September 19-25

September 19 - Well, it's time to 'fess up to our first major error. The I-beam columns were set rotated 90 from the correct orientation. This occurred because the steel angles installed for support were welded to the wrong faces. We focused on aligning these with the wall, completely missing the fact that the flanges should be parallel to the walls. This required a call to the engineers who designed a fix that required welding new steel to restore the strength in the correct plane. Here's what the repaired columns look like.

Once buried in the walls, nobody will ever know the difference and the performance will be as designed.  The welding was done by another of the neighbors, Larry Maestas. In the course of the work, Larry shared some of the history of the area. Larry is Joe Casados' cousin, and their grandfather was the original settler of the Llaves valley. According to Larry, Arthur Syphers, who homesteaded our land, murdered a forest ranger on what is now known as Dead Man's Peak. Seems Syphers took a fancy to the ranger's wife (also a ranger) while showing them a location for a lookout tower. The wife escaped on horseback and made it to Maestas' grandfather's house. The grandfather hid her in the basement. When Syphers came looking for her, he was told she had ridden past earlier in the day. After Syphers left, the wife was taken up the road to El Vado, which used to have a train station. Syphers was apparently never punished for this crime. Maestas is font of information about the valley and it's history. We'll eventually put more somewhere on this website.

Gary Wee, the rammed earth contractor, showed up with the first load of equipment. You'll hear more details about the equipment in the next page or so.