Thursday, August 3, 2017

Road Work in Stehekin

the water truck attempts to keep the dust down in the staging area, while the chipper turns logs into mountains of chips

The Lower Field - which is often a wonderful place to view wildlife throughout the seasons -with the view of McGregor mountain from the valley floor to the summit- has been transformed. There are huge piles of logs, rock, trailers, heavy equipment, a giant chipper that is turning the logs into mountains of something akin to garden mulch, a rock crusher and other machinery. The lower field has become the staging area for the equipment and materials necessary for the eventual paving of the Stehekin Valley road. 
Lower Field - (picture take during a previous summer)
This summer, road work is going on in Stehekin which will hopefully improve the road for all who use it. The project is slated to be completed at the end of the 2018 summer season. With heavy equipment moving trees, rocks and soil, those who travel Stehekin's road are learning to schedule for the inevitable delays that the road work causes. The local flaggers do their best to get the travelers through safely, and often offer a friendly word while the drivers wait for the go-ahead. 
the Lower Field as a staging area for the road work (smoke driting in from fires in British Columbia)
Many are learning to be patient while enjoying the smoother, dust-free roads (the water trucks are working daily to keep the dust down). We are assured that when the road construction is done, the lower field will be revegetated -and an alfalfa crop will be reestablished. 

In a couple of years, we will once again enjoy the idyllic wildlife scenes: deer grazing; bears -fresh out of their winter sleep- filling their hungry bellies with the first tender greens of the year; Canada geese gathering in the growing alfalfa -their last hurrah before their soon-to-appear hatchlings require all their attention. 
hay bales dry and ready to be put in the barn

By 2019, or 2020, summertime will again provide scenes reminiscent of years gone by, with hay in the field -cut, dried, raked and then in bales, ready to be picked up for feeding to the local livestock. This field was part of an original homestead, and the has been cultivated for over 100 years.

Until the alfalfa is growing again, please be patient and don't be too surprised by what you will see in the Lower Field.

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