Today Dave came over and we got started on our Pergola project. It's a little ironic, the first thing we do after we get our lawn planted is to tear up a 14' x 14' chunk of it - but it will be such a nice feature in the yard. If you don't know, this is what a pergola is.
Our first step was to stake out the site and make sure everything was square, so we'd know where to dig the post-holes. This was accomplished without too much trouble...
...and then it was time to dig. At first it wasn't too bad, but soon we got down into the hard-pan clay, which is ridiculously difficult to penetrate with a shovel. We took shifts, one of us (usually Cary) stabbing into the hole with the shovel to break up the soil, and then the other leaning in with a bucket and scooping the clods out. It was slow, thirsty work.
The holes are supposed to be 18" across and a minimum of 4 feet deep, but we decided after the first one that 36" deep seemed plenty deep enough. We're going to backfill the whole hole with concrete, after all. The 6" x 6" support posts aren't going anywhere, even with a foot less concrete around their bases. It took us most of the afternoon, but we finished digging two of the holes.
Tomorrow we'll hopefully finish digging the other two holes, and then on Monday the lumber, fittings, concrete & hardware will be delivered. If all goes well, sometime next week we'll get the posts set in the ground, and then on the weekend we'll really be ready to build the rest. It so exciting to see this taking shape at last!