Building the Wall
Golden, Colorado: September 10, 2005

These pictures give a decent idea of the work flow for each level. We place the wall blocks on top of the previous layer. A lip on the top of the layer beneath helps to hold them in place. Mike makes sure they are all level, and then we fill them with gravel. The gravel inside the blocks is hand-tamped with a small hammer. Behind the blocks, we pile up gravel to the height of the shortest blocks in the new layer and a width of 3-4 inches. The rest of the hole is filled with dirt taken from the original ditch. (That dirt was being stored on tarps across the yard. A "secondary objective" of mine is usually to empty another tarp. The grass is actually growing back nicely in the areas where tarps have been removed.) The dirt and gravel behind the wall are then hand-tamped. In some of the pictures, you can see conduits for electrical wire. The wires aren't in the conduits yet; but, the holes in the blocks must be drilled and the conduits must be run before we fill them with gravel.

Here's where we store our materials. The gravel pile is thankfully getting smaller. We currently have about 10 tons (yes, tons) of gravel in the wall.

"Foreman Phoebe" inspects our work. She is at the north end of the yard, where we will be maintaining my ramp to the hill. (The ramp is convenient for carrying gardening tools, etc. since some of us are clumsy about stairs.) To the south of the ramp is an area where the shed will go, and the stairs will be to the south of that. What you really see is the blocks that will be behind the lowest two stairs, which have conduit running through them for the lights that will be in each stair.