Holes are too wide for C Hill flag anchors
Volunteers trying to secure an 8,000-square-foot United States flag to the face of C Hill have run into another problem. The Swedish-made “motor drill” they rented digs holes too wide for the anchors.
“This Pionjar that we thought was going to be the answer to our problems is not working out,” said Tod Jennings, chief operations officer for the project. “This thing was recommended by the manufacturer of the anchors, but I don’t think they realize what kind of ground we’re dealing with.”
Jennings was on the hill Wednesday morning with 12 men from Crew 426 of the Stewart Conservation Camp. They were trying to make holes that will work for a set of anchors donated by Foresight Products in Commerce City, Colo. The anchors, which will expand underground, require a hole 2 feet deep and 21U2 inches wide. Foundation members rented the drill from May’s Trail Equipment and Leasing in Sagle, Idaho, for $150 a day.
Jennings said if proper holes can’t be dug for the donated anchors, the foundation will return them.
For now it’s back to the drawing board. Jennings said he would report his findings to the foundation. Two weeks ago they were looking into renting a 4,300-pound compressor to operate a jackhammer for the holes. They hoped the Nevada Army National Guard would haul the compressor to the site with its double-rotor Chinook helicopter. The Guard, however, is required to wait until the job has been offered to civilian operators. That meant putting a legal notice in the newspaper and waiting two weeks.
“In the meantime we figured, ‘Let’s go ahead and get the equipment and get this going,'” Jennings said. At noon Wednesday, after the motor drill didn’t work out, Jennings was open to ideas.
“We may end up going back to the 4,000-pound jack hammer. It just seems like we’re getting set back by conditions, but we’ll get there.” He was also considering returning to the original plan to dig 3-foot-square holes for the anchors.
“But then we’ll have to get the concrete up there (to fill the holes),” he said.
A member of the conservation camp crew had an idea.
He said while working on a site in the Santa Rosa Mountains near Napa Valley he was driving copper-coated rebar into the ground in 10-foot sections.
“They were good to hold like 6,000 or 7,000 pounds,” said the crew member, who didn’t give his name. “You’d drive in one 10-foot section, crimp on another 10 foot section and drive it down another 10 feet.”
The C Hill Flag, to be made of 390 4-by-5-foot aluminum panels, will replace an original put up after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. That flag was destroyed by a December wind storm. The C Hill Flag Foundation will have a float in the Nevada Day Parade on Nov. 1.
Organizers are planning to have the new flag in place by Veterans Day.