Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Goodbye Basket

One of the major structures within the QVC is the huge rolling crane that was originally used as a drilling platform when excavations were being done inside the building. Air lines for jackhammers ran to the large basket that was the work surface and blocks drilled off the face were slid onto the basket to be lowered to the ground and dumped. Heavy equipment then hauled these blocks out of the building.

In later yeas the crane and basket took on other duties, serving as a work area for paleontologists who needed to study specimens exposed on the many steep areas of the quarry face. It was also used as a work platform for curatorial activities, such as numbering, cleaning and repair. Some readers may remember the experience of being on the basket and examining the spectacular Camarasaurus skull on the top center of the cliff face.Being fifty feet above the ground and looking across the ancient river bed strewn with bones is something not easily forgotten.

For reasons I’ll discuss in a future post, the crane and basket will not be part of the QVC.The basket and crane were rolled to the east end of the QVC and the basket lowered down to the ground one last time. Heavy equipment dragged it out of the building and into the parking lot, where it awaits recycling.

“Well getting the basket out is the easy bit ” you say, “but HOW will you remove the crane?”You shall find that out in the fullness of time, constant reader.I don’t want to give away that surprise quite yet.

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