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We started with property that was untouched. There was “kind of” a road getting to the property line that needed major improvements.

How hard could it be? “There are nice dirt roads all over the world, this is going to be a breeze”.

Go ahead and mark that as the first of many underestimations on my part.

When it was all said, and done we had rented lots of equipment, burned a ton of diesel and handed out some hefty cash on the bigger parts. We now have 1.5 miles of decent roads from what was once a goat trail that gives us access to the whole property.

We started by camping and hiking, just getting to know the place. Over time we started hanging ribbon on trees that gave us a general outline of where we wanted the roads to go.

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An older John Deere 450 dozer was used to rough in the roads we lined out. We also needed a backhoe to dig out big rocks and a skip loader to shape the roads. That first year we could only afford to rent or borrow equipment and pay a neighbor to come up and run his machines.

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Then it was time to bring a loader up to spread material on the road to build it up followed by a road grader. The grader operator was key to minimizing road maintenance. He cut in drainage in places I wouldn’t have dreamed of so we can typically go a full year between tune ups.

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Not all the roads needed heavy hitters. There is a shelf of nice, fertile material that sits above the bluff.