Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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July 2, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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July 2, 2014
 

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10A Wednesday, July 2, 2014 eeamer Ktver uunelm A 75-ton crane, secured with an additional 60 tons of counter weight, lifts a 28-ton drill truck across the railroad tracks and onto the bridge leading to the Two Rivers Soccer Camp on May 23. After Dickens Drilling put in a new well at the camp, the process of moving the company's drill back across the tracks was repeated on June 13. Photo submitted Well done: Crane helps camp open on schedule Dan McDonald Managing Editor drncdonald@plumasnews.corn When Dickens Drilling co-owner Ken Muir agreed to drill a new well at the Two Rivers Soccer Camp near Graeagle, he knew it was going to be a challenge. The challenge wasn't drilling the well itself; Muir is an expert in the field with 22 years of experience. The problem was getting his 28-ton drill across the Middle Fork of the Feather River to the soccer camp. The tunnel under the railroad tracks leading to the bridge crossing the river is just big enough for a passenger car or small truck. The only way for Muir's drill truck to reach the camp was to pick it up and lift it over the tracks and onto the bridge. "This was a first for me," Muir said. "It was really something to see." What Muir saw was his precious equipment hoisted high in the sky by an enormous crane. Two Rivers owner Dick Schwendinger hired the giant 75-ton crane from Orange County-based Bragg Crane Service. Getting the crane to the site was a major undertaking in itself. It required four flat-bed trucks just to transport the additional counter weights "1 honestly didn't believe they could move a 28-ton drill like that. That was the biggest crane I've ever seen." Ken Muir Dickens Drilling co-owner that would be needed for the job. More than 60 tons of extra weight was required to secure the crane. Muir said he took as much tooling off the drill truck - about 8,000 pounds - as he could to make it lighter. Muir admitted he was a bit nervous on May 23 when he watched his truck hoisted high over his head and moved across the tracks: "I didn't know they were going to lift it that high," Muir said. "It was way up there." The entire process lasted about six hours. When it was finished, Muir drove into the camp and began drilling. Muir said his role in the operation was easy compared to what Two Rivers' owner Schwendinger had to do. Aside from securing mounds of costly permits, Schwendinger arranged and paid for the crane. He also convinced the Union Pacific to shut down the tracks for six hours. "Dick did a fantastic job getting this done before the camp opened," Muir said. "It was a two-week running battle that involved a tremendous amount of coordination on his part. He was constantly on the phone with (the Union Pacific headquarters in) Omaha. I can't say enough about what he had to do to make this happen." Muir said the new well doubled the water output for the soccer camp. The world-renown camp, located in a forested setting where Jamison Creek meets the Middle Fork, hosts more than 2,000 young athletes from all over the country each summer. After Muir's company successfully drilled a new well, it was time to lift the drill back across the tracks. So they repeated the process on June 13. And Muir was just as amazed as he was the first time. "I honestly didn't believe they could move a 28-ton drill like that," Muir said. !'That was the biggest crane I've ever seen." Lakes Basin gr0000ndeur The clear waters of Long .Lake are seen from its namesake trail that runs along the face of 7,812-foot Mount Elwell in the Lakes Basin region. Wildflowers were in abundance in drainages and meadows on the summer solstice. Photo by Laura Beaton Kids explore Plumas- Eureka State Park The Plumas-Eureka State Park hosted a gaggle of students in JUne, beginning with 60 sixth graders from Paradise Evergreen School on June 2-4. The students spent three days hing, camping, and touring the park as a way to end the school year. The kids were charged with setting up the campsites and preparing the meals, with teachers and parents standing by. The group was treated to historical tours at the museum, led by docents and volunteers of the Plumas-Eureka State Park Association. Fourth graders from Quincy Elementary and C. Roy Carmichael followed the sixth graders with day trips to explore the historical and natural wonders of Eastern Plumas County and the Johnsville area. The trips aim to illustrate the past and present impacts of mining, ranching and lumber industries. The park association invites everyone to follow the kids' example and explore the only state park in the county. The daffy schedule and upcoming events are available on plumas-eureka.org. PlumasoEureka State Park volunteer Michael Bonnet shows Mrs. Wilson's fourth grade class from C. Roy Carmichael how to pan for gold. 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