[Loch-Ruadh] The Gate Trip

Kevin Valliquette grimolfr at gmail.com
Thu May 29 23:35:43 PDT 2008

Thanks for sharing that, Padraig. It's looking good already, and I
can't wait to walk through it to greet all my friends in Loch Ruadh
camp next March! On the flip side, I missed you all terribly at


On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 10:00 PM, Pádraig Ruad Ó Maolagáin
<padraig_ruad at irishbard.org> wrote:
> Greetings unto the illustrious Populace of Loch Ruadh!
> I should have posted this earlier, but I plead a disabling case of
> procratinitus.
> You can see two sample pictures that Gruffydd took of the gate and sign
> here:  http://www.geocities.com/padraig_ruad/pictures
> Look for new149.jpg and new150.jpg.  Gruffydd and Terrence both took more
> pictures, and I'm sure they will post them as soon as possible.
> As you know, a work crew went to Kings Arrow Ranch over the Memorial Day
> weekend to complete the gate on our Gulf War land.  This hardy band
> consisted of Kaz, Antonia, Ari, Rinna, Mario, Alric, Gruffydd, Terrence,
> and this humble bard.  We left late Friday afternoon, arriving on site in
> the wee hours of the morning.  Alric has been sojourning in Mississippi
> due to his mundane job, and had arrived some hours earlier, setting up
> camp and awaiting our arrival with beer chilling in the cooler.
> While our bedtime was quite late, we were nonetheless up not long after
> sunrise to begin the workday.  Antonia cooked us a wonderful breakfast of
> pancakes and sausage to fortify us for the long day ahead, and as soon as
> we were finished eating, we fell to the task before us.
> I won't detail the trips to Lumberton for cement mix, to Hattiesburg for
> wood, tools, and for replacements for tools that stopped working properly,
> but I do want to state that without Kaz's and Alric's willingness to use
> their own money to make the purchases, we would not have been able to get
> as much as a third of the work done that we did.
> Everyone worked hard in the Mississippi heat and humidity, including Ari
> and Rinna, who fetched and carried and were up and down the ladders,
> handing up the cement-soaked burlap to the adults applying it to the
> uprights and the crosspiece.  At one point or another, all of us wished we
> were Mario's age, as he went up and down the dirt road next to the
> campsite with his toy dumptruck or attacking the nearby vegetation with a
> wooden sword - he, at least, had a lot of fun.
> The heat, humidity, our general exhaustion and the fact that we were all
> more or less covered in cement (plus the fact that the hot water wasn't on
> in the showerhouse) prompted us to get rooms at the Kings Arrow Ranch
> motel (formerly the Georgetown), not only for the showers, but to be able
> to sleep in air conditioning.  After cleaning up and a trip to Hattiesburg
> for a late dinner, we were all too tired to even attempt a bardic
> gathering.  The next morning found us back out at the land, and again hard
> at work.  We had hoped to leave in the early afternoon, but problems,
> necessary modifications in what we were doing, and the aforementioned
> trips to Hattiesburg for tools/supplies pushed our completion time, and
> therefore our departure time, further and further back, though we did
> finally manage to leave before dark.  Which was a good thing, as we had
> promised Chantel to get Terrence back in time for them to celebrate their
> first wedding anniversary - and though it was indeed the wee hours of the
> morning once again when we arrived in Terrell, at least he was home.
> As to the work that we did:
> The sides and top of the crosspiece are now covered by the burlap and
> cement mortar mix that the uprights and the cornerposts are covered with.
> For the underside, Kaz had built a separate framework that we covered with
> the burlap/mortar mix that was to be lifted up and attached to the
> underside of the crosspiece (between the uprights) with screws.  While the
> concept was good, the reality didn't work as well as hoped, so we came up
> with the alternate plan of getting 1/4 inch plywood, coating one side with
> water sealant, stapling burlap to the other side, attaching it to the
> underside of the uprights with screws, and then using a paint roller to
> coat the surface with mortar.  We managed to get the plywood cut, sealed,
> covered and put in place, but ran out of both time and energy, so the
> bottom, while covered, is not yet coated in mortar.
> Things that still need to be done:
> 1)  Coat the underside with mortar.  After the initial coats have been
> applied, we can subsequently work on building up heavier layers in some
> areas to give it a more uneven and weathered appearance.
> 2)  Frame the top, either with 1/4 inch sealed plywood, or as Terrence has
> suggested, the slab styrofoam that is used in house building.  The
> styrofoam has the advantage of being lighter and waterproof already.
> Either way, the resulting surface will then be covered with mortar.  The
> existing pitch of the structure will ensure rain runoff.
> 3)  Recoat the entire structure in more mortar, using more burlap where
> needed to seal any gaps, holes, or too obvious sharp right angles.  As
> with the corner posts, this will give the structure a more stone-like
> appearance, plus the more coats of mortar we apply, the stronger the
> overall structure will be.
> 4)  Add sconces, torches, ensigns or whatever is desired.  Complete the
> wingwalls.
> 5)  Alric and I have plans to make Celtic knotwork designs to add to
> either end of the sign - they will be raised out from the surface rather
> than carved into it like the lettering.
> While the gate is not "done", all the major work is complete and the
> entire structure is now covered, and looks much better than it did with
> the exposed framework.  A second work trip later in the year should allow
> us to do much of the work I've listed above, and also to concentrate on
> mowing/clearing that we didn't have time to do this trip.
> In Service,
> Padraig
> --
> Nunc est bibendum.
> ******************
> ******************
> Politicians prefer unarmed peasants.
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