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40 Days to Showtime

Published in Ralph Bolt's Blog
15 January 2014

Building the Train Station

1-15-14 Minus 5 degrees Fahrenheit

Connie  Adkins, Ice Alaska Operations Chairman, was out again today working with the Chinese artists as construction continues on the Train Depot. The blocks comprising it are 5'x8' by around 28 inches and weigh well over 5000 pounds. Note how they lift it by simply boring a hole in the ice at the center of one edge of the block and lift it with a heavy nylon strap. Connie is very particular about those straps. The slightest bit of wear and she consigns them to other purposes that don't involve lifting in the presence of people or valuable structures. Over the years she has developed a keen sense for how to sling the ice with the straps so as to effect a perfect lift. Note the near perfect balance of the big block.


Later on, as we get into the competitions, you'll see how she straps finished pieces of sculptures and lifts them into place. It's all quite interesting to me. As she moves the block into place, the guys on top talk (in Chinese) to the guy below who directs Connie as she manipulates the block to the precise spot. They have to be correct within fractions of an inch--once she places the block, they cannot move it. The trees in the background are a spruce grove within which we have 50 sites for our smaller single block sculptures. I'll have much more to say and show about that in a few weeks. More later, Ralph Bolt.


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34 Days to Showtime

Published in Ralph Bolt's Blog
21 January 2014

Maze Staging & Construction

1-21-14 Plus 30 Fahrenheit      

It was a great day for a few small projects outside at the Ice Park. Warm and at least partly sunny. The Chinese crew has all but finished the train station, and they're now working on the big maze that will confuse kids and adults alike. When the sun gets to work on the ice it will clear up and be virtually transparent. But that doesn't help one find the way through the maze.


The first two pics show the ice as it was staged for construction of the maze at around noon today. By 2:30, the crew had made significant progress on the outer wall.


The next significant project will be the big slides coming down the ramp we've built on the side of one of our storage buildings. They're the most used structures in the entire Kid's Park which will have scores of small slides, twirlies, bowls, whimsical animals, and other attractions for little and big kids. By next week, construction on all those features will be in full swing. More later. Ralph Bolt

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