April 26, 2012 - Update
Apologies from your news reporter for the lack of updates this year.
High Wind: We had a bit of wind earlier in the week which took down this cherry tree along the creek just north of the driveway. (Click thumbnail for large image.)
Maintenance: Clee is fixing another hydraulic line that went out on the backhoe. This is a reminder that the machinery requires constant maintenance. Note that the dogwoods are in bloom just beyond the trestle.
Logging Line: Much work has been done on the logging line. This photo was taken from the trestle looking east to the new concrete grade crossing on the driveway up the hill.
This photo was taken from just east of the new grade crossing looking to the west.
This is a hundred feet or so west of the previous shot. That is a new passing siding on the left. The branch on the right will go to the planned Raccoon Valley Lumber engine house.
This is the view from under the trestle looking west. Logging railroads aren't very straight.
A few hundred feet west of previous photo --- and the track is fairly straight here.
The end of the tracks. The lower tail of the the switchback is straight ahead.
This photo is taken from the end of the lower switchback tail looking back east --- opposite direction from the previous few photos. Note that the grading is complete including drainage ditches and culverts. The rail bender has been repaired and some rails have been machined for switches so progress should start again shortly.
This is the view from the end of the upper switchback tail looking west. The track will curve to the north (right) in the background, cross the ravine and then curve to the east to climb the north side of the ravine.
This photo was taken from the same spot as the previous photo only it is to the east and shows the completed track as well as the trestle off in the distance.
This is the roadbed beyond the curve showing the climb up the north side of the ravine. This will be a pleasant shady run during the dog days of summer.
Main Line Extension: Clee (and Dick) have also be busy grading the roadbed for the mainline extension from the loop at Apex along the same ravine as the logging line (except much further up the side) to the meadow 100 yards or so west of Tower Yard where there will be a return loop. This first photo was taken from just west of the gas well looking north.
This is at the top of the ravine looking west. The roadbed is so firm here that that I ran my Escape along the roadbed to the back of the ravine. The roadbed needs some final work plus drainage ditches and culverts.
This is further along the roadbed. Pretty straight as appropriate for the mainline. Grade is 2% or less.
This is near the back of the ravine where the track will curve to the right and cross the ravine.
The easy going stops here at the back of the ravine. A trestle is required to get the track over to the fresh dirt abutment in the background. That is the logging line roadbed on the right. The mainline trestle will be about 20 feet to the west of the logging line and the track will be about 8 feet higher elevation.