Eric Hanson wrote:Hi Shannon,
I think John and Artie are pretty much spot on with this. Does your driveway have any base at all right now? Sometimes an old gravel driveway can become overgrown and look as if it were never touched by mankind. If this is the case, then you are in luck as the rocky base will at least hold in place. If it is on actual soil, then eventually the driveway will rut, especially when wet. I would imagine that winter could be tricky if you get some wet snow on top of soil. I would think that combination would be especially prone to getting stuck and rutting. And yes, plain old crushed rocks are surprisingly expensive.
Congrats on the new property and I wish you the best luck in the future.
John F Dean wrote:Much depends upon where you live. In many areas the soil is firm enough to support a vehicle. In other areas the vehicle would sink to its roof in the mud. When I lived in MN I had a very rocky driveway, but 1/4 mile away a vehicle would sink after a rain. In my current driveway, I would be ok most of the year ... but not after a heavy rain.
Artie Scott wrote:I have a long driveway too, Shannon, so I get where you are coming from - who knew rocks could be so expensive?!?!
As John notes, a lot depends on the type of soil and how wet it gets and whether you can stay off it when it is wet and how often you come and go.
Eventually, it will begin to rut and need some attention, but why not see how long you can get away without it?
thomas rubino wrote:Hi Shannon;
Welcome to Permies!
I know Vermont well. I practically grew up in the Ripton/ Middleberry section of Vermont and then later I spent quite a bit of time in the Putney area.
Very rocky soil , you will be fine for years with light vehicles. Over time it will rut , just collect free gravel from roadsides and creeks and hand pour it in the low spots. Also try to avoid making those ruts by using alternate path while driving to help keep it all flat. I would not worry to much about planting things, its a driveway. Maybe at the creek area if it looks like it might get worse.
Have you been there thru a winter yet? Do you have a plan for snow plowing? Have you been there thru a Mud season yet?
If your answers are "no not yet" ... hang tight and see how things go. I knew quite a few folks who parked their car out at the road and used other transport to get in... ski's, snowmobiles, bikes or just walking . Vermont is a gorgeous state I miss the fall and winters there, but that humidity in all the east coast drove me to the mountains of Montana. Going to be 95 here today with 28% humidity...
Enjoy your new land. Read all you can about Rocket Mass Heaters you'll want one next winter.
Anne Pratt wrote:Hi Shannon! Welcome from over in Windsor County! I live just south of Woodstock, and west of Ascutney.
Have you lived in the north country before? What kind of vehicle do you drive?
The winter is hell on driveways and cars, but not as bad as mud season. On gravel roads, it's not uncommon to see ruts in the mud that are over a foot deep. It's very hard to get through. (The surface of the road thaws, and spring runoff saturates it. But below the surface the road is frozen, so the water can't drain. It's a nightmare.) In the winter your grass driveway should be frozen, but when it thaws (as it does periodically during the winter) that's bad.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news! I think you should definitely have some gravel dropped in that culvert area, by someone who knows what they are doing. Ask around; there are guys with dump trucks and gravel, and then there are guys who really know what they are doing.
I drove a Chevy Volt (plug-in hybrid) when I moved to Vermont. The first winter sent me off to the dealership to buy a 4-wheel drive. I hate having a vehicle that uses only gas, but I couldn't manage the roads with the Volt, which is extremely low to the ground.
I think the fire department question is important, but less so in Vermont than in some other places. Keep in mind as you look at your land that we have had precious little rain this year, so things are much drier now than usual.
And hello! Welcome!