Saturday, February 25, 2012

2/25/12 - Exterior Facade Complete!

Goodness is the only investment that never fails.
Henry David Thoreau - Journal

An email arrived early Friday Morning!  "The stone veneer is complete."  It was from Mick Literrio, of Litterio Landscape.  KUDOS, Mick.  And, I might add ... he did the last 75% of the job with a broken hip!  Great Job.

It was another milestone reached on a project that was originally scheduled to have been completed months ago.  I had to make a visit this morning and see the results.

And so it was that I reached the summit just after sunup.  The head of the cocoon was gone, but the midsection and the tail were still in place.  The plastic was still secure although the winds were fierce and the noise was like the proverbial freight train, out of sight, yet coming hard 'round the bend.  My frame is not large, but still, I moved carefully and with purpose over the icy rocks.  Gusts were reported to be upwards to 40 mph.

The chairlift on the main run to the top of the mountain for the skiers, was not yet running this morning, very unusual, yet likely because of the high winds.
High Winds ... Nothing Moving.

I made my way around the site, fighting wind and the ice.

NE Corner
 The cocoon had been removed from the eastern side of the tower and now only covered the northern and western sides.

NE Corner
Cold, Frozen Solid
Western Wall
SW Corner

And to my surprise ....  Two panels of the site chain link fence between the old tower and the new tower were laying on the ground.  Obviously, the wind and the ice.  Not enough support.  Oh My ....

I tried to lift them and stand them up, but the natural weight and the added weight of the ice made it all but impossible.  My back is too valuable.  Besides, it would only blow down again with nothing to tie it down. 

And so, I moved on ... or rather in.  How fortuitous!  Let me get a close-up.

Western wall and South Wall
West Wall Cocoon
Here the cocoon ends, but alas ... there must be a way to enter.... 

Indeed, that black tarp is the doorway providing access to the interior of the cocoon.

Inside ... The Belly of the Beast. - West Wall
Ahh, very comfortable out of the wind and the cold.  While the wind still pounded the plastic shell from the outside, inside it was most comfortable, even with the heater turned off.
The Magic Lamp
As reported last week, temperatures inside the cocoon were maintained at a very nice 70°F.  So this is the device that provided the energy.
Under the Ramp - North Wall
I noticed a break in the walkway right at the NW corner; I peered up through the hole to see the now completed facade.
North Wall - Ramp and Facade
Then, turning my attention to the other direction, I could see the western side of the cocoon from the interior.  You will notice that the stonework is complete, the railings have to be attached!  I wonder if they are even on site?

"Interior" Stone Veneer - Detail
So, where is the exit from the cave?  ... Seeking a ray of light from the outside, I pulled back the door and left the warmth of the cavern.
I continued my tour around the tower, remaining close to the structure, seeking protection from the winds.
South Wall Portal
And the ramp that will wind around the base.  Why not?  The first public ascent ... at least to the NE corner!  There, the cocoon remains.
Base Ramp - East Facade
And looking back from the corner, with a little elevation.  The facade is clad in ice this morning.
NE Corner and Ramp
South Wall and Eastern Ramp
 Time to head home.

Wintry View To Worcester
"In due time, we began to ascend the mountain, passing, first, through a grand sugar maple wood, which bore the marks of the auger, then a denser forest, which gradually became dwarfed, till there were no trees whatever."  (A Walk to Wachusett - 1843)
Now, didn't I tell you that Spring was here?  And so it is.  Here we encounter Thoreau's "grand sugar maple wood" at the junction of Gregory Road and Mountain
Thoreau's Maple Grove - Base of the Mountain

A nice trip this morning, filled with surprises.  See you next week.

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