Yesterday I mentioned that Dave has something big planned if he can manage to bring it all together. I promised I'd tell you what it was, and since I have much to do, I'll make it short.
He wants to build a wall. I know, seems redundant. We've got one of those already.
No, Dave wants to make a permanent wall of stone and concrete around the compound. It's exactly as huge a project as it sounds, though to be fair it would only surround three sides of the original compound, since most of us live there now. The fourth wall would of course be the one that faces the annex, which itself is a barrier to us and the zombies outside.
First, let me be clear: the idea isn't to make a perfect concrete structure, smooth and without flaw. There aren't enough materials for that, nor manpower to make it possible.
Over the last year and a half, our people have scoured the county in search of food and medical supplies, but they've left untold amounts of materials behind, some marked for future use. Dave thinks it will be possible for us to build a wall of large stones piled between reinforced forms and filled with cement to hold it all together. Yeah, it's a big job, but the hardest part is going to be finding gas to power the vehicles so we can haul all that shit.
Frankfort has a an abundance of stone just laying around. Even if there weren't a gravel and rock processing plant down by the river (and there is, and it's full of materials) there's still enough rock laying around to build our wall a dozen times. The plant has everything we need, even massive trucks to load and haul everything. We're just on the search for enough diesel fuel to make it happen.
I don't expect it to get done quickly, though again Dave assures me I'm wrong there. He says that if we can manage to find forms, the trenches will act as footers for the new wall, and we'll be able to put up sections faster than they can dry. Just set up the forms, which will hopefully lock together easily, pour in stone, fill with cement, then repeat until the form is full.
I'm oversimplifying this idea, but Dave is excited about it. Stone walls on the outside of our mostly wooden ones would create a narrow area between the two which would become a killing ground for any zombies that managed to get into it.
Not to mention the fact that right now we can't start in on this. We've got to stabilize our food supply and work on producing trade goods as our top priorities. Dave wants to work on it as a side project, raising sections when he can over time. It might take him a year, but eventually...
While I have to be realistic and think about how labor intensive the job will be, I'm glad to see him so excited about the project. He's got designs drawn out and alterations made to them already, ways to add catwalks and guard posts to the outer wall that doesn't even exist yet. It's that kind of frenetic drive to do something new and amazing for the community that keeps us from sinking into a pit of worry and fear. It might be a dream empty of any real possibility for all I know, but it gives hope and meaning to people.
I can't complain about that.