Building Stone Stairways

The holidays have mostly come and gone. We are starting to get some new snow here on Alba Ranch and it looks like winter might really be here this time. Before that though, we did get some of the rock work started.

Over this Holiday, Charlie and I spent time working together on our Stone Project. It was not easy work, but it was some of the most enjoyable times I have had recently. I can not express how the act of building something from stone and dirt with my husband… together, as if we were the only 2 people on the earth was such a joy. Just focused in the moment, at the Stone Circle on creating something I have dreamed about for a long while. It was such fun building with Charlie. Building something for us..something to create healing and rest for others.

Alba Ranch Stone Circle in New Era, MI
Alba Ranch Stone Circle in New Era, MI

We had a week or so of nice weather without snow or rain and temperatures were above freezing. We decided to start building the Stone Stairway up to the Moon Garden. I expect it could be as many as 25 stairs if we built it like a proper stairway. No way to tell how many until we start. The land will tell us where those steps go. So far, we have had enough of a gentle slope to start with only one step up and than several feet of pavers before needing another step up. It is going to take time and effort and won’t be easy but unless we start, we will never get it done. We can not dig and level ground on an incline if the ground freezes. Being it was Christmas Eve, we knew our time was limited.

Pavers started at the bottom of the stairs

Charlie and I spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day building and this is what we managed to do. Than the snow came followed by rain and the temps put us in the deep freeze, so the Stairway to the Moon Garden is on hold until a warmer day.

Starting the first step

We planned on working on a different rock area once the snow came. Today was a cold one, so I put on 6 layers…I kid you not ….and took myself outdoors. It was even cold enough to wear my pure mohair hat made from Phoebe’s Mohair locks. I do not always get to wear my handspun art yarn hat because mohair is super warm. But today it was definitely cold enough and doing Rock work, I did not want to be cold.

Handspun Textured Mohair Yarn crocheted into my Phoebe Hat!

On the tractor attacking the rock pile, I was trying to learn how to pick up rocks. Even with the Rock Basket, it is harder than it looks!! I have never had or driven a tractor before so it is all a learning curve. I gotta admit I kinda like it. Charlie tells his mates he never gets to drive the tractor because he can’t pry the wife off of it. See the below evidence that I have to prove otherwise. Ha!

Charlie driving the tractor

We built about 40 ft of terrace rock wall today and I have enough rocks up there ready for about another 10 feet in length.

Only about 1350 ft to go!!

There was this one time trying to scoop rocks….ahhh I definitely need to get a weighted counterbalance for the rear of the tractor. I didn’t stand myself on my nose exactly….but…uh… let’s just say I should have had my seatbelt on! More rock terrace wall building tomorrow before the next snow storm comes in and buries it all. Who knows, maybe I might even get a few new photos of the progress before the snow to show you next week. Stay tuned for more.

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