Pictures by Eric Johnson and Larry Gomes
Story by Larry Gomes
The work weekend started on Friday when David Belanger from Smart Energy of New England traveled up to the warming hut to install the solar controllers that would allow the batteries to be charged.
David brought all of the controls pre-wired on a plywood backer board that saved a lot of installation time and by late afternoon on Friday, the solar panels were pumping electricity in the batteries.
David also installed a monitoring system that measures the amount of electricity going into the batteries and the amount going out of the batteries. After we monitor this flow for a few months, we will know if there is enough spare power to consider installing a wireless Internet hub that could make the warming hut a wireless hot spot.
The solar controllers and power
monitor are located on the right hand side
of the electrical cabinet. We still need to tie in the lights and stereo system,
but the majority of the electrical work is now complete.
On Saturday the regular crew of Roger, Eric and Larry showed up to continue work on the inside of the warming hut. With only one day before the grand opening, there was a lot to do and not much time to do it so the crew hustled through the list of remaining items that included installing ceiling boards and applying another coat of acrylic sealer on the inside of the cabin.
Larry applies a coat of clear
sealer on the ridge beam before the ceiling boards are put in place.
Roger and Eric worked as a team
to install the 16' long tongue and groove pine boards.
Here Roger drills holes for the LED lights that are located just below the 100-volt lights.
Here they are
fitting the next board in place. There is a slot on the back wall where
one end of the board goes and the other end fits flush against the front wall.
Moldings around the front windows will hide the front end of the ceiling boards.
the boards get higher, so does the staging. Here Eric struggles to get up
onto the staging
while still holding up his end of the ceiling board.
one side is done. The last piece was a very tight fit because it had to
the tongue on the board below and up against the beam at an angle. Roger cut a small
sample piece and did test fits along the entire length to make sure the final piece would fit.
After a lot of measuring and test fitting, he made the final cut and the piece fit perfectly.
Some visitors to the park are
treated to a nice late Saturday afternoon rainbow.
As it gets dark, Roger installs the trim rings on the 110-volt lights. Larry had already
installed the 12-volt LED lights a little earlier while Roger and Eric were working
on the ceiling boards on the other side of the room.
On Sunday, all efforts were focused on the Grand Opening of the warming hut. The crew brought up refreshments and chairs and did a thorough cleaning of the warming hut in preparation of the ribbon cutting.
Here is a copy of the invitation that was sent out to 130 invited guests.
The parking area started to
fill up by 11am with people arriving by 4-wheel drive and ATV.
Several people who did not have 4-wheel drive cars carpooled up with others.
The crowd starts to gather about 15 minutes before the ribbon cutting. Tucked away
inside the warming hut, about a dozen people are staying out of the brisk breeze.
Newspaper reporters from the Berlin Daily Sun and the Berlin Reporter also made
the trip and we are hoping to see articles and more pictures in their papers next week.
On Monday the work continued with Mike Roy from the WMRR club assisting a crew lead by Ethan Caron from Caron Stove shop in Lancaster with the installation of our new wood stove. By early afternoon, the stove was installed and the first warming hut fire had been lit. Mike said it heated the warming hut up very quickly.
We would like to extend our
sincere thanks to Caron's Stove Shop in Lancaster for their
generous donation. They provided us a great deal on a used-but-like-brand-new
Vermont Castings Aspen stove and then they donated all of the piping, cap,
roof connectors, roof supports, etc. plus gave us a free installation. The stove
has an easy to clean pull-out ash pan and can take logs up to 24" long.
Hopefully we can get the Caron crew on snowmobiles this winter so they
can see the warming hut in action for themselves.
It was such a hectic weekend that we did not get a chance to take that many pictures. But on the way out of the park, I just had to stop and take a picture of this section of Corridor 19 that runs along the waterline. This section of trail is about a mile long, but it is a critical connector between Corridor 11, Corridor 19, PT118 and Alternate 19. Over the past few years, it had fallen into disrepair from washouts and heavy ATV traffic.
The NH Bureau of Trails and the Androscoggin Valley ATV club teamed up to fix up this section of trail in time for snowmobile season. Chris Holt (NHBOT) ran a bulldozer down the trail and pushed off hundreds of rocks that were sticking out of the trail. Then he coordinated the dumping of 40 tri-axel loads of crushed gravel purchased through GIA grants to create a nice smooth surface on the trail. After the gravel was spread, Chris and his co-worker used a York rake to create a nice crown on the trail.
During all of this work, they had to be extremely careful not to disturb the water line which is buried just a few feet under the surface.
Thanks to work by the NHBOT and
funding from the Androscoggin Valley ATV club,
one of our most heavily used trails can now be groomed with a bare minimum of snow.
We will be working on the inside of the warming hut again next Saturday so if you can make it up to help, please send email to email@example.com
You will be recognized along with other volunteers on a workers plaque that will be mounted in the hut forever.