May 26, 2007

With most of the wreckage cleared away, and the snow finally gone from the trail, it was time to bring in the materials to start construction. We were not able to save much in usable sizes unfortunately, so I had to order all new material.

I had the trusses prefabricated by Kilrich lumber and ordered the materials from them including framing, metal roofing, sheeting and ceiling panels. It was really more than we could afford but I figured, we have one shot at a helicopter lift, we might as well make the most of it.

After talking to a couple of helicopter companies, we went with Fireweed Helicpoters. We have several interesting connections to the owner, Bruno Meili. First of all, we bought our house from him. Secondly, he happens to be the son in law of our nearest neighbours to the dojo, Cal and Norma Waddington (5 km as the helicopter flies). Cal kindly offered the use of his horse pasture to stage the helicopter lift. And finally, Bruno trained with Tak Sameshima (Gima-ha Shotokan-Ryu) in Whiterock. It was meant to be.

The lumber and trusses were delivered to the Waddington's on May 25. It had been prebundled into loads suitable for a 206 helicopter; around 3200 lbs. This was good, in that the loads were solidly strapped, but it was not so good because, despite the fact that we lay down plenty of "dunnage" under the loads, the ton and a half bundles sank into the soft turf. Ergo, we had a great deal of difficulty getting the straps under the loads so the we could hook them up to the helicopter. After an hour or so of manoevering, however, things were set to go for the morning.

Once again friends and club members turned out to help with this momentous (and slightly nerve wracking) task. Helene was assisted at the pick up end by neighbour Doug Davidge and Cheryl Leask. At the cabin, our head carpenter Maureen directed Cheryl Buchan, Angel Dunlop, Peter Deer, Colin Urquhart and Judy, Keely and Shae-Lynn Boyko. We neatly laid out more dunnage in the clearing in front of the dojo for Joe the pilot to place the loads on. Did I mention it was really windy? Well that meant we were just friggin' glad the loads made it down intact and somewhere in the clearing. In under an hour, five loads and about 5 tons of materials were on site.

The day didn't end there, however, most of the crew stayed on to help prepare for getting a wall up. Studs were cut, the foundation cleaned off and levelled and the wall laid out. Next week, Raising the Walls!



Waddington's horse pasture where the lads are trying to lever up the load to get straps underneath..

Bruno Meili, owner of Fireweed Helicopters

Here come the trusses! Yeah they made it!