Roads Become Gullies

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you might remember a few posts where I try to determine where old roads run on my property. I have one official county road through my property, and one 4-wheel drive federal road that connects to that road. Even though I can trace those roads back 80 years or so, they weren’t the first roads on my property.

From satellite photos, I can see the remnants of other older roads that must have gone through my property over 100 years ago. I managed to capture one in the correct light and get a picture of it in my my post, “Mystery of the Forgotten Road.”

Forgotten Road Across Dove Ranch
One of the old forgotten roads through my property.

The last year, I’ve been wondering if this road really was a road, because when you get to the eastern edge of my land, it only looks like a gully. So is it a road or not a road? How can a road be a gully?

Well, … I’ve been reading Let the Water Do the Work by Bill Zeedyk and Van Clothier and they explain that across my part of the USA, many of the old wagon trails have allowed water to collect and flow fast and freely without any meandering. This unhealthy landscape behavior ultimately results in a gully or wash from the erosion that it causes.

So, my mind can be at ease. The road is a road, and it’s destroying my land to create a gully.

Yeah. That puts my mind at ease.


But at least I have a better understanding of what is happening to my land. Now I can correct it.

Badger at Dove Ranch
This badger is actually walking down a gully resulting from an old neglected road through my property. I’m working currently on preventing further damage to my land from the presence of the old road.

I have detected two roads that have turned into eroded areas. One is obviously older than the other. I’m guessing that the original was created, and then became two eroded to use. Then the second parallel road was created and once again became too eroded to repair. So finally, the county put in the third road parallel to the two older ones. Hopefully, they keep this one in better repair so it doesn’t end up damaging the land as well.

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