Taking our chances with the weather
This time of year our weather is very changeable. While we look at the weather forecasts, the truth is they don't mean much. The local mountains and winds determine what kind of day we will have. On most days I don't determine the adjenda until I study the skies on my drive up to the lake. Even then I'll weigh a couple of the crew's opinions before we strike a course of action.
There's just over seven weeks until opening day and we have six weeks of concrete sculpting to accomplish. That means we have to take some chances with the weather and push it HARD. This morning the weatherman called for rain but not until the afternoon. The sky was cloudy but the ceiling was high. We decided to forgo the underneath mudding and go for the gusto. We would review our decision every two hours or at each crew break. The last remaining facia of the large building was our first item on the adjenda, then Peter jumped to the branches on the treehouse while I started in on a thirty foot deck wall. All of this work was out in the open.
At noon the weather was still good but the sky was getting darker. We decided to push on and started in on eight fence posts and three light standards. The Wave Swinger sign post was the next to get the treatment. As Peter and I mudded the crew abandoned painting, wiring and other tasks to help sculpt. The rain still held off and so Peter and I tackled fifty feet of retaining wall, pushing our luck a little more. A couple of times a few raindrops fell but then held off. We worked on, continually looking up at the clouds.
As the crew took a quick break at second coffee a very light misty rain started. This time the skies didn't brighten. The rolls of plastic were quickly rolled out and the tarps were unfolded to cover things up in a hurry. While we could stop the application of the concrete we were not nearly done. We still had to sponge off the 'dirt banks' and spray on the texture. There were also plenty of woodgrain to carve. Because the rain was now starting to fall seriously and the humidity was rising, the concrete wasn't hardening as fast as usual. It takes more skill and more care to carve woodgrain into wet concrete but the crew was up to the task. We were shoulder to shoulder as we worked. Look close in the picture and you can count nine happy people leaving their mark in the concrete as they worked to beat the rain. The rest of the crew were scrambling to set up more tarps and cover, starting with the freshest concrete and working towards the dryer stuff done earlier in the day.
By quitting time we were done and the rain was coming down hard. There would be no overtime today. As I drove out I snapped this picture of the park from outside the fence. There's not a lot of color yet on the lower areas but the concrete work on this corner of the park is now done and looking good.
Happlily no concrete was lost to the rain today. We had stolen another whole day of progress by pushing our luck with the weather. Tomorrow, with the weatherman's current forecast, it looks like we will have to work the entire day under cover. But then again, just maybe, we will get lucky one more time...