03-02-2005 thru 03-08-2005
(Click on any picture to enlarge)
Another call and we are headed up to Flagstaff and then down to Mormon Lake. Meeting
at Forest Road 132 to go up to Mormon Mountain. It is a brisk morning !!! We haven't
had to go to this site yet this year with the Snocat, so it should be an interesting trip.
We are told that the problem is a building housing a generator has collapsed because of the
snow and ice, and we will need to transport crews, and equipment to the site to repair the
damage. I wasn't really ready for what I saw when we arrived on the site.
As you can see the snow and ice have caved in the structure, about 3-4 feet of snow is on the roof. There is a
large TV tower next to this structure, and my thoughts were that ice built up on the FM antenna attached to the
side of this tower, and when the heaters in the FM antenna kicked in all this ice came falling down on top of the
building, causing it to collapse !!!!
As you can see from these pictures of inside the building, the roof came down on top of the generator, and
a beam was actually being held up by the Turbo charger and the cast iron manifold of the generator. Being
that the manifold is cast iron, it was very lucky that it did not get broken. Even with all the building damage,
the generator still ran OK. Part of the damage to the generator was an almost completely mashed Turbo air
duct from the radiator to the engine. Still minor damage to the generator, considering what it could have been.
Next item to get done was to get the weight of the snow off the roof top. There was about 3-4 feet of it, with
mostly ice on the bottom of it. We all took turns shoveling, in between breaks to catch a breath because of
the thin air at this elevation. Nothing makes you feel more out of shape as to have to shovel or walk thru
deep snow. The snow was between 5 to 8 feet deep, and the door to the building had to be dug out to gain
access into the building. I also used the snocat to clear an area in front of the old garage door.
Omigosh !!!! Isn't that the Verizon Wireless guy in the picture on the right ???
(Can you hear me now ??) Heeeeeeee's everyway !!!!!!
Pulling a fully loaded trailer thru the snow (actually dragging it thru the snow), puts a heavy load on any Snocat,
Our Tucker doesn't seem to mind that, and can easily pull heavy items. However, that doesn't mean that it
can't break from time to time. We hit a tree stump on the way up the hill pulling the fully loaded trailer, the
tree stump was covered by the snow and it caused one of the cleats or grousers on the track to split completely
in half. It took a few minutes to remove the broken cleat and then we continued up the hill, only at a very slow speed so as not to further damage the track. Luckily, the crew had brought a welder, and we welded the cleat
back together and re-assembled it back on the track. Snocat was back to normal again, ready to work.
After clearing the snow off, the following day, the Snocat was stacked with 2x4's and 4x4's to haul up. Looked
like a mini Home Depot. We actually got 4 people into the cab. The "Cat" didn't mind, and the heater works
The following day, the weather turned ugly again !!!
Finished about 2AM on 3/5. It was just starting to snow on the way down the hill, by the time we had loaded
the Snocat on the trailer, there were already several inches on the ground. By the time I was able to drive
back to Flagstaff on Lake Mary road, I could not see the road in front of me. Turned onto I-17 and started
South to Phoenix, just pure white, going about 10 miles per hour, almost couldn't tell where the road was, and
could only see about 20 feet in front of me. Suddenly bright lights passing me, it was the snow plow !!!
Sure was glad to see him. Stayed behind him as best I could, doing about 30 miles per hour. Only one lane
was open, and other vehicles were passing me. Snow plow was about 1/4 mile ahead of me by the time we got
half way to Mund's Park. The road was filling back up real fast. It was this way all the way down to the top
of the Rim at 17 mile hill, then it turned to rain. I stopped in Camp Verde to get a break, a cup of coffee, and
some fuel. On to Tempe, arrived about 6AM. I had time to take a shower, change clothes, and get into the
car to head to Tucson for my Son's soccer tournament that weekend. (They won the tournament for their age
Back up the hill on Monday the 8th, and here is the finished temporary re-assembled building. Roof is pushed
back up to almost normal, and sealed water tight. A plywood wall was installed inside, behind the garage door, to
provide security, and keep out the snow and weather.
And on goes Winter ................. awaiting the next adventure with the "Big Tucker" Snocat !!!!!!