A Lighthouse in the Mountains
Assuming that the transport route back to us would be the same route that it took to reach its original destination, we immediately should have known better because we all know what happens when you assume something. All of the logistics and planning, (wide load permits, pilot cars, etc) were no sooner set in motion, that it was at that point that we realized that ongoing maintenance and repairs were currently being performed on the New River Gorge Bridge. A resurfacing project had begun that had extended throughout the entire summer had bottlenecked traffic down to one lane, effectively severing the main route back to its future home! Again, Art, Doug and the rest of the crew calmly took it in stride as the initially planned route took a detour of over 100 miles, literally circumnavigating our location!
As plans were being made for moving day, we had some additional groundwork to be done at our location before we could receive such a large load. Although our existing entrance could easily handle the largest of fifth wheel campers and motorcoaches that visit us on a regular basis, it could in no way accommodate what was heading our direction. Back once again to the West Virginia Department of Transportation to acquire the necessary permits required to double the width of our entrance and roadway leading to the site.
To further complicate issues, after watching the tower sections being transported last summer “tail first” on the seven axle stretch semi rigs; and having planned the landing site layout accordingly, ours arrived “head first”, opposite of what we had planned. This is where God’s hand truly intervened in the form of Roger Hilsher, the driver. After taking just one look to orientate him to the landing zone, Roger expertly BACKED his rig ¼ mile through our winding entrance road perfectly into place, in one shot! From there, it was simply a matter of coordinating the efforts of two 50 ton cranes, again, kudos to Doug and the operators at Beckley Crane.
Finally it was ours, lock, stock and barrel. Now what? Back to Rick, the initial instigator of the whole thing on where to turn next. Rick informed us that by sheer coincidence we had a resident tower expert living in our midst. Bill Toney, owner of Engineering and Testing 2000 has devoted most of his professional life to the erection of towers of all description and was the lead engineer on the entire Beech Ridge Project. The thought of recycling a wind tower, itself the very symbol of the next generation of green energy, piqued his interest, and from that moment, Bill and his Engineer Assistant Nycoma Scott have been a continual source of technical wizardry in guiding us through the engineering portions of the project.