For the past three weeks the AMC's Construction Crew has been hard at work renovating and updating the bunkhouses and main hut at Lonesome Lake. The bunkhouses were built over 40 years ago and were due for some serious rehab. This project is two-phased: first, bigger windows, new doors and metal roofs were installed this spring and in the fall new pine paneling will be added inside the rooms as well as cedar shingles for the exterior.
These renovations have been more than just repairing a few old hinges and window sills. Each room has been outfitted with new windows and doors installed specifically to increase the amount of light in each room. "More light in bunkrooms" has been a common request from guests but we have had to balance this with the unique energy concerns of the huts. Instead of simply putting in more light bulbs, we've opted to install much larger windows, plus doors with window panes. We've also put in translucent fiberglass sheeting above the porch to further increase light flow into the area around the bunkrooms. Hopefully, guests will appreciate the additional light and the significant energy savings of these efforts.
The people responsible for this work are the AMC's Construction Crew. Based in Pinkham Notch, they do most of their work in New Hampshire and Maine but recently have done jobs as far away as AMC's Mohican Outdoor Center in New Jersey. Their duties run the gamut from fixing leaky faucets to running major construction projects. They are active in the frontcountry and backcountry, often spending long days to keep the club's facilities running well and in good shape.
Their efforts often go unnoticed; quietly adjusting a solar panel or monitoring the Clivus composting toilets are not particularly glamorous affairs but, without their hard work, the Huts simply would not exist as they do today. Last year, for example, the Construction Crew spent many weeks digging near Carter Notch Hut, installing a new septic system. No backhoe or heavy-duty excavating equipment - instead they moved massive boulders and an incredible amount of dirt by hand.
Of course, not all their work is of the backbreaking (and mind-numbing) variety. Many of the senior staff are highly skilled welders, architects, plumbers, carpenters, and electricians who have worked for the AMC for decades. The quality of their craftsmanship is the best testimony to the caliber of their skills and although that craftsmanship is often understated, hopefully you'll remember it when sitting down on Galehead's porch or climbing into your bunk that they built on site, often without the aid of equipment we take for granted in the valley.