Day 5 – Thanksgiving

Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017

It was another cool morning and it turned into a sunny mild day in West Virginia.

After another wonderful breakfast we headed to Clinton’s house where he had a small fire going outside.   The frost was still on the ground but it burned off quickly as the sun rose.

We asked Clinton if he wasn’t going to meet his family for Thanksgiving and he told us that his wife Beverly was at their son’s house cooking for his family because his son was hunting.   However, he felt that he wanted to be with us and he didn’t want to be anywhere else.   This was his Thanksgiving.

Spencer, Justin and Bernie, started the day by tying the remainder of the rebar together.

Steve and I started removing the forms around the concrete at the house end of the bridge, while Merle, Pat and Mary removed the forms on the road side of the bridge.

After we removed all but some difficult pieces, Steve filled the Gabion Baskets with rocks using the track hoe, while Clinton  and Peter straightened them out and tied the Gabion Baskets.

Meanwhile I worked at cutting out the sheets of plywood that were jammed between the steel beams and the concrete and Merle assisted me with removing the last piece of wood.  When the forms had been removed Steve started to push dirt up to the concrete form with the track hoe and I compacted the dirt with Spencer’s help.   After that, Steve moved some rocks on top of the dirt.

With the rocks in place, he moved gravel on top of the rocks and then Peter and I smoothed out the gravel.

Steve, Spencer, Bernie and Justin moved a lot of the material on the yard, smoothed out the ground where we had driven.

When we finished for the day, the bridge was almost ready for the concrete.  I asked Clinton if he would let me take a picture of him in front of the bridge.   With his traditional beaming smile, he agreed and afterwards he gave me a big hug and thanked us for all our work.  He told us that Friday would be his 73rd birthday.

Clinton also told me that he was going to set up his chair in front of the bridge with a nice fire nearby.

When we got back to the camp site, we had a wonderful turkey dinner, after which we all shared about how each of us came to faith and what we were thankful for.   It was a wonderful time of sharing and relaxation.

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