Friday, December 31, 2010


Just another foggy day in Jensen.  Split Mountain is somewhere out there.
 Well we were hit with another snow storm, dumping about 10 more inches of the infernal stuff and socking us in with another fog and no sun for days on end. While it makes for a real pain getting out of the driveway or riding down the road, the overhanging gull-wing structure of the Quarry Visitor Center roof provides just enough protection to keep the snow out of the trench along the forms for the south wall.

Just before the storm arrived the concrete was poured for the south wall. Tarps were placed over the length of the wall and propane heaters pumped hot air under the tarps. After two days the crews starting taking the forms down from around the concrete.

Propane tank and  heater (yellow) pumping hot air under the tarp.

The north side of the south wall, with forms already removed and the tarps over it. On each side of the wall three heaters are pumping warm air under the tarp.

However, temperature is critical for the proper curing of the cement. At 270F concrete will freeze. Keeping the temperature above that is essential. Up into the 40s would be great, but at least above freezing is the minimum. So after the forms are down the traps are left in place and six propane heaters continue to run, pumping hot air under the blankets. That will continue for several more days. Extra tanks are stored on site to replace those that run empty.

Keeping in mind the minimum temperature necessary for the concrete to cure, look at the thermometer reading at my house at 8:00 AM on December 31! Since I live only four miles from the QVC the temperatures are likely to be no better at the work site. So which will prevail, mother nature or the propane heaters?

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