On Monday morning, Hayden Lake Management, the installation contractor, and yours truly, gathered at the top of the drive leading down to the Hayden Lake Country Club’s private boat launch. We were waiting for the delivery of cement anchors and reviewing strategies for the installation work to come. Why the fuss? How hard can it be to get a few buoys out there on the water? The answer: there’s more to the job than you might know!
Just like the buoy installation, this post will be a work in progress, following the process through the week. Check back daily to see how the job is going.
Monday, Aug 18: Set Up Parts and Equipment at the Launch Point
Todd Walker, the Hayden Lake Manager, brought 14 assembled buoys, plus ropes, chains, toggles, etc. to the launch point. Then he waited.
The anchor manufacturer was to deliver fourteen 1,600 pound cement blocks, made to withstand the rugged lake-bottom environment and never move. This delivery required 60-ft of conveyance – a truck with a crane and a trailer for hauling from Spokane. How would all of this equipment fit in the Hayden Lake Country Club‘s tiny-by-comparison launch area? Fortunately, the delivery team paused to assess the situation. They pulled off the road at the Super One parking lot and transferred everything to the truck. Then, leaving their trailer behind, they were able to back the truck alone down the drive, neat as you please.
The anchor blocks spent the night stacked smartly off to the side at the boat launch. Todd delivered the buoys and parts to the contractor’s equipment lot for temporary storage.
(Image credit: Ross Wilkins)
Thursday, Aug 20: First Buoys On the Lake
Much to my chagrin, so much happened behind the scenes as I wrung my hands in anticipation. And that meant no stories to tell and no photos to share – until today. This is what we see at the end of Thursday:
- Massive galvanized chains have been welded onto the anchors and the bottoms of the buoys.
- Ten buoys wait in a line for their turns on the boat.
- Four buoys have been installed on the lake. Can you find them?
- A few illegal buoys targeted by IDL for pick-up remain – five to be exact. If you’re thinking about slipping your illegal buoy out – or back out – onto the lake, resist the temptation, please!
Can you tell which of the 14 buoys these are?
(Image credit: Steve Meyer)
Friday, Aug 21: Another Day, Another Four Buoys
Now there are six, where once there were ten!
The day started so fresh, though a little hazy, with a kayak adventure from Honeysuckle over to the Hayden Country Club. I guess I enjoyed the experience a little too much because, by the time I reached the boat launch, the contractor’s barge had loaded four buoys and anchors and had disappeared into the vast lake horizon.
Now, on this Friday evening, there are at least eight new, permitted navigation buoys on the lake. This photo is number four from yesterday. If you happen to spy numbers five through eight, please snap a picture or two and send them along with clues as to their identities. The treasure hunt continues.
Monday, Aug 24: Making Great Progress
Early this morning, four buoys lounged on the decks of the contractor’s two barges, recovering, I think, from the weekend. Saturday and Sunday were busy recreation days on the lake, and these guys might have been made sea-sick by the wakes. Four in the queue today means that two additional buoys were splashed late on Friday! I wonder where they are anchored?
This afternoon’s report from the contractor is that they will install the final four on Wednesday.
Please be sure to report any further new-buoy sightings. (Five go un-acknowledged, still.)
Thursday, Aug 27: The Project Wraps Up Today
Visual confirmation came in this morning that all 14 buoys are in place! Woohoo! I believe the contractor completed the installation on Tuesday, after all. Today, all hands are on deck, literally, to remove the five illegal buoys earmarked before this adventure began. Buoy owners may retrieve their property by contacting the Lake Manager for Hayden Lake.
Gil Rossner, a Hayden Lake Watershed Association Board Member shared a story from this morning’s turn about the lake, “One guy cruised by me on his pontoon boat. He said, ‘it only took two years,’ and flashed me a thumbs up. When I identified myself as being associated with the Watershed Association, he thanked me for all the work that the Improvement District and we had been doing and said it was making a difference.”
Building good, cooperative relationships and working within the parameters of the law does take time. And in the course of this effort, we have accomplished more than anchoring 14 buoys to the bottom of the lake. Awareness and community support have blossomed. And we’ve laid some groundwork for continuous improvement in safeguarding the lake and honoring the rights and responsibilities of all of its stakeholders.
I think we’re finished with this project!