Friday, November 25, 2011

11/25/11 - Post Thanksgiving Day Visit

“ yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else's idea of yourself should be.” 
Henry David Thoreau - Walden

Two That Escaped the Table This Year!  Nice Camouflage.
On a beautiful early morning ascent on the day after Thanksgiving, it was real nice at the base of the mountain, but hiking on Mountain House Trail, it gradually changed to cold and windy as I approached the summit.  [Note:  the time indication on the pictures is one hour later than reality; I had forgotten to turn back the clock on the camera.]

Wintery Approach to the Summit

Perimeter Fence Ice Crystal Bed

Ice Crystals at the head of Old Indian Trail

No sun yet so the ice crystals sparkle in the rising sun ... soon they will be gone for another day.

As we know so well now, the project is way behind schedule.  For that reason, workers were assembling on the job site when I arrived.  The winds were blowing and they hunkered down in their trucks until "the boss" arrived.  On my approach, one said, "We have to be here!"  ie.  what's your excuse?  And this conversation was taking place inside the perimeter fence.  I asked if I could close the gap and take some pictures.  No problem!  

We talked for a few minutes and in addition to temperature talk, there was talk of other employees on the project who are afraid of heights!  and heights in the wind!  Evidently going up in lift basket to the cab, the wind has a tendency to induce a bit of swaying to the basket, at times dipping like a roller coaster.  And I also was able to learn about plans for the future when the railings, the ramps, and the access ladder arrive.  The construction crews will be using the Administration Road access once the Up-Summit Road is snow-bound with operations from the Polar Mountain Ski boys!

I asked about the "hanging chad," only to learn that the hanging metal beam was planned all along!  And now it makes sense!  Two things have to be done before the job is complete:  painting the underside of the cab and assembly of the ladder for the Rangers.  The "chad opening" is to allow the lift basket a point of entry to the inside of the framework.  As a matter of fact, one of the workers was the "painter."  He even had on - over warm weather clothing - the usual white painter's jump suit.

His painting job consists of the interior and the exterior of the cab, but NOT the steel framework of the tower.  That is complete as is!  This is somewhat surprising.  Why leave the steel beams exposed to the weather?

I also learned that the assembly is completely by bolts.  They have a special torque wrench that somehow breaks off the end of the bolt when the thresh hold amount of torque is applied.  That sounds kind of neat. 

So, what's new this week (a 2 week report actually).  For one thing, Mick is making slow and steady progress on the stonework.  The north facade today is completely iced over.  And not much sunshine will penetrate as the day wears on.  That must have been quite a rain shower that froze up the past couple of days.  The East and Southern faces look rather dry.

Another thing that struck me is that with the work being done in the cab, I can see the cables going from the cab to the interior bunker.  Look closely at the vertical supports of the tower.  The silver tubes house the cables. 
Communications Cables on Vertical Supports

Eastern Facade Awaits the Railings
 As you can see, the eastern facade is complete with exception of the holes for the hand rails.

Doorway - Southern Facade

No Roof on the Observation Bunker yet.
I thought I might be overdoing my welcome so I didn't actually enter the door, but clearly the communications center is inside this bunker.
Lift Basket and Control Panel Detail

NW corner of the bunker
Sunny to the east (The sun just came up), while to the north the facade is icy, cold, and dark.  If you look closely, you can see the ice on the north face.
North Facade All Iced Up
And Mick is going to keep working on this?

Twin Towers ... for now

NW corner

Western Facade
 On this side, it even looks  cold!
NE corner of the facade.
 And that's it for this week.  Down below today in the valleys of Worcester County, temperatures reached the 60 degree mark.  Surely it warmed a bit and working would not be quite so difficult.  I know they weren't really looking forward to going up in that wind and cold.

Happy Thanksgiving to All. 

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