Saturday, September 3, 2011

8/3/2011 - Labor Day Weekend

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind.
 Henry David Thoreau - Walden 

As I approached the summit just before the sun was scheduled to rise this morning, two things struck me:  the heavy fog on the summit and yellow "crime scene" tape strung across the trail at Up Summit Road - not for an actual crime as we might know it, but rather as a detour for hikers to follow the road to the summit.  Some folks, those not in favor of this project, would aptly indicate however, the appropriateness of the term "crime scene"  -crimes being committed against nature as change occurs on the summit. 
The tape was set to detour hikers around the work being done in the parking lot - leveling and paving.  They have laid a first coat of blacktop over the whole parking surface as well as the new handicapped accessible parking area in what used to be the picnic area to the right side of the road opposite the Pond.  The parking area islands and perimeter land is also being landscaped and reseeded.

The fog was so thick that I would have to wait til the heavy winds blew the fog away ... probably not too long, I guessed.

Before: Summit Fog (6:03 am)
I took a few shots, but then took a short run out to the end of the Ridge of the Old Indian Trail.  By the time I returned, 30 minutes of burn time was sufficient to give me better pictures.
After: Summit Fog (6:35 am)

The eastern wall ramp has been poured as well as the interior floor of the base structure.  And as suspected a few weeks back, the angled spots on the exterior walls are spots where some type of handrail will be secured.
Ramp on Eastern Wall
Ramp from Eastern Wall bends to the North Wall
And on to the Western Wall ....
Western Wall and Rock Field

Western Wall - Cleats, Plates, and Stone Wall

Detail of Cleats, Plates, and Drill Holes

Southern Wall - and Base Interior
 The sun is now out; the fog has retreated ... or rather, I should say, was blown off the summit.  

And now, on the way home, I was able to finally see the parking lot progress!  Another layer of paving to do and then filling in with dirt and seeding.  This should look great by Columbus Day.

New Entrance Wall to Summit
This will be the limit for auto access.  The Up Summit Road to the right will not be accessible for motor vehicles.  The Pond is off to the left, unseen here.

Top Level - Main Parking Lot

Lower Level Parking, Island, and Upper Level ...

Moving over to the "picnic area" on the other side of the road, I looked back at the parking lot.

From Eastern side of Up Summit - Picnic Area

Old Picnic Area - Now Handicapped Accessible Parking
To orient the viewer, the hiker by the orange barrel is going toward the Pine Hill Trail entry.

From Old Picnic Area looking to new "Wall" and Pond
Turn the Camera a little to the left and the next view ....
From Handicapped Parking toward Antennas and Parker Lodge
 And as I left for the morning, I took a picture of the crime scene blockade - now that the fog had lifted.

Crime Scene - Do Not Enter!
Until Next Week ...

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