Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hey, that's a Gneiss Rock!

Why the Egyptians? Wait and See.

The Lane Street entrance to the Shelton Lakes RecPath has been problematic with vandalism lately. We moved a small boulder out of the way last year so Barry Mucci could build the entrance, but forgot to move it back. This made it easy for us to access the RecPath for work parties, but it also left the path open to people driving on it illegally and bothering some of the neighbors. So we put a wooden post in place temporarily, however somebody vandalized the post and removed it. This lead to the the following problem:

We had somebody drive in one night to "look at the stars" and they drove off the boardwalk into the swamp. For more photos see Cadillac Tests the Boardwalk. The District Attorney called last week with questions so hopefully some required community service is handed out soon.

So we put the wooden bollard back.

This worked for a while, but somebody vandalized that & went in and cut up some downed trees. Cutting up the trees was one thing, but we didn't want anybody to drive over the boardwalk and damage it. The boardwalk was built for pedestrians, not cars and trucks. We are looking to provide a removable metal bollard and two fixed granite posts at this location to all walkers and bikers in, but keep unauthorized vehicles out.

In the meantime, Bill Dyer rounded up some of the usual suspects (Jim and Rich), with strong backs and weak minds, and they set to work moving the boulder back into place.

Trouble is a 20"x21"x16" Gneiss boulder weights a deceptively large amount. I asked my wife "What's the unit weight of Gneiss?" (a typical conversation at our house). And she started asking me if it was dark Gneiss or light Gneiss because the percentage of iron would effect the specific gravity. I gave up then and just used a range of 167-178 lbs/cf. That puts the boulder at between 650-690 lbs. Not something you easily pick up and move by hand.

They pushed and pulled and swore and crowbarred the boulder over. It kept digging into the woodchips and gravel. Boulders are pretty conservative; they hate to move unless they have to. But Jim had his handy come-along and they gradually convinced the rock to take up sentry duty in the middle of the RecPath. Lets see somebody move that!

Jim may have to spend the rest of November re-coiling his come-along wire rope. Which leads us to the Egyptians. It the trails guys had used some logs and rolled the rock into place it would've been easier to move. See some of the pictures in the front. We really haven't progressed all that much in 2500 years.

We've got some great books on how to move boulders like AMC Guide to Trail Building and Maintenance , we just have to use more block and tackles. Or get us a few thousand slaves.

1 comment:

  1. I know of a dead deer along a trail that needs to be pulled away. Much lighter than that rock.