Gravel Roads

I remember when Random Island first got pavement. It only came down as far as the end of Elliott’s Cove if I remember correctly.  We used to call it Election Pavement, because it was slapped down really quickly just before or just after an election call in 1972, with no road upgrading whatsoever.  Still though it was something I guess, a modernization.  Pavement came to the rest of the island in fits and starts over the years, but finally we all got it.

There was something to be said for the gravel roads though.  Of course a lot of those words aren’t meant for polite company, especially after the second flat tire of the day, or being choked with dust in the summer.  In later years, they used to come by and oil the roads, though what the “oil” was I don’t remember.  It did help with the dust, though with hindsight, probably was toxic too.

Gravel roads were fun as a kid though, I remember using the potholes like pylons and weaving through them on my bike.  Also hated when the grader came because it always made the road full of crushed stone and gravel, which was sure to cause a wipe out at some point.

Gravel roads were good for drawing hopscotch games in the dirt with a stick too, and of course there’s nothing like a real gravel road to get a real mud pie from when it rained.

This picture was taken in the late 60’s I believe. I was about 3-4 here.  In the background behind the church, you can see Apsey Brook’s old one room school.  The truck I believe was dad’s.  To the left is what we called the school garden path.  Across from the school was a beautiful garden we used to play on, and that path led to it.  Later on the land was sold or appropriated by the government, and used to dig out gravel.  A crying shame.

If you look closely at the path, you can see an old concrete pipe.  I blame that pipe for my slight claustrophobia, as I once got stuck in it.   Its also the path I remember from my coaster riding days, was a lot of fun to come down there and go across the road and down over the garden.