September 18th, 2004 -
Four volunteers hiked up the trail at 9AM with chisels, drills, saws, & hammers, optimistic that the skies would clear after a long hard rain the night before. Our first priority was to attach the first flight of stairs to the anchor bolts in the new concrete footer prepared on Wednesday, Sept. 15th. The last three steps were cut, drilled and set in place. The railings, unpainted and stashed in the summit staging area, were re-attached. Getting the steps in was a major accomplishment! No longer did we need to hoist ourselves and materials up the outer metal structure to work above on the tower.
Scaffolding was laid out under each platform to screw in the cleat boards for added security and to protect the landing boards from warping. Hikers soon arrived as the skies cleared and offered many words of encouragement. Bob B. a ADK Genesee Valley Chapter member from Rochester came to help followed shortly by Bruce C., a fellow chapter member who brought with him an 18-volt portable drill. The decision was quickly made to replace the cab floor, a task that required drilling through the new treated lumber and through the metal floor frame. Bruce did another quick trip to the parking lot to retrieve a crowbar. Barb B. used her cell phone to track down another 18-volt portable drill that we could borrow and quickly headed back down to the parking lot to get it.
The remainder of the crew dismantled the rusted cab door, and got to work removing portions of the old plywood floor in the cab, cutting to size the new treated lumber replacement boards and bolting them into place. Not an easy task since a number of boards needed to be custom chiseled to fit into place around the cab seams and stair landing bolts. Sandi T. & Bob E. worked in tandem, one in the cab, one underneath, to drill and install bolts into each floor board and were grateful we had the spare 18-volt portable drill to complete the job. During the day, several enthusiastic summit visitors offered to take debris back down the trail to the parking lot for us, including the old door, our rickety ladder, and rotted cab flooring. Many thanks to all those spontaneous helpers!
B. got to work building custom forms for two footers that need concrete repair
that will be completed next weekend. About 5:15PM, the crew posed for a group
picture, swept the cab floor, cleared the
summit of debris, hoisted a load of materials to dispose of on our backs &
headed down the trail! A number of distant volunteers unable to make the work
day were waiting anxiously for our progress report. What we cannot adequately
convey are the sights and sounds of the summit visitors Saturday who
delighted in climbing up to and into the Bald Mt. Tower cab for the first time
since the tower was closed in 1990. . . . Photos by Peg M., Sec.
Please help us by sending in a donation today to pay all our bills for the materials and to help us develop an interpretive program including signage and a cab map table to:
Friends of Bald Mountain
Patches can be obtained locally at the Old Forge Hardware Store, Kiefer's Souvenir Village, or by sending a $6 or more donation to the above address.