When Kim and I left our jobs to start our new lives here at Mucky Boots, we knew that giving up our dual-income-no-kids lifestyle was going to mean we'd be leaving some things behind. No more eating out a few times a week, or walking out of bookstores with a bag full of new books. And travel - would we ever be able to travel to interesting places again?
Yes, as it turns out. We get to go to interesting places - just ones closer to home. Like the dump. (I'm serious - going to the dump is kind of fun.) Or, like today, the quarry.
We needed big chunks of blasted rock to build a retaining wall at the front of the house, as part of our campaign to turn a barren, weed-covered wasteland into something more beautiful. The local stone store charges $300 a ton for the rock they have, which is fancier than we need or would like, but when we called around we found a quarry nearby that only charges $20 a ton. The only hitch: we'd have to go get it ourselves. No problem!
After an interesting drive up a very steep road with about a dozen switchbacks, we found the quarry, found the guy running the quarry, and found the pile of rock we could choose from. We loaded the truck with about a ton of rock (yes, we were very careful, didn't choose pieces that were too heavy for us, and used our knees), paid our $20 and were on our way back down the switchbacks.
And that was only half the fun! Once we got home we got to unload it all and wheelbarrow it over to where the wall would be built.
I'm not sure why I find going to the dump, or to the quarry, so fun. Maybe it's for the same reason people like travelling to more traditionally interesting places. I imagine people who go to Thailand enjoy the feeling of "Wow, I never imagined I would end up in Thailand!" I had a similar feeling at the quarry today. Never in my old life, my intellectual, professional old life, would I have imagined I'd have ended up at a quarry in my dirty pants, hefting big (but not too big!) rocks into the back of the pickup truck, enjoying the exercise and the challenge and the fresh air and the satisfaction of doing it ourselves. That's as good as a trip.