At 61, Trail has energy to build multiple projects, including miniature Stonehenge
By Wes Tomlinson | Living 50 Plus
At the crack of dawn and then again into the sunset each evening, Bill Trail works on projects at his Southeast Decatur house, and he recently completed a miniature Stonehenge replica in his front yard.
Trail, 61, has a strict work ethic that enables him to work and ultimately finish multiple projects, such as a stone walkway, a pergola, and a man cave he created by remodeling an old room in his house.
“I dedicate two hours a day, every day, to each project and I only sleep four to five hours each night,” Trail said.
Trail’s Stonehenge took him three years to build and he said the main objective was to cut down on lawncare maintenance.
“I hate to mow. My whole object was to never mow again,” Trail said.
During the Stonehenge replica’s construction, Trail collected stones from along Seven Mile Post Road in Athens, Swan Creek in Tanner and Indian Creek on Lookout Mountain, a mountain ridge that spans through Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. He said he kept collecting enough stones until he found the right shapes.
“All of the stones came natural, no chiseling at all,” Trail said.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric stone circle in Wiltshire, England, and Trail has placed the stones of his replica in the same geographic orientation as the original. He said he plans to visit the real Stonehenge either this December or next June during the summer solstice. The original Stonehenge monument aligns toward sunrise on the summer solstice.
Trail grew up in DeKalb County in northeast Alabama and later moved to Huntsville where he met his wife Kathy. The Trails then moved to Killen and then later to Decatur, where they have been living for the last 25 years.
It was in Huntsville that he decided to start a carpet store that now has locations in Madison and Decatur.
“I started Rock Bottom Carpets (in 1996) with $383,” Trail said. “I was living out of my car, going through a divorce and I didn’t have nothing.”
Trail and his friend Bo Kyne started the company together and have known each other for more than 20 years, but Kyne still can’t figure out what fuels Trail’s work ethic.
“He’s got an abundance of energy and he certainly has it on several different tangents,” Kyne said. “I wish he could bottle some of that energy and give it to me. Where he gets it, I don’t know.”
Through his clientele at Rock Bottom Carpets, Trail has traded for or located discarded materials that he uses for his projects. He says he has never had to spend any money on materials because of this.
With all these materials, Trail has constructed a stone walkway in front of his house and a pergola and several water features full of vegetation and lawn ornaments in his backyard.
Trail is currently in the planning stage of building a larger Stonehenge replica on an acre of land he owns on County Road 87 on the border of Lawrence County and Morgan County.
“This one is going to be three times as big,” Trail said. “I’m talking about 400- (to) 510-pound blocks.”