.C.

We are a family of five living in Darfield, BC.
Our house is six hundred square feet in total and we are feeling cramped.

We have decided to build an earthship!

So starts the adventure ...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Road Paving

Well, it finally started more than a week ago. The long anticipated re-paving of the 8km stretch of Hwy 5 that goes through Darfield.

We've been complaining about it for years...the increased heavy traffic over even the last decade (it is a fairly major route from Vancouver to Edmonton) has mashed ruts into the highway. When it rains the ruts fill with water and it's more than your life is worth to actually drive down the centre of your own lane. I never go the speed limit in the rain as I've hydroplaned several times at the low speed of 80 km/h (the limit on our stretch is 90km).

The truth is, I'm sure there are worse stretches of road in B.C. I think. I know certainly from my cross country travels that Montreal and the province of New Brunswick took the cake for really crappy highways. However, we are really happy our little stretch is being re-done.

I'm not sure if it's been resurfaced since the highway replaced a dirt road in 1959. I've seen a picture from that year when they were building the highway and it was a HUGE change from the slow (but very important) thoroughfare that was once the road north.

We've noticed a few things since they started work. The first, is that the fancy paving machines break down. I've seen a few people under the...hood...trying to fix it. Secondly, either the equipment or the workers don't work well in the rain. On those days activity is scarce. Thirdly, our driveway (being wide and at only a slight angle to the highway) is a most desired place for a) parking broken down paving machines b)parking flagpeople's vehicles c) a convenient place to put bits of recycled ashpalt (I did manage to pull our driveway cable out of the highly compressed black stuff, since nobody thought to move it before dumping it) and d)taking a pee. We don't mind a-c too much but "d" kind of bothered us since the two or three fellas we saw walked up the driveway a bit and then went off the highway right of way and peed on our land. I took a picture of one of them (alas, his back was to me) with my super-duper 300 mm zoom lens but after MUCH thought, decided it might be tasteless to post it.

We often get people peeing on our property. During the summer I've watched tourists park their cars/trucks/minivans/RV's in our wide driveway and a) unzip b) pull down or c)rip off diaper and throw in ditch. Plus, every few weeks we have to go down to the highway and pick up a) A&W garbage from the Barriere and Clearwater stores b) Subway garbage from Little Fort and c) beer and pop bottles. Apparently Darfield is exactly one Pappa burger away from both Barriere and Clearwater... We have collected rather a large number of pop and beer cans that have been dumped in the middle of the driveway. We would like to think that this is driveby participation in our housing project but they are usually tossed directly from the door in a pile of bubble gum wrappers, used fast food wrappers, cigarette boxes and other items that can't be mentioned.

So peeing on our property (even though this contributes to the well being of the men working on our new stretch of highway) kinda ticks us off.

But otherwise they are doing a great job!

I have noticed sitting here that there's a large thumping noise on the highway every time a semi truck passes by. I think they stopped paving tonight just south of the driveway so there is a seam (uneven pavement) that the trucks are walloping over. It makes me jump; I'm not used to the noise...


James H. said...

While driving the highway (I use that word with some restraint) up the Northern Peninsula you will experience various road conditions. Paved road, gravel road, potholes with warning signs, potholes without warning signs, bumps, lulls, dead moose all in various stages of construction or destruction/decomposition. Course the 5.5 hr journey to Corner Brook (from St. Anthony) is a lot better than the all day affair it used to be when the road was all gravel. Yikes. Apparently tire changing was the 'in' thing at that time.

As for your dilemma, I think you should setup a rest station with a little convenience store and a restroom that costs a quarter to use. You'd make a mint.

As for the people who litter that has always really annoyed me. How lazy are you if you can't wait until you stop to get rid of your garbage. Faith in humanity... diminished...

pcprov said...

Yes the garbage thing -- what is it with people?! I remember my Mom ranting and raving about finding garbage in the little clearing at the head of the driveway at the house where I grew up -- people would pull in (crossing the cattle guard to access the clearing, so you'd think they would know they were on private land...), change their baby/do their business/whatever, clean all the junk out of their car and leave it for us! How thoughtful... I recalled this later on as a parent of a small baby and could not fathom a mindset that considered leaving my baby's dirty diaper for someone else to clean up!