Fords have been around as long as people have wanted to get to the other side. They’re used to cross streams, creeks, and even rivers. You could say Moses forded the Red Sea, with a little help of course 🙂
One rule of crossing fords, if there’s a riffle below the ford you travel just above where the water breaks. That’s the shallowest place. It’s the preferred path.
The ford upstream from me crosses Laughery Creek going south to north. It goes from Mexico Ridge Road in Ohio County to Harding Road in Dearborn County. The break on this ford has moved downstream about 20 yards in the last year. There’s two reasons for this.
The first reason is increased traffic. Route 62 between Friendship and Farmer’s Retreat washed out in April 2011. The ford became the shortest route around the washout. The other ways around are about nine miles out-of-the-way, and one of those routes closed this summer for bridge repair. Government planning at its finest.
When the water’s low enough, there’s a lot more traffic over the ford. Every time someone drives right along the edge of the break, it moves the break a little downstream. Even worse, as the gravel loosens up and shifts, the water level in the hole upstream gets lower.
The second reason the break is moving downstream is Dearborn County’s road crew. Last summer they decided to “fix” the ford. The ford was just fine. What needed fixing was the access road to the ford. But the county came in with a big road grader and loosened up all the gravel in the creek. Nobody’d been having trouble crossing the ford, but after the county “fixed” it even pickup trucks were getting stuck. Leave it to government!
The ford upstream from me borders my neighbor’s property on the north. As the break moved farther onto his property he got fed up. His kids play in the riffles when they’re down there, and he was worried they’d get hit. Finally someone started cussing at his kids to get out of her way and that’s what settled it for my neighbor. He got himself a Bobcat and “fixed” the ford himself.
First, he threw up a big berm. That means you have to come into the ford straight to get access to Mexico Ridge Road on the south side of the creek. You can swing down to where the water breaks on the north side of the creek, but then you’d have to come upstream through the middle to get around that berm. The berm will wash away eventually when the creek comes up, but for now it’s formidable.
Second, my neighbor dropped a big chunk of rough concrete in the creek, on his property, just above where the water breaks. It took a Bobcat to move it in there and it’s not going anywhere until the creek comes back up. Nobody is driving over that concrete.
The point of this post is to let anybody coming from the east, especially to my family reunion in July, know of the changes to the ford. You can still cross it if the water’s low. Just stay in the middle to avoid my neighbor’s “fixes”. If you have any doubts about making it across, get in touch with me before you leave. I wade through there almost every day so I can tell you what condition the ford is in.