Saturday, August 27, 2011

8/26/11 - Here Comes Hurricane Irene

“Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up.  Deal with brute nature.  Be cold and hungry and weary."

Henry David Thoreau - Dec 25, 1857


Today, we have a storm coming (Hurricane Irene, headed from the south, directly for Mt. Wachusett! DOA Sunday 8/28/11) so a run up the mountain will get the pictures for the week.  I anticipated much from last week, but I was anxious that I would not make the summit before the sun set below the horizon.

Continuing on Wachusett - Before Sunset

The forms have come down!  All around; it now stands as we will see it ... once the facade is added ... and that won't be long either!



NE Corner of the Base



Eastern Wall with Ramp ready to pour concrete.



The Western Wall Facade is Under-construction.

 I was surprised to see so much progress as the facade construction has begun.  The pillars for the ramp are in the foreground as is the field of stone for the facade.

Facade - detail

  I only noticed a bit of mortar between the joints of the stones.  On the top of the top layer, one can see a dark line on the face of the cement wall.  That is NOT a shadow.  It appears to be that they are securing the rocks to the wall from the back-side, thereby giving the appearance of a non-mortared stone wall facade.  Interesting.


Facade with Fence Builder Tool


Western Wall from base of the present tower.

Notice the "rock field" in the foreground just on the other side of the chain link fence - raw material for the fence builder.


I have been wondering about the final "grade" of the site, but if you look at the next two pictures, I think we can get an idea as to what is to come.  In order to access the interior of the base, there is only one opening and it is on the southern wall.  This entry must be at "ground level" in order to drive large generators and other equipment inside - that is, equipment that can not be lifted by humans - thus, one reason to surmise that the bottom of the door will be at ground level.


Southern Door Opening

On the north wall, there has been a ditch just beside the cement compass stand area.  In this ditch, they have poured the piles for the ramp support as it goes up around the base.  That ditch is now filled in, as you can see from the picture below.  This is probably about what will become the "level" ground surface outside the base of the tower.


North Wall - ditch filled in to ground level.


View from the Army Relay Radio Shack (NE)
Use your imagination ... the new tower will be just about as high as the old one.  Imagine that structure placed atop the base on the left!  This new one will certainly have a personality all its own.  Imagine the picture below as the final product ...

The Tower is Complete??  Huh??

And the sun was fast setting.  I better get serious about leaving ....

Sunset on Wachusett - Western Massachusetts

With the trail on the southeastern face of the mountain, it would be getting dark and with that, a bit hazardous to be running over the rocks without a flashlight.  It was time to go; this was as good as it would get; I couldn't wait for the sun to truly drop below the horizon.

 On the way down, there was sufficient light for a few more pictures ... just to check on the progress taking place at the parking lot below.

Survey flags on lower picnic grounds

It now appears as if parking lot work is back in play.  Survey flags can now be seen on the east picnic area just below the summit.  I believe this will be the future site of handicapped parking.

And we can also notice that the lower parking lot is once again "open" and work continues on drainage ditches and leveling of the surface.

From Up Summit Road (today) to Parking Lot
The blockade has been removed ....  Construction in the parking lot continues.

Looking South from atop the sand-pile

Entry to New Parking lot (from atop sand-pile)
Time to leave.

Good Night Wachusett

No comments:

Post a Comment