Saturday, July 2, 2011

5/29/11 - Ground is broken ... Digging holes for the foundation piles

I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe — "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.  HDT Civil Disobedience 1849

I was at the summit on April 29th and construction had not yet begun.  Last year of course, the road to the summit was closed and improvements to the road and drainage was made.  That portion of the project is now complete.  Work this year will be almost exclusively on the summit facilities.

On May 29th, another trip to the summit and construction had begun!

From my journal:
There [the summit], I was met with a big surprise… a chain link fence all around the summit parking lot from just where the road crests the upper lot all around the parking area but not including the exposed bedrock where the compass stand rests.  They left enough room where you can walk about the outside, stand in the observation stands [east and northeast], but the fence seals off the gravel lot.  Two very big backhoes are digging what appear to be 4 holes for the foundation piles of the new observation tower in the center.  They have dug down about 6 ft so far and one has orange paint on a rock face at the bottom so my guess is that that signifies “bedrock.”  The other three holes show dense packed rocks and dirt (mostly rocks).  They form a square about 10’ by 10’.  I also noticed that several bales of hay surround the survey marker stamped into surface rock in the parking lot.  As luck would have it, I did not bring my camera today.

Just off the side of the primary exposed bedrock on the summit, the digging begins.  Two large backhoes are present.  Of course the perimeter of the construction site is fenced off.  Public pedestrian traffic can circumnavigate the complete site.

Searching the internet, one can view the plans at the following site:

This is a PowerPoint presentation of the site plans made last year 5/13/2010.


While taken on a foggy day, you can still clearly identify it.  The 7" Station Mark was placed by the U.S. Coast Survey in 1860  - 1861.  Beside the mark is found inscribed in the stone: "CA CLARK" or perhaps CAG MARK for C&G Mark ... i.e. Coast & Geologic Survey Mark??

US Coast Survey Report - 1861 [Google digitized book]

From Survey Marker looking South (toward Pond) to Observation Platform

Survey Marker with Shoe for Scale

From Survey Marker looking North East to Observation Rock Platform
See the digitized book on Google for the 1860-61 report of the U.S. Coastal Survey.
  [US Coast Survey Report of 1860]
CAG Mark ... Triangle with hole in rock filled with lead and a circular impression of the exact datum.

All sorts of different objects, ranging from the familiar brass disks to liquor bottles, clay pots, and rock cairns, have been used over the years as survey markers.  Some truly monumental markers have been used to designate tripoints, or the meeting points of three or more countries. In the 19th Century, these marks were often drill holes in rock ledges, crosses or triangles chiseled in rock, or copper or brass bolts sunk into bedrock. Today, the most common survey marks are cast metal disks (with stamped legends on their face) set in rock ledges, sunken into the tops of concrete pillars, or affixed to the tops of pipes that have been sunk into the ground. These marks are intended to be permanent, and disturbing them is generally prohibited by federal and state law.  [Survey Marker Information -]

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