For the last year we have been slowly replacing all of the customized Wagon Stations with new “stock” Wagon Stations that are available for people involved in activities at AZ West to stay in. And while expanding the Wagon Station encampment it also became time to address the never ceasing issue with wind. Even though four strong people can barely lift one of these units, our desert windstorms have managed to flip and smash them on an ongoing basis.
About two months ago TK engineered a new footing and a tie down system – along with fasteners on the hatch and back entry door. So far they have weathered at least two fairly fierce windstorms and nothing has flipped yet… fingers crossed!
Thomas traveled to A-Z West from NY, in part to make progress on the Wagon Station Vacation this weekend. On Saturday he rigged up this experimental door opener for the drop down front hatch. The hatch is tricky because it was originally designed to open upward, but Jonas re-engineered it to drop down so that it can function as steps or seating. The only problem with this is that the entire thing is ungodly heavy and two very strong people can barely open and close it. Thomas has been trying to figure out a fool-proof (non people squashing) mechanism so that one person can safely open and close the door. Right now the verdict is still open between the pulley system shown here, hydraulic lift system that TKs dad might be able to engineer, and some sort of a boat winch.
On Tuesday TK Smith put the new rain visor on the Hauptman Wagon Station. The station was originally customized by Jonas Hauptman (who super-sized his station by adding extra sections) but when Jonas left california to pursue a job opportunity the structure began to languish in the desert elements. Now Thomas Stevenson has stepped up to overhaul the unit and turn it into a “Wagon Station Vacation” where people can stay when they visit A-Z West. On his last visit Thomas cut new floor boards and sealed the with spar varnish – the new “visor” should help stop the rain from leaking in and rotting out the shiny new floor.