Saturday, December 30, 2006

Desert tortoise fence erected

From the Mojave Road Report

The following volunteers worked on erecting desert tortoise exclusion fence around building sites at the Goffs Cultural Center; Chris Ervin, Leslie Ervin, Don Johnson, Tom Smith, Harry Ridge, John Harrington, and Phil Motz,

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Cultural resources survey conducted

Report by Chris Ervin
Photo by Dennis Casebier

Archaeologists Russell L. Kaldenberg, MA and Judyth E. Reed, MA, walked the entire site to identify cultural resources which might occur on the footprint of the new library.

The site was intensively walked, zigzagging back and forth, looking for anything that might be over 50 years of age. The grounds were found to be neat and tidy and no scrap of any trash, debris, or negligent waste was expected.

The survey produced predictable results. No archaeological or historical materials were found within the footprint of the building site. No materials were found in any of the construction zones or laydown areas, which are adjacent to the footprint of the building, but adjoin the area to be disturbed.

No mitigation measures were recommended as there were no cultural resources, either prehistoric or historic, in or near the footprint of the building site.

This survey fulfills a County requirement for compliance with our conditional use permit and the state environmental quality act.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

We hit the hard stuff

Report by Dennis Casebier

I talked with Raymond Ward this morning. It was the first chance I've had to hear what actually happened when the rig broke down last week. They hit some really hard stuff and had gotten down to about 420 feet when they broke through into clay. So
he turned the speed up.

After about ten feet the Rotary Table broke. This is the topside mechanism that runs everything - transfers power to everything. He is having trouble getting parts. At this point it is open-ended - he don't know when he'll have the parts.

Turns out that unless he gets the parts before the 11th of November, it isn't likely he'll be back out here until after Thanksgiving ... that because he'll be gone from the area for a few weeks.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

We have water!

Report by Dennis Casebier

We have water! The well drillers had plans to stay into the weekend. But they left early. They got down to 400 feet and something broke in the rig (topside). So they pulled all the pipe out and took the broken parts with them for repair. Supposed to be back Monday.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Drillers Return!

Report by Dennis Casebier

The drillers (Raymond Ward and one other) came back at about 3:00 p.m. this afternoon. They are hopeful of drilling through the week. I won't be here so I have introduced the driller to Carl Weikel.

Raymond brought us a huge antique pump with engine for our garden display. Something he and his father before him used in the business for many years. It matches our decorations. Dennis

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Update on storms and well

Report by Dennis Casebier
Saturday morning

Turns out the drillers were down 315 feet when they had to quit because of approaching storm yesterday evening. That was the first storm. During the night we were hit by three other storm cells. Lots of lightning and thunder AND the total for these storms is about one inch.

Lots of water in a short time. And some hail. Water running everywhere. I've been out this morning repairing waterways with a shovel while it is still wet. The drillers were up and had the rig going by about 8:00 a.m. They got down about 100 feet yesterday and hope for at least that much today. I expect they'll go home this afternoon.

And there is the continuing concern of more storms, although it looks clear to the west. Anyway, we definitely got a rain storm ... not just a duster. We really needed it. When we went into this storm we had just a little over an inch for the entire year ... now we are over two inches. Goffs Road is washed and flooded in both directions.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Drillers down to 300 foot level

Report by Dennis Casebier

Drilling was slow today. When the drillers were forced to shut down at about 7:00 p.m. by an approaching storm, they were down about 300 feet.

There were storms all about during the day today but all we received was sprinkles. Then a real storm approached after dark from the south at about 7:00 p.m. Had major lightning overhead by about 7:30 p.m. We received 16/100ths of an inch in a short time. Could have been as much as 10/100ths since the rain gauge clocks 4/100ths at a time. Anyway, it was enough to make rivers and streams around the premises. It was more than a dust settler!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Well drilling begins

Report by Dennis Casebier

The drillers (three men) arrived late yesterday evening and got started early this morning. Since they feel confident they know what is down there, they are drilling with mud from the beginning. That requires lots of water. They have a truck with a
big 1,500 gallon tank.

They have brought a travel trailer for sleeping. We've got it hooked up to electricity and water. It is parked next to the double toilets on the Boulevard of Dreams. Phil Motz is on top of all that.

A huge pile of gravel was delivered yesterday so it is at the ready.

They were able to start drilling mid-morning. They went down 60 feet and stopped. This is standard practice. This first 60 feet is then lined with a large steel casing. Once that's installed things will go faster. The whole thing won't take long UNLESS something goes wrong - and something usually does go wrong. Progress will depend upon how bad any mishap will be.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Well drillers arrive

Report by Dennis Casebier
Wednesday evening

For the past several days - beginning last Saturday the 7th of October - Eagle Well Drilling and Pump Service of Newberry Springs has been moving equipment out here in preparation for drilling the new well. This evening after dark they arrived pulling a travel trailer that they use for living quarters on the job. They intend to begin drilling tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

New building designer plan review

Report by Dennis Casebier

Building Designer Paul Geissinger and wife Shari were here for three hours. After lunch John Harrington and I met in the Schoolhouse with Paul and went thoroughly through the draft of Library/Depot plans that Leggetts prepared and which Chris forwarded to us a few days ago.

Without going into specifications, the bottom line is that this isn't going to be difficult. Mr. Geissinger plans to have a revised form of the plans ready to discuss by Friday 13 October 2006. They will be reviewed by John Harrington and any Board members that want to join in.

There'll be a fee for certification by an engineer he works with. Also there'll be a fee for someone to do the heating and energy calculations.

Once the plans are completed, we'll have to take them to a truss manufacturer (one of the few things they have in Needles - I've done this before) and get truss calculations.

Then the plans go to the building inspector and he reviews and approves them and issues a permit.

John Harrington has decided to delay his trip to Michigan so he can participate in the plan review that will result in completion of the next draft by Friday 13 October 2006.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Well drilling contract signed

Report by Dennis Casebier

Chris Ervin gained CCHE approval to award the well drilling contract to Eagle Well Drilling and Pump Service of Newberry Springs. Into today's mail, along with a down payment and the contract signed by Dennis Casebier, went a map showing where the well is to be located.

Ray Ward of Eagle Drilling said he plans to get on our project about the middle of September. To meet a County Fire requirement, we're going to need water tanks for storing 10,000 gallons of water.

Thanks to John Harrington, Phil Motz, and Carl Weikel for the field work necessary to lay out where the well is to be located.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mojave Desert Archives Groundbreaking

GOFFS, CA – July 15, 2006 – At long last we broke ground for the new library archives building at the Goffs Cultural Center. The structure, funded in large part by the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, is to be built in the image of the old Goffs Railroad Depot.

A nice group of long-time supporters gathered in 110+ degree heat to witness the ceremony. A brief opening statement was made by Dennis G. Casebier, Executive Director MDHCA, who introduced Chris Ervin, president of the MDHCA. President Ervin stepped to the front, made carefully selected and poignant remarks, referred to our long-standing mission, what the new building will mean to humanity, and then proceeded to remove the first shovel of dirt.

For the ceremony, Mr. Ervin made use of a specially inscribed gold-plated ceremonial shovel provided by Director John Fickewirth. The shovel will be mounted on a wall in the Schoolhouse until the library is completed and then it will adorn a wall in the reading room of the new structure.

Following Chris Ervin’s lead, each director came forward and removed a shovel of dirt, accompanied by general approval of the assembled crowd. Following that, each other person present had an opportunity to participate in the ceremony.

By then everyone was getting warm… say, HOT. So we adjourned to the air-conditioned comfort of the Schoolhouse for follow-on speeches and to await the dinner hour. In the Schoolhouse Dennis Casebier passed out mementos in the form of miniature inscribed shovels, also provided by Mr. Fickewirth for the occasion.

Once everyone was there, President Ervin proposed a toast, followed by a couple more toasts from others. The champagne and champagne flutes were provided by Chris and Leslie Ervin. Then dinner was ready. Roast beef and special beans were prepared by Master Chef Dale McBride, potato salad and cole slaw were procured from a Bullhead City caterer, and other dishes were contributed by Betty Burton and Shirley Roby.

Once everyone had enjoyed the superb dinner we all indulged in dessert, a sheet cake appropriately decorated for the occasion and provided by Gail and Donna Andress. On the way over to Goffs from Nelson, Nevada, Gail had attempted to destroy the cake when it tried to slide off the seat and he grabbed for it, but Donna rose to the occasion and protected the cake. Meanwhile, Gail had gotten a handful of icing, which, at the urging of his bride of 62 summers, he proceeded to lick off his hand, turning his tongue and inside of his mouth (so far as could be seen) bright blue.

It was a smallish but very special group that gathered to take note of this important moment. I will confess, though, that I favor the celebrations that occur when something is finished more than marking the beginning. I am very much looking forward to that day a couple of years from now when the library building stands in all its splendor with the Board of Directors and our supporters gathered to honor that achievement.

Along those thought lines, my mind went back to that day in November of 1983 when a large group of the Friends of the Mojave Road gathered on the banks of the Rio Colorado of the West, just opposite Fort Mojave. There was an oversized yellow ribbon stretched across the road. A pair of ceremonial scissors (probably a full 30” long) had been provided, and Dennis Casebier stepped up and cut the ribbon, thereby signaling publication of the first Mojave Road Guide and the opening of the old wagon road as an interpreted four-wheel drive backcountry recreation trail. Twenty-three years have passed and the Mojave Road continues to serve and inspire the public. It was a day full of pride.

And so, within two years from now, we look forward to experiencing another of those milestone moments, of which it has been our honor to have had many, when Chris Ervin steps up to the door of the new library with an oversized pair of scissors and thereby dedicates and initiates operation of the Mojave Desert Archives to the interests of mankind. I predict many of you will be there and you will share the pride in having been part of this.

Those who participated in the groundbreaking ceremony included: Gail and Donna Andress, Jere Baker, Betty Burton, Chris and Leslie Ervin, Dave Given, John Harrington, Don Johnson, Randy Kimball, Roger and Virginia Leggett, Dick and Kathy MacPherson, John and Barbara Marnell, Dale McBride, Steve and Mary Mongrain, Phil Motz, Kib and Shirley Roby, and Carl Weikel.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Goffs Depot model completed

Report by Chris Ervin

John Harrington has completed a beautiful model of the Goffs Depot. This talented man put in nearly 400 hours constructing this large miniature over the past five months.

The model was built using historic documents and photos. It is so detailed that the roof can be lifted from the second story to reveal rooms inside.

The long, one-story freight building attached to the two-story depot had varying lengths over the years. For reasons of practicality, a shortened manifestation of the freight building was chosen for the model.

It is truly a wonderful contribution for visualizing how the finished Library will look. The model is currently on display in the Goffs Schoolhouse Museum.