Pondering creek crossing options
Several of you have expressed an interest in Farm Goal
'10's "Revisit the creek crossing." I'm always interested to
see what clever ideas people come up with, especially while we're in
the planning stages. (We'll be in the planning stages for another
couple of months until the water warms up.) So here's some extra
info to get those creative juices flowing.
The drawing here is a top view of the creek crossing area. As you
can see, the creek is relatively shallow a lot of the time, but
regularly rises to 16 to 20 inches after normal rains. About once
a month, it rises to the top of (and over) its approximately five foot
high banks, at which point it washes away anything that isn't securely
Creek crossing 1.0 is a cinderblock
ford that still works perfectly for its purpose --- getting
vehicles across the creek when the water is no more than two feet
high. However, we really only drive across the creek a few times
a month. This year's priority refers to the much more frequent
times that we walk across. Just so you know, we don't want a big,
fancy bridge to drive across --- we like our moat.
Creek crossing 2.0 was a
footbridge that we built from trees felled on the property. It
lasted for about two years, and was nearly perfect. The only flaw
was that everyone except me, Mark, and my mom refused to walk across it
because the five foot drop below it terrified them. Wimps.
:-) One option would be to rebuild a similar footbridge, but
actually spend a little bit of money for treated lumber and add a
handrail. To deal with high water, it would probably need to be
about twenty feet long.
to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the
RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.
Creek crossing 3.0 consists of three
cinderblocks placed along the edge of the ford. When the water is
only a foot deep (80% of the time), these are actually one of the best
crossing options. You hop from block to block and keep your feet
dry. They can be a bit wobbly, but folks seem to be less scared
of them than of the footbridge. They do wash away during floods,
One option we're considering is building a
more high tech version of creek crossing 3.0 --- cementing stepping
stones to the bottom of the creek using rebar and making them two
blocks high to accommodate higher water. Or perhaps three blocks
high with half of the bottom block sunk into the creek bottom.
Not sure if we'd need to make the stepping stone four blocks in
diameter like this drawing to make people feel comfortable or just two.
There's also a log spanning the creek that we shimmy across when
desperate to get in or out during extremely high water. This is
vastly suboptimal, and we've considering replacing it with two ziplines
--- one to take you across the creek and the other to take you
back. When I started researching ziplines, though, they looked to
be out of our price range for our current creek crossing plans.
I'm not interested in spending more than $100 on the creek right
now. Plus, clearly the folks who wouldn't walk across the
footbridge are unlikely to brave a zipline, so we'd have to create an
alternative option anyway.
So, what do you think? Bridge, stepping stones, zipline, or
another option entirely? I'd love to see links to other websites
where people have installed low cost creek crossings. Just keep
in mind that anything less than five or six feet off the creek bottom
will be washed away unless extremely securely attached.