Fixing “The Moat” causes split feelings

I have mixed emotions about a home improvement project we’re having done at the house. On one hand, I’m happy to be able to get to and from my house without having to chain up. But I’m still sad that “The Moat” is no more.

For the past four years, the driveway to our house has been quite a conversation piece. We called it The Moat. It’s a mile of dirt without even a hint of gravel on it. At its best, it was rutted, bumpy, dusty and rough.

Fixed driveway
“The Moat” is no more. We finally got it fixed. All it needs now is gravel.

But in the fall, winter and spring, and after every summer rainstorm, it became a mud bog. There was nowhere for water to go, except onto the road. And when it got wet, that dirt turned to a sticky, slimy mess of goo. The wetter it was, the deeper the mud. It was actually a thing of legend in the automotive journalism industry, because when the car companies sent me trucks to drive, they were amazed the vehicles came back so dirty, and even more amazed when I told them the mud came just from my driveway. They thought I was taking the rigs out to some mud pit somewhere and four-wheeling like a madman.

But now we’re getting The Moat fixed. The guys who are doing the work have already pulled dirt off the sides to build up the middle, and that has created ditches on the sides that will let all that water go somewhere other than on the road.

4Runner and The Moat
This is what “The Moat” looked like back in February.

The next step will be for the guys to bring in about 10 semi loads of gravel to spread on the dirt, so it won’t turn to snot when it gets wet. When they’re done, it’ll be better than the county road.

I’m happy to have a driveway I can get up and down without having to chain up all four tires anymore, but I’ll miss the ponds that formed on the north and south ends. So will the family of mallards that has been nesting on my driveway each spring. But I’ll bet the truck companies will be happy to have their vehicles come back relatively clean.