When we bought our farmland 7 1/2 years ago, one of the advertised features was a “waterfall.” Let me clarify that we have a creek that runs down the northeast side of the farm, stronger at some times of the year than others, but it has never fully gone dry. Feeding into it at the bottom is a runoff creek that only flows when the ground is wet and we have had a fair amount of rain. The permanent creek tumbled down a rocky gully create by its flow over the past thousands of years, not truly a waterfall. This county is noted for its caves, some large enough to explore, some underground creating a nightmare for well drillling and these underground caves sometimes collapse, creating sink holes. The two creeks terminate in one of these sink holes, some 25 feet down below the surrounding land. One face of it is a cliff where the water disappears underground except in very unusual conditions. Twice since we bought this land, we have seen the creek run hard enough to create a pond and overflow down the old creekbed.
The only dismaying feature of our farm was that this sinkhole had been used probably for several generations as a place to dump trash, not just bottles and cans, but 2 stoves, a wringer washing machine, tractor or truck parts, a water heater, and many hundreds of pounds of old fencing wire, along with the bottles and cans. In addition, there were a couple hundred old tires, some in the sink hole, most in the edge of the woods.
Before we began to build, we drove across the state about once a month to obtain permits, get perk tests done, hire a well driller, deal with the power company, etc., and on each of these trips we spent one day hauling the several hundred tires and hundreds of bags of bottles and cans to the dump, having to pay a couple of dollars each to dispose of the tires. The big stuff we couldn’t handle, much less move it up the 25 foot cliff to dispose of it. We have been bothered by this for 7 1/2 years as we don’t know if the disappearing water bleeds into our drinking water table or not.
Today with the help of our neighbor and his son, a 130 foot cable with hooks on both ends, a tow strap with hooks on both ends, our 28 hp tractor, lots of climbing up and down the slope and cliff face, we hauled it all to the top, awaiting a local fellow who will come pick it up, haul it away to the scrap yard for the bit of money he will get selling it.
There are still many bags of bottles and cans to pick up, but now we can do it without trying to avoid the piles of fencing and the large chunks of metal. The sink hole looks cleaner already. We are exhausted in a good sort of way, I’m sure our neighbor is totally done in as he was the major hill climber and guider of the junk up the slope while I drove the tractor that hauled it to the top.