Tuesday, 22 June 2010

A Little Ketchup on the Side ... updated

* Lake Front News:  On Saturday Tamarak, and her Carino came out to share local barbecued beef burgers.   Our entertainment consisted of a display put on by Mother Nature with a lot of help from the people who have been felling trees and carving out the base of the mountain that borders the road on the other side of the lake. I know nothing about physics, geology or botany but I do know that if you remove a large chunk of the base of a triangle, the top will tumble, and if you remove trees, you will no longer have a root system which help keep shale and earth in place.  What they have done is destabilize an already fragile rock face.  From about 3 p.m. and on through the night, we watched and listened as small avalanches slid down the ravaged almost vertical slope tossing rocks onto the road and into the lake.  On Sunday I rode my bike around (still far too skittish to take a car) and realized that one section of the road was now the exact width of a compact car.  Any vehicle larger than that  would have one wheel up on the debris as it drove through the narrow opening between the lake and the cliff.

I called one of the councillors and ended up speaking to two of them.  They suggested that I file a formal complaint about the dangerous conditions, and recommended talking to the local newspaper people.

On Monday workers arrived with blasting caps and spent the day creating small explosions near the base.

Today they are drilling through rock   (and through my skull). Kenya has been indoors for a couple of days now with her paws over her ears.

As I write they are now preparing to do some more blasting.  It's quite interesting.  They lay the charges and then  cover them with huge mats made of old tires.  Then they move all the machinery used in the process out of harm's way.  Just before they set off the explosion, the biggest machine with the air horn honks several times and then the lever is pushed.  The one they are working on now is the site of one of the Saturday night landslides.  I expect that it will cause several trees to tumble and possibly take out the hydro lines.  So I am closing down for now.

After writing this, I biked over for a closer look and ended up speaking with one of the councillors I had spoken to.  They have decided to put off blasting the spot I wrote about and are nibbling away from the left hand side where the work starts.  It is slow tedious work ... prepare for blasting, blast, shovel up debris and deal with it, confer, start again.

They have been dumping the debris alongside the road and very close to the creek that feeds the lake ... wonder whether that is environmentally sound, too.  But they are running out of places to put it.

While all this was going on a line of cars were halted for about 1/2 hour ... on their way to the 5 Lakes Fishing Club (I know because of the red licence plates).  Maybe if they inconvenience the club members enough something will get done.  They certainly have more pull than the residents here have.  We are too few and not nearly important enough.

On the Social Side:   Tamarak, Carino and Ian came and made dinner yesterday.  They made their wonderful Island Pork Tenderloin and I made up a dressing using a little oil, cider vinegar, lemon juice, water and herbs, and basted slices of red and green pepper, eggplant and zucchini on the barbecue.

Today I am going to meet Liz at Le Hibou for lunch.  She is on her way home from golfing and has some ESL materials for me.  I am looking forward to escaping from the drilling.

Neighbours:    My next door neighbours have picked the perfect time to install their septic system.  They have huge earth moving machines roaring away providing accompaniment for the drills and the blasting caps.

On my way back from biking over to take a closer look I noticed that the new neighbour had parked his car on the road in front of his driveway where his truck was parked.  For a couple of weeks he parked his truck on the road directly in front of the mailboxes necessitating about five manoeuvres for anyone trying to collect mail and then turn using the private road across from his place, so I was pleased that the car was less obtrusive than the truck had been.  I suspected that someone had finally complained to him.  Then I stopped to say hi to Rowboat Flo who told me about the excitement this morning.  One of the massive vehicles used for the roadwork got held up by the car on the road..  No one was home to move the car and it took an hour for the big vehicle to make its way past.  Several cars just sat there waiting for the the vehicle to move so that they could continue.

So ... between our new inconsiderate neighbour and the demolition of the mountain we are have an exciting start to summer ... I could do with a return to the peace and quiet of Pike Lake's usual boredom.


Barbara Carlson said...

Why are they removing a mountain? Do you know?
Is it a subdivision thingy for more houses.
I HATE this kind of destruction. I feel for you. You are being so mature looking at it as "interesting".

Right now we are almost 2 months (of 4) into the replacement of PART of our 5 levels of underground parking with jackhammer drilling going on from 8-5 weekdays.

I feel so sorry for the crew. I looked into the space today (the usually shut door was open) and saw a thick fog of dust, visibility no more than a few feet, noise horrific. They wear masks and ear protection but no gloves. Their hands, one told me, hurt. I did not tell him his hands may eventually develop neuropathy (complete lack of feeling).

The terrible jobs other people have to do to make a living. I am so grateful for mine.

Oma said...

They are widening the road. The only good solution was too expensive (re-routing that part of the road around the back of the mountain), so they went for the cheaper solution. The problem is that unless they are smarter than I think they are, they will simply create a problem that needs continual fixing and a dangerous section of road that is subject to landslides. The road is bounded by the shale rock face that is crumbling away and the lake which goes from 0-50 feet in depth within a foot of the shoreline. If a car were suddenly hit with a large rock or a tree the likelihood of the driver going into the lake is very good. And until they stabilize the mountain, the chances are excellent that these landslides will continue to occur.

Yes I agree with you about some people's jobs. I thank heaven that I loved teaching as a career. I can't imagine how terrible it would be to have to drag yourself in to a job you hated for thirty years or so.

Even the best jobs have their frustrations, but imagine how terrible it would be to truly hate your working life.

Barbara Carlson said...

A few years ago a buyer came to the studio, and over a cup of tea told us that after 30 years in a job he didn't like, his very last day of it was the day before. He said, "I woke up this morning and said, 'Now where was I?'" Funny but terribly sad.

Fingers crossed for your road situation.