Saturday, May 3, 2014

Almost A Mayan Road

When Cheryl and I were visiting Mayan temples in the Yucatan, we walked along an ancient Mayan road made from crushed limestone, ingenious because the stuff almost glows in the moon light, and this allowed the Mayans to travel and work at night. The Yucatan in summer can be wicked hot. They used huge stone wheels (we saw one) to compress the limestone into a solid road.

Crushed limestone is often used today under stone patios and walkways to keep the stone steady over time. It doesn't tend to wash away like sand. So when I ordered the four tons of stone, I also ordered crushed limestone. "How much limestone?" the guy asked me with a little smile.

To get ready I put down the path borders--these won't be visible after the stone is set. Then, the tedious part, I dug out the trench for the entire 40 feet. There's no turning back now because the sides are sandy and unstable.

I took a heavy hand tamper and pounded the earth back firm--don't ask me why this is so much fun. Then into the trench goes a fabric liner to keep the plants (those insidious cherry laurels) from poking up through the stones in the future.

Then I began to shovel in the crushed limestone. Here's a picture at dusk that shows why the Mayans could travel at night. Too bad I have to cover it up--it's really cute. Unfortunately, the dogs desperately want to defile this area, and I don't have a steam roller in the garage. It would take something really heavy to compress this into a solid surface. But I will give it a good tamping and then cover it with stone.

Anyway, I told the stone guy what I was doing and allowed him to use his discretion on the limestone. The delivery truck arrived with six tons of it, enough (it seems) to build a road to the beach.

It was a long day of work, and like usual I pulled Cheryl outside to show off. She smiled and said, not in an unkind way, "I thought it would be bigger."

I love her.

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