Thursday, February 21, 2008

Bridging the gap.....

Another captivating picture of the project in Barntown. The place is amazing; rock cliffs, long range views, beautiful forest and a great project. The above photo is of the section George, the machine operator, is currently working on. He came to a stop here and is going to have to come around from the other side, however, we may still have to do a bit of hand work to connect the two pieces. Below is "the rootball bridge".

Okay, the story of "the root ball bridge". Once upon a time, a half dozen large trees were growing bigger than their terrain would allow and along came the big bad wind. Perhaps you have seen photos of the gaggle of trees that this bridge is a part of. The set-up is a crazy technical rock section leading to a root ball from a 24" DBH poplar, then you dive directly into a 36" DBH red oak (the one the bridge is connected to) and finally through the crown of another red oak. Looking at the bridge to your right is another three to five trees caught up in the fight and to your left, in a precarious position, are the two root balls for the red oaks.

You may look at this image and ask, "why not just cut out the tree?". Well, the answer is above you. If I were to remove the section of oak trunk that is in the trail, I would instead have a huge root ball falling into the trail to contend with. So this is a bit of an experiment. (Note: I'm not sure if this is even ridable yet) The build involves cutting a notch out of the red oak and dovetailing a joint between it and the honey locust stringers. Yeah a dove tail joint, looks pretty cool, I want to experiment a bit more and dial in my touch with the saw, but this is how to make some cool stuff. The finishing touch is a tread made of sections of 8" red oak split with an ax and mallet. They last a long time as long as there is no ground contact.

I hope to get a few photos of the ride attempts and dialing-in next week. Wish me luck, it is a super sketch move.

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