Saturday, June 20, 2015

Summertime workings

Just because it is getting hot in the High Desert doesn't mean the work stops. John Griffin has been chiseling away at a few big boulders in the way of progress. Liking to work on projects at his own pace and direction, John gets quite a bit done while we are all away. And like everyone else, I like to see that John gets a good pat on the back for his silent efforts. John has a new toy, an iphone, and has found it to be the perfect tool to take a picture or two of progress. It helps keep us up to date on things and doings about the property for those that are interested.
John's summertime exertions have sped up progress by years in my estimations. Real soon we will be out of the rock breaking for roadbed and into trestle building. His practicing on big clumsy boulders is going to payoff when we have to surgically slice through a spine of rock in the next hundred feet of High Line.
     The fire currently in the mountains South of Big Bear, which are no way close or in danger of making it to us, has filled the Morongo Basin and the rest of the High Desert with smoke. Keeping the temperatures down a bit but costing in smoky hazy days and nights.

John took a video of a trip up the High Line with the Edward's Freight Motor which he uses in a work capacity to shuttle supplies up the hill, and either fill dirt up the grade or rocks and debris down the grade in our quest for higher ground. It is a very interesting video, for the purist's you are in trouble. But for those of us that are willing to see the world through someone else's eyes, for an interesting perspective, take a journey with John. It shows very well the reason we are partaking the endeavor of making as little a footprint as possible up the side of the mountain. You can see how the track blends well with it's surroundings and doesn't leave a scar upon our view.
 Our journey starts at the switch to the High Line, traverses the curved trestle and back behind Tedder. Over the lower trestle as we look to the sides and get a peek at the views as we pass. Over the Trestle to the Sky and a brief stop at the switchback before reversing and going over the upper trestle. We end our trip at the site of Pauline, where our passing siding will be located. Now it is where we are staging supplies for the soon to be trestle district which will start soon.
 I loved it from the first viewing as how someone else sees our work, and saved it from obscurity and for all to see the raw uncut beauty in a video of that which we call the High Line.

Here is a link to more of John Griffins pictures on my Picasa albums, you just might have to go to the link to get the video to play, I never professed to know anything about websites.
You all have a great day, hear from you soon, Brian

Monday, June 8, 2015

I'll try to play a little catch up. Things have gotten busy in my part of the world as if yours wasn't. We did make it out for Easter and the small crew moved all the fill dirt we could find that weekend with two trains working the hill, a crew loading buckets and a dump and grade guy at the top. 300 buckets on Saturday, on top of almost that many on Friday too.
The grade has been adjusted from the upper trestle on up to help us gain elevation for our trip up the hill. So we had to fill in the siding area about nine inches throughout the length of it, and it's width too. Those buckets of fill just kept disappearing the more they brought up. By the end of Saturday the fill pile was gone and one could move around up on the Pauline siding a lot easier with a flat grade.
Bill Shepherd had moved a lot of rock and created a wall clear to our end of grading cone, the marker from where we start in the trestle district again. We have two big boulders that John Griffin is whittling away on. He has been at it as much as he can get out too. The watering of what is green takes a bit of time and it is appreciated.
 The wind we had in April finished off the stack for the fire barrel at the picnic shelter. It has been around a few years and we are looking for a replacement.
  This Sunday past we had a get together at the Air Museum in Palm Springs and afterward we made a trip up to check the place out. Knowing that the summer locals had been doing some work it is always good for the moral to grade the grading. Jerry McPheeters refilled our fill dirt pile and John has been moving it up the hill. A pleasant surprise on the progress since we last saw it back in April.
  With some cool weather this fall we could well be measuring for trestle bents by Christmas. I'm sure the spirits that watch over our progress on railroad construction out here have been smiling.

Summer is fast descending on the High Desert and most of us stay in cooler climes, but the locals are clicking along during the cooler times of day. A couple of off site events coming up in the next few months for the runners. I'm sure we'll be around to at least a few of them, enjoy your summer. Brian