Another Brick in the Wall, Part I
Golden, Colorado: July 16, 2005

After much time spent in the design, planning, and initial site preparation stages, it was finally time to start the process of building our new retaining wall. After attempting to dig through the roots and clay, we decided more drastic measures were needed. Upon the recommendation of the folks at the rental place, remove a fence post and....

Bring in the backhoe!

Mike got some instructions from his dad before getting started:

After some discussion and a few failed options, Mike's mom brought over a number of old tarps we could set the dirt on. Overall, we're not worried about the grass. Much of it will be replaced by a patio next year. What grass remains will be torn into so we can install a sprinkler system. By that time, we're expecting that it will have been torn to pieces, and we'll have to replace it with sod.

Diana, a friend of mine from work, came over to help with the digging. Here she is smoothing out the ditch for what will be planters on the side of the yard.

You can see Mike and Diana discussing progress on the far side of the yard.

Here's Mike checking on his work before he digs the area for the stairs.

Before we knew it, the rough digging with the backhoe was complete.

After lunch, Mike and his dad returned the backhoe to Front Range Rentals.

We rested a while and then began the manual finishing process for the trench. Here's what it looked like when Mike, Diana, and I were done with it. Next step will be to lay and tamp a bed of rock, after which, we'll be ready to start placing the retaining wall blocks.