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The Pit, 2009

Home Improvement


Cutting the circle to exact dimensions.

Leveling & cutting:
New pit takes shape
13 June 2009

It was good to have the boys helping me out!

Another view on
the same day
13 June 2009

We had to level each brick on the first course.

Laying the first
tier was tedious.
13 June 2009

I think I had 'Little Feat' on my ipod...

Almost done with
the first course...
13 June 2009

I rented a back hoe in the spring of 2004 to dig a fire pit, as requested by Alissa.
Brianna's high school graduation was forthcoming, and amongst Alissa's many ideas
for the festivities was to have a bonfire in the back yard. My shovel was no match for
this High Plains earth. In the event, she said my 8-foot-deep crater was too deep.

Next day, I was replacing dirt back into the hole, watering it down so it would level itself (that worked).
Then I lined the bowl-shaped hole with a few tiers of granite rip-rap. Rectangular pavers lined the floor,
and the fireplace was tightly-laid bricks, with the native prairie gravel as a fire bed. We used it as often
as the weather allowed, but it wasn't very comfortable. Heck, it wasn't even pretty, merely utile.

Busy like little rodents...

We kept our noses
to the grindstone.
13 June 2009

She had her own project going while the boys & I were working on the pit.

Meanwhile, Alissa
was busy herself...
15 June 2009

Alissa took these pictures. I think it was all in a 5-minute period!

Still tamping the
bricks into place
13 June 2009

'I sure will be happy when we get to place the second tier!'

Subsequent tiers
went in rapidly
13 June 2009

For some reason, we discussed re-doing it. Five years after it was first installed, that's
what happened. The rip-rap was cast aside, and after careful radius marking, Eli, Taylor & I
refined the pit's dimensions and leveled it out. We lined it with red retaining wall bricks
and re-laid the pavers over a layer of sand. Alissa, meanwhile had made four cement benches
to place on pedestals she poured to serve as bench legs. By the Fourth of July, we had a
fully operational fire pit, literally stuffed with a dozen people.

The next morning, the backfilling was done...

Ready for the
bench pylons
14 June 2009

Almost as tedious as the first tier...

Putting down the
paver flooring...
15 June 2009

I ran out of pavers, and had to go buy another several dozen.

Another view
of the flooring
15 June 2009

The pylons cured for a number of days before we added the bench seats.

Pylons poured
for the bench seats
16 June 2009

This was long before the Pit revision, but the process was the same. Alissa in action.

Making a bench,
glass & concrete
23 June 2008

Here, one gets the big picture...

Making a bench,
in the garage
23 June 2008

High summer. Many of these plants were soon moved to the new pond.

Boys & fire...
...what a mix!
4 July 2010

Teaching Noah Stout how to light stuff afire...

"Hey, Kid, watch
yer crazy Uncle Ben..."
12 July 2010

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Don't dig yourself in too deep...