Recently we went on a camping trip and for some reason I was only allowed by the universe to drive behind gravel trucks. You know the ones; they are typically white and shaped like long inverted triangles. They have a hole at the bottom in the center and they use them to carry large loads of dirt or gravel from one giant hole to a place where they are making a hill.
Fortunately, the trucks I was driving behind were largely empty and therefore not tossing rocks at our windshield. Still it got me thinking of all the giant man-made hills I drive by on 281 on the outskirts of San Antonio. Huge hills have popped up where before everything was flat.
My husband Adam, who works in construction, and I were talking about the hills and these trucks.
“I can’t believe they build those hills just using these trucks,” I said. “It must take a jillion trucks.”
“It’s pretty simple; you just schedule out hundreds of trucks every day and then go do something else,” he said.
I still couldn’t imagine it. I really admire the tremendous planning it takes to build highways and how you have to shrug off the idea that it’s like filling a swimming pool with an eye dropper. Sure, it’s possible that with 500 eye droppers every day for five years you could fill up the pool, but wouldn’t you want to pull out your hair by the end of the first month? Wouldn’t you look out the window at the tiny puddle and pray for a deluge? And when the sun came out and evaporated a day’s worth of water, would you go in your room and cry (saving the tears to add to the pool later, of course)?
People like me would never have built the pyramids. We would have gotten two rows of limestone blocks (one of which is the same weight as 25 refrigerators) stacked and would have said “You know what? I think we’re good. Maybe we can add a nice thatched roof and call it done.”
But they used 2.3 MILLION blocks. That is 57.5 million refrigerators worth of limestone, in case you’re wondering.
I’m glad there are fine folks with the patience to build huge mountains of dirt so I can get to Trader Joe’s a little faster. Because while I can’t imagine sending hundreds of thousands of trucks of dirt down the road, I’m grateful that they don’t just say “let’s just toss some gravel on that deer path and call it done.”