Boundary Determination……#65 (the 50’s)

A surveyors transit

A surveyors transit

       Gary sitting beside his dad could tell the driver was not happy, this wasn’t his regular truck and a major concern was rapidly approaching , the Weigh Station located at the base of the Altamont Pass.   The scales were closed,  a sigh of relief,  but the drone of the Interbay Lumber Company’s  ancient Ten-Wheeler White was not sounding right and Gary could feel the uneasiness resonating from his Dad as they approached the grade.   The teen watching as they passed the last means of escape,  the canyon road turn-off,  the windy course that snaked thru the ravines, by-passing the climb and acclivitous reaches of the Altamont.   Struggling up the incline the truck would lurch with every necessary lower gear shift from the five speed and three speed brownie.  He could see the intense expression on his Dads face as the transport continue to slow,  its power strained and waning,  then  decisively arresting to a  halt at the side of the road,  the steep incline too much for apparent over-loaded truck.    The idling motor sounding tired, intuition said that the White sensed the obstacle and was rebelling,  the occupants knowing there was but one solution, to retreat.   The elder Willson   reversing  direction,  the overweight truck descending back down the slope , the occupants every mindful of a possible visit from the uniformed authority of the law.  The reverse transit down accomplished reaching the canyon turn off,  the heavy burden White finding relief from its incline struggle,  the teenage passenger making no comment but acknowledging to himself,  an another victory for the Altamont Pass.

Overloaded Ten Wheeler White

Overloaded Ten Wheeler White

Concrete piers - a portable foundation

Concrete piers – a portable foundation

   Another Saturday and another this trip in the 41 Chevy pickup loaded with building materials destined for the families Sierra cabin site.   On the previous trip to Pioneer, Gary having invited his friend Dale Spady thinking Dale could help at the building site and later the two could find some time to explore the gold country for abandon mines.   Gary and his sister Nancy having discovered several sites and the remnant ruins of an old cabin.   The first chore for the two boys was to unload the many 50lb concrete piers for the risers that would support the floor beams and joist, the boys having to carry the heavy piers over 50 yards.  Gary having loaded them in the pickup knew from experience that the more you moved, the heavier they seemed, noticing that Dale had stopped and was sitting.   It didn’t take long to discover that Dale was sick, he was pale looking and said he was chilled.  Gary’s dad not wanting to waste the long drive and accomplish something , telling the boys because of Dale situation they wouldn’t spend the night, but would return home as soon as he had leveled, squared and set the piers in position.   Gary knew the important of the pier placement as they were the foundation for the structure.  It was late afternoon when the piers were in place, the three returning to Oakland.  The raiser and heavy-duty beams,  2 x 6 floor joist, all time consuming task would be accomplished on later weekend trips from the their Bay Area  home.  The biggest concern was waiting  for PG&E to provide electrical service as power pole had yet to be installed in this area of the mountain retreat. The day finally arriving,  father and son now able to give their building some definitive presence,  the electrical service enabling them to hastily install the decking for the sub-floor, the youth  now having a wilderness laden platform to stand on, a real foundation for what was to come. 

floor joist awaiting....

floor joist awaiting….

Diane Pine & Kay Willson

Diane Pine & Kay Willson

      Father and son entertaining the journey to the Sierra Foothills again, only this time in the family car, Gary’s Mother and sister Nancy accompanying them,  his sister Kay remaining in Oakland as was her habit, staying with her best friend Diane Pine.  The Chevy transpiring down the once bull-dozed lane the family  able to view  the completed sub-floor and the progress that Gary and his Dad had accomplished.    The family aggregation  approaching the compiled edifice,  suddenly  freezing in their tracks.    Knifing  across the completed flooring, diagonally dissecting the finished sub-floor was a fastened line marking the property boundary.   The surveyors employed by the realty company having arrived  leaving their mark,  knowing not of the conjectured  tree markings and the lots borders secured when the property was purchased.   Gary’s Dad’s disposition rapidly changing to one of concern,  recounting the words spoken by the realtor the indicating property lines,  his marking the  trees as lot boundary lines,  stating the trees would be used in determining the actual size of the property area.   A further inspection found another line down the slope towards what was characterized as Federal Land that was supposed to bordered the Willson property.    It was apparent that the real estate concern had manged to adjust the line up the hill to justify another lot between the Willson’s acreage and the Federal Land..   Gary visualized the situation,  the marketing agent was cajole in his zeal to traffic the property and used the proximity of trees to master his persuasion.   The salesman recognizing  the  families’  momentary intoxication to fulfill an incessant dream overruled any sound judgement concerning property confines.  

The Martell Reality Office at the top of the Hill

The Martell Real Estate Office at the top of the Hill

      The Willson’s concern was negated after visiting  the Martell Real Estate Office,  a discussion of  the adjusted boundary  was productive,  a solution was agreed upon.   Any variations made by the surveyors in the property line would be adjusted to  encompass all prior construction,  meaning  the boundary line across the sub floor would be changed and added enabling the building project to remain within the Willson property jurisdiction.   Gary concluding that  if boundaries are determined by trees,  we must live in a forest.


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