Fence work, round 2

25 04 2013

Time to choose: Cheesecake or fence work.

Dessert in the office or working off the cheesecake you could have had.

Lucky for us – the mustangs – a six-man, one-woman Forest Service crew and one BLM’er voluntarily gave up cheesecake to build fence with the Forest Service’s Tom Kelly and San Juan Mountains Association’s Kathe Hayes on Spring Creek Basin’s southeastern boundary fence.

Sound familiar? It should. This section is north of the section of southeastern boundary fence the University of Missouri students rebuilt when they were here on alternative spring break at the end of March. We had hoped to knock it all out while they were here, but while we rebuilt a good section of fence, and built the H-braces for this last section, we didn’t have time then to remove the old wire, restring the new wire and insert staves in the last section Kathe had scouted.

So on a beautiful day in Disappointment Valley, that last bit was what this crew finished.

Let me introduce ya’ll to the cast of characters:


Front row from left: Sara, Dave, Kathe and Derrick. Back row from left: Tom, Kevin, Kevin, Paul and Sean. Derrick was the group’s lone BLM’er.

To get started (and thank you, Mizzou students, for building the braces a month ago!), the crew unstapled and unwired the old barbed wire strands, then rolled that wire. Perfect wreaths were insisted upon. No one wanted to be “that guy” with sloppy wreaths. Happily, we had a crew of perfect-wire-wreath-rolling-peeps!

Kathe Hayes rolls a perfect barbed wire wreath.

Kathe perfects her wreath roll.

Paul and Derrick roll old barbed wire to pack out.

Paul demonstrates his on-the-ground roll technique while Derrick finishes a rolled wreath.

That was the un-building. Then the crew moved to re-building:


Tom, our fence-building guru, checked the straightness of the fence …


Derrick pounded re-aligned T-posts while Kevin, right, and Paul, left, looked on supervised and Kathe documented …


Sara and Dave walked with Sean and Kevin to unroll new wire for the fence …


Kathe and Paul used the miracle swizzler to attach wire strands to the T-posts …

Miracle tool.

Ahhh … two twists’ll tighten!

And …


Kevin, Kevin, Sean and Sara wired wooden staves between the T- and wooden posts.

Voila! What a crew!

Tom said the second-best part of the work day is lunch. One of the Kevins (Sara/h and Kevin: names of the month), naturally and without missing a beat, noted that the best part of the work day is – of course! – quitting time. I was too busy eating lunch to take pix of everyone eating lunch (the most interesting included cold pizza and a tuna salad avalanche with Doritos primer), so here are two pix of quitting time:

Derrick (BLM), Kevin, Sean, Paul, Kevin, Tom Kelly, Kathe Hayes, Dave and Sara.

Photo suggestion by Tom to show the view looking southish toward the Glade. If you look closely, you can see the fire lookout tower – Benchmark Lookout. It’s on the farthest hill basically between Sean’s and Paul’s helmets (and yes, managers, we received the safety talk(s)). From left: Derrick, Kevin, Sean, Paul, Kevin, Tom, Kathe, Dave and Sara.

Dave, Derrick (BLM), Tom Kelly, Kathe Hayes, Kevin, Kevin, Paul, Sara and Sean.

Then I made ’em all smile again – say mustang! – so I could take their pic looking southeastish and showing off the new fence. (Disclaimer: This actually is part of the section the students rebuilt, but there were more trees in the section these guys rebuilt, and this had the more open view!) The previous pic was taken just up the hill to the left looking out to the right.

Thanks for your marvelous work, guys and gals! It was a fun day, and hopefully it beat the cheesecake (though I hope your co-workers saved you some … or Kathe makes another one just for you all!).



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