Saturday, December 6, 2008

Rocks - Friend or Foe?

Rocks seem to be a major- if not the major theme of our 15" gauge railway. What makes our Joshua Tree property special to me personally is the unique topography, the rock formations, and the visual chaos that gives way to a certain grace after you spend some time examining the landscape.

These stony features are also a barrier to the manifest destiny of our little rail line, as evidenced by the Herculean task being undertaken by Grading Foreman Brendon Hilton and his grading crew. The cut being hewn through the seemingly solid rock continues to be worked. The vein of granite at the very bottom of the excavation has proven to be especially problematic:

Bill Shepherd and Brendon Hilton on the rocks. - Rick Mugele

Now to consider the aesthetic. Rocks can benefit our efforts as well. In recent weeks Roundhouse Foreman Ken Eells has been laboriously placing a veneer of rocks over the turntable pit walls, obscuring the cinder block so expertly laid by Bill Shepherd earlier this year. The result is quite pleasing and helps to blend our efforts into the surroundings. The grading crew's efforts have helped Ken as well, producing an endless supply of muck rocks that can be selected for inclusion in the wall:


Turntable wall and ring rail. - Ken Eells

Thanks again to everyone who has given their time to these projects. No small amount of effort goes into them, and it is appreciated. Our collective vision will be realized one day, and no doubt, love them or hate them, rocks will continue to play a big part in our visions, and our nightmares.

- Chris Allan


Rock Drill at Rest. - Ken Eells