When Ava and I returned to Montana (she was teaching a course for the Y in Seattle while I was hunting with Kris), we had our sewer repair/stump removal/gravel delivery scheduled. With that out of the way and gravel on hand, I was able to complete the foundation for the shed that I had previously excavated.
The basic idea was to lay out the free, used railroad ties to support the walls that I will be framing in the next phase of things, level the ties, fix them together with metal braces, and backfill around the ties. I placed, leveled, and compacted about 3 inches of gravel below the ties prior to setting them in place. I also oriented the ties vertically to maximize the depth of the bottom of the tie; thereby minimizing the potential for frost damage to the foundation. Because the ties varied slightly in size, burial depths range from about 7.5 to 9 inches below grade.
The gravel inside the ties will be the floor of the finished shed. The framed walls will be nailed directly to the railroad ties.
Now that this phase is complete, I feel better about going back into the mountains in pursuit of the glorious wapiti.