Saturday, July 23, 2011

7/23/11 - Thunder and Lightning

You must love the crust of the earth on which you dwell more than the sweet crust of any bread or cake; you must be able to extract nutriment out of a sand heap.   
Thoreau - January 25, 1858

Thunder and lightning today folks.  Arriving at the summit just in time to take a few quick shots before the rains came!  But, extracting "nutriment out of a sand heap," we did it well and it was a great trip.  So what if you get in the way of the raindrops and come back soaking wet?  

Approach to the site -no rain yet.

View to the East and Boston Skyline
 To the east, the morning view was stunning ... surprisingly great for such a cloudy morning.  One can easily pick out the Boston Skyline at least at this moment in time - a little after 6 in the morning.  The ribbons of distant lands are distinctly marked as one's gaze from The Observatory reaches from the summit to the distant skies beyond the city.  On a foggy morning, the valleys are filled with fog gently lifting from the rivers, ponds, and reservoirs, each giving away its location as well as its name.

But that was soon to disappear....

Foundation Walls Continue
The maze of rebar continues and the forms for the walls progress around the perimeter.

Inside the base walls
Try to imagine what this will look like when complete. If the wall goes around the outside of this "structure," and the four piles for support of the tower are in the center, what becomes of all the space within this building.  Is it part of the tower floor?  The walls must be the inner core about which the viewing ramp will circle until reaching the top of these walls for the viewing platform.  We shall see.

I still wonder about the construction of the "tower."  A friend suggested that the tower proper might well be under construction at another site and it will be either brought to the summit in sections, and a crane will lift it into place, piece by piece, or perhaps it will be airlifted into place by helicopter.  Now that would be quite a feat given the other structures already present and the winds.  No, that might be too much to expect.  But the former idea might well be feasible.  I certainly see no evidence of large structural beams about the site - beams that would enter into the framework of the tower.  Nor is there evidence of and "cabin like cap" from which the forest rangers would work.  There must be more coming.

Inside and ... outside the walls.
About this time, clouds from the west began to rumble, rumble, and rumble. 

Storm Clouds from the SW
 Double Click on this picture (above)... fantastic cloud formation.  It then opened up with buckets of water pouring down on Wachusett, the construction site, and me.

Totally clouded in to the west.

 This was what was coming in on the weather front to replace the somewhat clear skies to the east ... see above picture.

The Stone Wall Continues to go up!!!

The Stone Wall at the survey marker is still under construction.  But it is confusing.  What is this structure?  Why so high?  What is going on here?  That wall must be 5' high at this point.  But it is only "one-sided."  Tough to figure out.

But it was time for me to be moving on as the rain had arrived.  A dash down to the parking lots....

Middle of the parking lot ... lower level on the left, upper level on the right.

The spots on the pictures here are rain drops, and it doesn't tell the full story.  It was a downpour and by this point, I was soaking wet!  But you can see the parking lot appears now to be in two levels.  One entrance will have half on the upper section and then one could drive down to the lower section.  It won't be a big drop, but it appears to be multilevel at this time.

Lower level of the parking lot - from Mt. House Trail ... looking West.
Time to move on; the rain was now heavy, with repeated crashes of thunder rolling in from the far side of the mountain.  I was drenched and figured that if I made it below UP SUMIT road, the trees would protect me.  They didn't.

It's not all about construction today.  On the way down, toads, spiders, and birds were about.  And, in the yard of a house just off the mountain, a large family of turkeys out for an early morning stroll.  [these show only a couple chicks of about a dozen or so.]

See you next week! 

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