Trip report

Carroll work day September 7, 2019

Participants (riding with Rick) Rick Hines
Jim Cooley*
Julie Swetnam*
Shannon Robinson*
Jay Kennedy*
Nick Kennedy*
Jamie Euliss
Rita Worden
Martin Carmichael
Jeff Page
Randy Bruegger
Greg Fry


We finished anchoring the demo/practice cable to the silo floor and finished the installation of a waterproof LED light in the basement that was started on the prior work day. We got started on the installation of a new LED fixture in the silo. We repaired the roof of the school by replacing the torn section of the rubber roofing with a new 11’ by 12’ section of EPDM rubber. Jamie delivered a plaque made to honor Chris Danuser, Greg Fry and Ron Jaeger. We moved the picnic table and a steel wood rack to the Silo. The big effort was prepping the sky crapper for a move across the road to our land north of the silo. After cross bracing the sky crapper Greg Fry picked it up with his tractor and moved it to its new home. As we finished cleaning up and loading up Jay led Nick down the ladder for his first view of Carroll Cave.

The longer version:

Thanks to my five riders for showing up on time for the scheduled 6:00 AM departure.

After and uneventful trip we arrived at the schoolhouse at 9:40 AM and saw Rita, Martin and Randy had already arrived. I let them know that we would continue on to the silo to drop off tools and get a crew started working on projects there. Shannon, Jay and Nick stayed at the silo to work on lights and anchoring the demo/practice safety cable. We loaded up the EPDM roofing material that we left at the silo on the prior work day and drove back to the schoolhouse. Jim kept busy opening and closing the five gates between the silo and the schoolhouse. A process we repeated many times during the day. Hopefully by Sept 28th the Fredricks will have completed our new access road so we will have only one gate between the road and the silo.

Back at the schoolhouse we set up a ladder and climbed to the roof and found a corner of the roofing had torn loose from the edges. The trim on the vertical walls holding the roofing in place was screwed in to particle board that had disintegrated and allowed the screws to pull out and the roofing to blow back and tear. We moved the tires and other ballast used to hold the roofing in place, cut out the torn rubber, fitted a new sheet, cleaned the edges with acetone, and sealed the overlapping edges with 8” seam tape. Longer screws that reached into the 2 by framing were used to hold the outer edges in place. To prevent other edges from blowing loose we should use the longer screws all around the schoolhouse. We’ll save that for another day.

While we were working on the roof Jamie arrived from Springfield with the stainless-steel plaque Richard Thompson had made to honor Chris Danuser, Greg Fry and Ron Jaeger. Richard, who previously built the SS hatches in the silo, used his plasma cutter to make the 2’ by 3’ plaque. We will mount it near the base of the ladder and back light it with LEDs powered off the end of the rope lights in the shaft. We loaded and moved the Mike Hartley picnic table, a large metal firewood rack, and the historically significant Thunder Falls ladder to the silo.

We pulled nails from used 2x6s stored in the schoolhouse and then moved them to the sky crapper for cross-bracing. We screwed and lag bolted them around the sky crapper to stiffen it up for the move. The structure was bolted to 4x4s set in the ground. They were unbolted or cut off. Greg Fry arrived with his big tractor and helped us get one end of the sky crapper in the bucket of the tractor. With chains, straps and com-a-longs we attached the very top- heavy structure to the bucket. We soon found that tree branches needed to be removed to get down the path by the schoolhouse. Jim took my truck back to the silo to retrieve his chainsaw. As the tractor moved forward, we cut and trimmed trees to open a path. Eventually we made it through with only minor damage to the metal roof. It was a comical sight as Greg moved down the road with a two-story outhouse teetering on the front of the tractor. Next we discovered that it was difficult to cross the ditch at the side of the road to enter the pasture on the north. With so much weight cantilevered out in front of the tractor the rear wheels did not have enough traction to push the load up the far side of the ditch. After several tries and only spinning the tires, Greg backed up and gunned it. The outhouse bounced and swayed but made it across the ditch! I tightened up the com-a-longs and we were on our way again. After one more difficult ditch and three gates we finally made it to what I am confident will be the final resting place for the sky-crapper.

On a future work day we will need to remove the 2x6s, straighten the metal roof, build and install new steps, install treated lumber around the base and jack the structure up and set it on concrete blocks. We will also need a new large popcorn tin to store toilet paper in. Anyone have one?

Nick Kennedy, one of our newest members had never been in Carroll. His dad wanted to give him that experience. I was also interested in testing the relocated safety cable. As Jay and Nick suited up all the crew except my riders headed home. With Jay and Nick headed down the ladder Jim and Julie went ack to the schoolhouse to clean up and pick up the tools. After the Kennedy’s got off the ladder Shannon went down to determine if the cable was touching the rungs of the ladder. Fortunately, it was not, so it was no longer necessary to try to pull the ladder closer to the shaft wall. So, we did not need to use Jay’s hammer drill to mount new brackets. By the time Jay and Nick made it out Shannon and I were packed and ready to roll.

We had Mexican for dinner in Camdenton before starting the long drive home. Made it back to my place a little before 1:00 AM

Thanks to a great crew we got a lot done and had fun. It was good meeting Martin for the first time. He was great help and I hope to see him again. Also great to see Randy and Rita back at Carroll. And Great to get Julie and Nick down to Carroll for the first time. I thought I had all the tools we would need but we would have been in trouble if the crew had not come prepared. Rita had her favorite pry bar, Jim had a new chainsaw, Jay had a hammer drill, and Martin provided a needed tape measure. Jay also brought cave rescue gear that he donated. We now have three military field phones, a rescue skid, several rolls of phone wire on plastic spools and he even brought spools for the existing roll of wire we have. Rita mentioned several times how easy it was to lose a pry bar. After she left, I found her prized bar in my truck. The next day as I unpacked, I found Martin’s tape measure, and Dr Jay’s black bag (full of tools, not medical stuff). Thanks also to Greg Fry for spending much of his day helping us!

Rick Hines