Sunday, July 17, 2016

Week 7 - Ditch Diggin' and Weed Wackin'

This past week I was with maintenance for another hot and sweaty week. We had a couple of projects going on for that I was able to help out with. Monday and Tuesday were spent doing some graffiti removal on the infamous Crawford Road overpass. This overpass is part of our tour roads at COLO and a small portion of Crawford Road below falls within park boundaries but is owned and maintained by York County. There is graffiti on the tour road and the concrete guide rails, nearly the entire overpass structure, and on Crawford Road below. Some of the guys from maintenance and I were tasked with removing the graffiti off of the tour road and guide rails so visitors to the park don't have to see this very unsightly vandalism. With our limited supplies we were able to mostly accomplish (we weren't able to completely remove the graffiti but just fade it our significantly) this task after two days worth of work. 

Putting on my law enforcement hat for a second, I can tell you with absolute confidence our cleaning will likely be undone very quickly. This particular spot at is on multiple "Most Haunted Places in Virginia" lists for reasons and sightings that are based on events that park staff will tell you are definitely not true. Never the less, it attracts many thrill seekers and their spray paint. The graffiti has been an issue for decades and not much has been done besides occasional cleanings to combat it. However, COLO is now in the process of purchasing a camera system and multiple decoy cameras to place in view of the road. This camera will be motion activated and will alert us as to when someone is there so a ranger or York County police can be dispatched. The decoy cameras are there due to Crawford Road's reputation as a place used by people to shoot firearms. The decoys reduce the chance of the working camera being taken out. Additionally, COLO's rangers patrol the spot often and are citing anyone they find in hopes of deterring more people from coming and leaving their mark on the overpass. 

On Wednesday I tried my hand out at trench digging. I accompanied the same crew from Crawford over to Surrender Field to dig up old drainage piping that had become clogged. With the help of a backhoe we ripped the tubing out and dug a drainage trench into the hole created. It's a temporary solution but as you can see from the picture it does work during a rainstorm. Hopefully, a new piping system will be installed to keep this area free of flooding in the future. Thursday, I made my return to trash duty but didn't return to the same truck I had ridden in before. That truck had been involved in an accident on the parkway a few days earlier so we were using our slightly older and much bumpier spare trash-truck. However, we made the rounds as usual and I even had time to snap the shot below overlooking Surrender Field. I finished up the week with some good old weed-wacking. I weed-whacked and mowed throughout my teenage years so I'm used to the work and really don't mind it. However, I did mind the 112 degree Fahrenheit heat index. Nevertheless, we stayed hydrated and even finished all the work after missing the calls from our supervisor telling us to come back in due to the heat.

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