So, What Are We Doing? We are moving forward with a Geotechnical Study with Gordon Geotech. As soon as we can get everything signed and on their schedule, they will be on the ranch for about three days with a large hollow-stem auger on a truck to drill 32 samples through the road. Each boring will go down about five feet and will be spaced approximately 1,000 feet apart. The study will start at the base of Tollgate Canyon Road near the intersection of I-80 and continue for 2.5 miles up the mountain on Tollgate Canyon Road. After the asphalt ends, Gordon will continue up the mountain for another 1.5 miles over the graveled area of Tollgate Canyon Road, connect on Arapaho Drive and continue until the Project Area Terminates at the “S-curve” of Pine Meadow Drive. After the field work is done, our samples go in for testing and we end up receiving a report that tells us more about the condition of the road, what's under the road, and recommendations on what should be there (sub-base, road-base, asphalt type and thickness in each category). With that information, anyone we hire to make repairs or to overhaul the road will be able to more accurately bid the project. If we engage with a civil engineer (which we are collecting bids on), then the engineer will be better positioned to help with the placement and sizing of culverts, ditches, and any other materials that go into building a long-term solution for our road. Why are We Testing So Far up the Road? We are evaluating long-term solutions that may take us out of this endless cycle of buying road material each year, dumping it on the road, grading it, and watching it wash away, only to end up clogging the culverts. Yes, we are evaluating the cost of extending asphalt further up ... and around. In the Meantime: There's an increasing chance that we just knock off / cut out the bad crumbling edges between Hillcrest and the two ponds, compact the exposed area with very heavy road base so it is flush with the asphalt surface, extended the shoulder further east, and maintain it until we finish testing the road and deciding on whether we re-engineer the road and with what long-term materials. Plus, there's a stream or two there. (Side Note: The Army Corp of Engineers will likely get involved because of that seasonal stream along the west side of the road further down).