09 April 2014


The other day we shut down the tunnel for about an hour while two of our guys went up do do maintenance on one of the five fans at the top.  I had mentioned that I was interested in going up to check out the top of the tunnel, so when they called down and asked for something to be brought up to them, I jumped at the chance.

The above picture is the view from just the first two ladders up - about four stories high.  One of our instructors showed me the way up, which, let me just say right now, was way freakier than I expected!  First of all, I didn't know it was all ladders - I thought there were stairs going to the top!  Secondly, these ladders are all on the outside of the structure, several stories above the ground, and the "floor" is metal grating that you can look right down through.  It took some coaxing for me to get to the top, and I swore the whole damn way.

But I did it!  These next two photos are from the level of the fan vents, about six stories up, and the last level before you're on the roof.  Let me just say how sketch the whole thing seemed, since there wasn't really any solid flooring that you couldn't see down through.  I felt a need to be holding onto parts of the structure as I walked.

Once I got to the level that the fans are at, I actually went down into the fan vent to give the guys their stuff and hold onto things so they wouldn't drop while they checked the fan over.  Climbing down into the vent was a whole other sketchy-ass process that consisted of slipping backwards into the dark vent and onto a hanging ladder that shook as it was unsupported at the bottom.  From the ladder, you step onto the "crows nest" thin steel beams above the fan blades, which is where I stopped and sat while they worked under the fan.  Beats me how they got through the blades and under there.

Getting back down was easy.  For some reason, for me, going down is fine because the ground is getting closer.  Going up and away from the ground is the sliiiiightly disconcerting bit!  But now that I've done it once, I think I can do it again no problem, as I now know what to expect.  And I want to go onto the roof!  It's the only level I didn't go to, but there is a ladder that goes onto it.  I'm told it's flat and actually meant to be functional as a helicopter pad.  Apparently that's where everyone goes for 4th of July to watch the fireworks from Universal, which is our neighbor to the north.

Fun times!
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