Sunday, September 05, 2010

Building Bridges

At the north end of Camp Loll Marsh, the trail crosses from Camp Crow and the Gros Ventur cut off to cross a bridge to the Piute and Sagwitch campsites. The bridge below was built by Lafe Conner some years ago and although rustic, served our campers well. However in compliance with the Forest Service's request and for the overall improvement of Loll, it was decided to put in a new bridge, similar to the one built at the end of the summer of 2009.

This is the old bridge.

Among the problems it had, the cross runners were forever rotting out and breaking, as they were constantly replaced, the logs below become weakened and would not hold the nails well.

As before, our bridge was designed by our Camp Committee Chairman, Lynn Hinrich. It requires great support from other friends of Loll. The lumber, including the massive foot square beams were provided by Dave Stone. They were fashioned from lumber cut from the dead trees at Camp Bartlett.

One of the highlights of the project was watching Kent Clawson back these great beams into place with his pickup and trailer.

Meanwhile work proceeded at a steady pace. Scott Hinrichs, long time staffer at Loll and Lynn's big brother, started by digging out the footings. At this time Lynn's dream seemed a long way from fruition.

Lynn's plan not only called for timber but for footings built of massive piles of rocks. Kent Clawson provided a trailer full. All had to be hauled one by one to the bridge site.

As work progressed, it became obvious that even Kent's generous donation of stone would not suffice. Therefore Jody, Dallin, and Quinn took the camp truck to the Grassy Lake quarry to augment the supply. Three truck loads later, we had enough.

Here Lynn directs the exact placement and leveling of the piles of stones that will support the bridge. Each footing is encaged in a stainless steel basket that Lynn built on site. Running up through the stones from the galvanized chain link bottom of each basket are threaded steel rods which will be run through railroad ties and bolted into place.

Once in place the ties are carefully leveled to receive the beams.

The beams rest at their "bank" ends on logs carved to the purpose by our Director or Camping, Bill Wangsgard. Bill is our man with the chain saw.

Here I "supervise" as Lynn, Charles Bowker, Jody Orme, and Scott make everything perfect.

Next comes the muscle. We had a great crew of helpers arrive late Friday night. Not only Loll Staffers, but a crew from Camp Cherry Valley came to extend a helping hand. Here, Cherry Valley Camp Director, and my son, Lafe Conner starts the movement of the logs into place .

Everyone is on hand to lend a hand. Here Janice, and Cherry Valley Staffer, Rachel Erickson, Loll's own, Stephan Dansie, and CVC's Katie Shurtleff give encouragement. Although, they are off to pick huckleberries, a far more important mission this trip.

With a big lift from everyone the beams are in place.

It's not just people, it also takes equipment. Like everything that we have at Loll, this equipment is the kind gift from someone. This project was accompanied by the generous donation of two new extra heavy duty wheel barrows. They were presented to the Camp by Mrs. Hinrich, Scott and Lynn's mother. The two old barrows in the photo have given long and honored service. Karlo fixed them to last and last.

Once the beams are in place, they must be fitted, leveled, bolted together, and painted.

One day on Camp Loll Marsh.

The trimming was done by Bill; Lafe, also a "chain saw hound" got to do a little too. I just mostly supervise.

Jody does the painting, as usual; here with help from Dallin Slater.

The beams are bolted together with big lag bolts and steel strapping. Other lag bolts attach them to the railroad ties.

The crew surveys their accomplishment, but the work has just begun.

Now all the runners must be prepared. Originally they were hauled to the bridge site. But the generator was busy on another project. (A report on that building wonder will be posted soon right here at the Agora.) Therefore, we had to haul all the planking back up to the lodge and parking lot.

There is no use complaining; just get the work done. Back into the truck the lumber goes.

Once the ten plus foot boards were cut into perfect five foot lengths, they were hauled back to the bridge, painted and screwed into place. At last the completed bridge is created at Camp Loll.

The old bridge has yet to be removed, that will be a project of another day, but Lynn's new masterpiece is in place. As Bill quipped to me, it will be here longer than we will be.

Thanks to all who gave of their time and materials to make this bridge possible. In years to come, thousands of happy feet will cross it in comfort and safety.

We are grateful to the Camp Cherry Valley Staff who allowed us to build this bridge between our division; they reached out to us as we reached out to them.

That is the way it is with bridges, and with service to. One gives and gets at the same time, crossing from one to the other with perfect harmony.


The crew was done with dinner and on the road home by six, Saturday evening. As I drove the road out, I thought of how deep into the wilderness Camp Loll is. Every turn of that long and wonderful road brings a new joy to behold. I was in the lead truck and, seeing the beauty of this wilderness for the first time through the eyes of our friends who had driven it only in the dark of night the evening before, I stopped at a few highlights to make sure they were enjoyed. Here is a view, and not the best, for Indian Lake through the trees.

Almost at the Forest boundary one can look back into our wilderness, and see the Teton Range above the Wilderness we all love. It is so huge, and Loll is so blessed to be deep in its heart. Well worth the drive.

I couldn't resist this one final photo: purple mountains majesty above the fruited plain. An Ashton wheat field with the wilderness behind and the mountains above. America, America, God shed His Grace on thee. He surely did!


Reach Upward said...

Thanks for the post and the pictures. It was a joy and a pleasure to once again be building bridges at Camp Loll.

It was amazing to see the huge beams moved into place by the Camp Loll and Camp Cherry Valley staffers. This process went so much better than did moving similar beams last year. Someone once told me he could accomplish anything with 15 good teenagers.

It was also great to watch the cabin roof project going on at the same time. Every time I got to the parking lot, I was amazed at the progress on that project. It's good to have good help and equipment. Mother Nature helped out with some pretty awesome weather.

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