I was able to put a few hours in over Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to finish off the steps. On Thursday I leveled the space for the seventh step in preparation for digging out the space for the eighth step. I again used the six inch tall frame as a gauge for where to level off the eighth landing in the dirt. This wasn’t too exact. But digging a little too deep just means more pea gravel to bring the level up to where the blocks sit.
After hacking out space for the eighth landing, I smoothed and compacted the space for the seventh step. It’s not shown, but I did wet it and tamp it down with the end of a block and by just walking around on the moistened dirt. It is a little messy. The idea is to not get it so wet that it becomes muddy.
Here are the seven steps in the waning light of Thursday evening.
Friday I got started a little earlier in the afternoon. Here is the pea gravel, all ready to go for the eighth step.
And a short montage/sequence of the last step. Not shown is a lot of measuring, leveling, and general fussing with the gravel and block to get it right.
And finally the eight steps were in before the weekend!
Saturday afternoon I had a couple of hours to complete filling the voids in the blocks. Here is the 1/4″ – 1/2″ native rock I screened to finish off the steps.
There were a lot of twigs in the bag of rocks, but after more fussing and picking-through, and having to screen more dirt to get a few more of those small rocks, I had enough good clean rock to fill the spaces in the blocks. Before putting the native rock in the block voids, more sand, pea gravel, and other rocks went in. The layer of 1/4″ – 1/2″ rock is about two inches thick.
Here are the top two steps showing the texture and contrast of concrete and rock. The rock is still a little dusty, so it will get looking better and better. There are pieces of quartz-like rock that I set aside to act as accents in the top layer. Those will go in later after more fussing.
Still to be done are putting the rip-wrap back and contouring the ground above the steps into a little trail that leads away from them. Right above the steps might be a good spot for some one-inch native rock if I can muster more of it out of the dirt. There is a pile of dirt to deal with from digging out for the last four steps.