Our hearts are filled with optimism as we throw ourselves into the project that has bedeviled us for the past four working days.
"Can you get the rope around that branch, right there?" asks Gever. "Sure," says Althea.
So, for the umpteenth time, Althea climbs a tree.
Kevin hands Althea the rope.
Gil feeds the goat some carabiners.
Gil feed the goat some arm. One has to wonder how the goat convinced him to do it.
"Better than his arm!" says the goat.
Serina reworks the pulley mounting system on the ball sling.
Gil and Elijah tow the ball back up to the top for another test.
Portrait of a Collaborator: Chane, sunburned
Portrait of a Young Tinkerer: Kate, on her album cover
Gever and Sam chatting about the funicular. The conversation may hold the record for the most times the word funicular is used in a single day.
The counter-weight goes down, the funicular comes up - it's just that simple.
Elevator team takes a break.
Over the course of the next hour, in search of better self-steering, Glynn will change the caster configuration on the funicular five times.
A matched set of fender washers and medium length screws.
"We got the best shot of a saw!" - things that happen when you give tinkerers the camera.
Having forgotten their hats in the barn, Mica and Rhody come up with a sun-protection solution.
As near as we can tell, this is version six of the ball sling (one more mod will be applied before it catches a fast-moving bowling ball).
Tired of watching people struggle to get up into trees to adjust ropes or braces, Gil makes a handy ladder.
With the ramps reset almost three feet higher, the rail and zip-line team finally have the rail exit in the right relationship to the zip-line. Time for a test.
Catch it Gever!
Figuring out how to cut the complex angles implied by the meeting to pieces of rail takes a lot of discussion.
Nicki thinks that the carefully tuned counter-weight for the vertical elevator is very heavy.
This is the version of Glynn that we start to refer to as Gryll - because Gever mashed up her name with Gil accidentally and it stuck.
Kate and Gil fine tune the funicular receiving station.
Which leads to an (almost perfect) run with the bowling ball.
With all hands helping, Serena is able to climb up Gil's ladder and dock the ball sling with the last rail for the first time ever.
It's working! The ball rolls down the aerial rail system at breakneck speed and thwacks into the back of the ball sling, pulling it from the docking station and sending the ball and sling down the zip line.
Nicki keeps a keen eye on the funicular tests.
Portrait of a Young Tinkerer: Kevin, laughing
Portrait of a Chef: Herb, grilling
Walking back up to the ranch to wash dishes and get ready for the campfire.
A very nice evening for a fire.
After much discussion of ingredients, safety, and chemistry, Gever demonstrates the safe way to spray cooking oil into a fire.
Then everyone tries out for a couple of squirts in what turns out to be a tough shot for the photographers to capture.
Since it's Fourth of July; sparklers!
As our working day wound down, we realized that despite our best efforts, there did not appear to be a way to reliably get the ball from the Ranch House to Barn One. Every section of our system could work, but we never got them all working at the same time. With more than six (or eleven in one case) versions of every component of the system tried and tested and tinkered with, it has been an amazing context in which to understand what reliability is and how elusive it can be sometimes. Tomorrow, a new project!