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24 Days to Showtime

Published in Ralph Bolt's Blog
31 January 2013

1-31-14  Minus 5

In just three or four days, the activity level at the Ice Park has gone from relaxed to hectic.  Things are happening all over and they develop and change in just a few hours.

The Chinese continue working on the first big ice slide.  They cut the big 4x6' blocks into 8-inch slabs for their construction ice.  And the Mongolian team was busy building ice cars for the kids park.  They have at least three of them under construction.  I can't wait to get pics of little kids sitting in them with their hands on the steering wheel of their hot rod.

At the other end of the park the team building the ice chapel has made much progress.  They're up three or four tiers and all is going well.  Each of the blocks must be cut with different angles on four surfaces.  The basic shape of the chapel will be like half an igloo--sort of like a bandshell but it will have a solid vertical wall where the opening of the bandshell would be.

Each block on the dome part must be cut with an angled bottom and top layer in order for the blocks to gradually bend inward and with angled sides to allow the blocks to form the half-circle.  They use a saw with a special jig to do the cutting.  Notice that it's simply an electric chainsaw mounted on a hand-built stand.  It's a fascinating engineering feat and I'd love to be a part of the team.  But I have other duties.

As I stepped out late this afternoon to head home, the University Fire Department truck drove up.  They headed over to the skating rink which Howard Earles has been preparing.  We have no well of our own on site--all our water is hauled in and stored in two 1500-gallon tanks.  There's none available for the rink, even if we had a way to get it over there.  So the FD does us a big favor by hauling thousands of gallons of water over for our rink.  And it's fun to watch them treat the rink as if it's a big grass fire.  I especially like the big water cannon that shot the water up into a long arc and dropped it onto the pond in a foggy rainstorm.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

More later.

Ralph Bolt