I ordered some 3/8" light-colored gravel for the backyard from Acme Gravel and Sand in Tucson. Finally, the first step!
The problem I had was trying to figure out how to get the gravel delivered to my house. First of all, I no longer have the F-150 (or it's $650/month fuel bill). Not that I would want to make 10 trips to the gravel yard and then shovel the gravel out of the back of the pickup. A lot of gravel companies will deliver to your house, but they simply dump it in a pile on your driveway or on your street, then it's up to you to cart 14 TONS OF GRAVEL on your own to your backyard.
As stated in an earlier post, physical labor is not my strong point. So I called a few "Gravel Delivery Specialists," "Landscapers," "Three Guys and a Wheelbarrow," etc. etc. etc. from Craigslist. The cheapest wanted $700 to spread the gravel in the backyard.
Believe it or not, I actually considered it. I'd rather pay than spend an entire weekend hauling 14 TONS OF GRAVEL to my backyard in a wheelbarrow rated to carry 300 lbs. per load (93-94 loads from the backyard. Definitely not my idea of fun.
However, I discovered a gravel delivery company - Sure Shot.
Sure Shot picks up the gravel, drives to your house, then unloads the gravel via some sort of slingshot-conveyor belt-gravel shooter mechanism. Since the gravel is literally being shot into the yard, the downside is that I am risking some stucco chipping and broken windows. You can see below the defensive mechanism that I commissioned NASA engineers to design in order to prevent a broken sliding glass door.
We'll see how it works. I will post pictures of Sure Shot slinging gravel into my yard. Stay tuned!
Quick edit: you'll notice the black trash can at the left of the sliding glass door. Yes...that is my compost bin. I am now composting.