Sunday, July 8, 2012

7/8/2012 - Open to the Public

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1849
Early this morning in the predawn hour of 5:00, I reached the summit and realized that the journey has come to an end.  At last, the chain link barrier has come down and we, the public, now have complete and full access to the new tower facility.  And this includes a building clad with stonework equal to that of the farmers who built the stone fences that mark former borders of the land below and with a handicapped accessible observation deck.  From ground level many years ago, a literary giant of the past once exclaimed,"There lay Massachusetts, spread out before us in its length and breadth, like a map." [HD Thoreau ]  And there it is!

View to the West
Relating to the Thoreau quote above, I have to say that the Castle has been built in the air!  This is just the beginning for each visitor will now depart with a new and a joyous experience from which he might build foundations for his life.
And now that we have returned to the desultory life of the plain, let us endeavor to import a little of that mountain grandeur into it. We will remember within what walls we lie, and understand that this level life too has its summit, and why from the mountain-top the deepest valleys have a tinge of blue; that there is elevation in every hour, as no part of the earth is so low that the heavens may not be seen from it, and we have only to stand on the summit of our hour to command an uninterrupted horizon. A Walk to Wachusett, Henry David Thoreau 1843
Last week I was fortunate enough to get a sneak preview of the observation deck and I was overjoyed.  A phone call to the park later that day indicated that it might be as long as two weeks before the fence would be removed.  But yesterday I met with the Park Supervisor relative to an upcoming program at the Visitor's Center and was told that the fence was now down.  On Thursday, July 12th there will be an official "ribbon cutting ceremony at the summit with state officials.  Finally! 

I decided to wait no longer ... today I would make my first ascent to view the fully opened site.  As I approached the summit, it was clear, even in the early morning hour, that the fence was gone.

Mt. House Trail Approach
Footpath from Handicapped Lot
Inside the Old Fence Line
US Geodetic Survey Marker - 1860
From the very start of the project, I had worried about the survey marker and the possibility of it getting damaged.  In the past, it was just another rock in the parking lot.  Not now!  The hay bales stood firm, protecting it for the past year and now everyone can easily see it.   Nevermore will it be just another rock on the summit.
Eastern Ramp - Cement Base
Northern Ramp - Metal Grating
Western Ramp - Metal Grating
Southern Ramp - Metal Grating
SE Viewing Station
From Observation Deck - Survey Marker on Left Circle
And finally, the moment arrived ... the Sun arrived.
Such A Humbling Sight
 It never fails to stop one's breathing ... at least for a moment.

Two other visitors arrived just in time.  After a short visit to the Observation Deck, the cold forced a sweatshirt out of the bag and they quickly departed.  The temperature registered 58 deg F with a very brisk wind.  I too was getting cold.

Complete - At Last

NE View To Monadnock
On my previous blog entry I mentioned that I would continue to report until I learned more of the disposition of the tower and the cab.  The supervisor was able to tell me that a part of the agreement in the construction contract was that the tower would become contractor property.  And with that ... I still don't know ... I will continue my search.  I will report on this blog.  We are not quite finished.

And a final thought for the day ...

“However mean you life is, meet and live it; do not shun it and call it hard names. It is not so bad as you are. It looks poorest when you are richest. The fault-finder will find faults even in paradise. Love your life, poor as it is. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. The setting sun is reflected from the windows of the almshouse as brightly as from the rich man’s abode; the snow melts before its doors as early in the spring. Cultivate property like a garden herb, like sage. Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Turn the old; return to them. Things do not change; we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts… Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the soul.”
Henry David Thoreau  

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