Monday, February 27, 2012

The Poles Arrive

Over the weekend we had the closest to a blizzard that there was all winter. We got close to 8-10 inches of snow. Yesterday I sat in my office and listened to the wind howl. The falling snow was blown into the windows. It was a good day to be inside looking out.

First thing this morning Bruce was out grooming trails. He had guests right behind him waiting to ski. The A loop is finished. Tonight Bob will do the B loop. Then on Wednesday it is predicted that there is a 70% chance of more snow. Right now we have clear skies and gleaming white snow. It is just glorious out. In the sun, the temperature is up to 25 degrees. It is a little cooler in the shade.

Lee and Eva brought Grant and Mae up for the weekend. They managed to fill their time with dog sled rides, snowmobile rides, ice fishing and sledding. In the afternoon when Grandma and Grandpa were worn out, it was time to hit the Legos in our house. Also Grant got instructions from Grandpa on how to build a wood fire in the fireplace. All in all, we had a wonderful weekend. I wasn’t very sociable with the guests but grandchildren come first.

Today was a big day for the zip line construction. The poles that will be used to build two platforms arrived. The picture above shows part of the unloading process. The poles range in length from 35 to 50 to 60 feet long. They are made of Alabama yellow pine and cost around $2000 each. When erected, 10% of the pole is buried in the ground. Luckily for us, we only need three platforms. The rest of our stops will be attached to 200-300 year old white pines. A professional arborist will inspect these trees to make sure that everything is sound and we will not be killing the tree.

The driver must have had a great time coming up the Gunflint Trail. I would not have enjoyed being in the opposite lane and meeting him on a curve. He is from Alabama. And don’t complain about filling up your car with gas. When his truck is filled, it takes $800 of fuel. It was fun to see some forward progress on the zip line.

The question comes up about why we got the poles this early. Construction doesn’t start until May 1st. As part of the spring thaw, a road ban is put on the Gunflint Trail. To protect the road, the county limits the weight of loads during the road ban. Believe me when I say that this load would have exceed the weight limit. Once the ban is on it is in operation for at least six weeks. That would have pushed back when we could start this project. So, now that little sticking point is not a problem.

If you think you can get away, plan to come up the Gunflint Trail. We are in a winter wonderland. Everything is covered with snow. The ski trails are perfect.

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