Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Building the Network

Our new right-of-way engineer went on a road trip to scope out some new potential sites to build towers. The thing about the right-of-way position is that you need a lot of diplomacy skills to hack it. Land rights are a Big Friggin' Deal up here, and we are basically asking to lease and build a tower on a small parcel of land, which means a construction crew trampling over maybe 3 or 4 other people's ranches or private nature reserve to get to it.

In addition, there's a lot of land that is or used to belong to local native tribes, so our Engineers will go and meet with them at their tribal council. These days, though, they've moved away from sitting around a campfire and passing a pipe, and more about sitting in a hotel lounge sipping liquor.

Contrary to what you might think, the Natives are often OK with the idea of building a tower on their old turf, or at least open to negotiations. But the White man, perhaps due to generations of PC guilt festering inside of him, has a Historical Preservation Department that won't let our trucks within 10 miles of anyplace where some kid found a rock that kinda looked like an arrowhead. This was the problem with several of our new potential locations. "Neatly stacked pile of rocks? That's a cairn. You can't build here." "That circle of rocks there? Medicine Circle. Get lost!" "That etching? totally significant. Back off."

Meanwhile the Shoshone tribe is all "Yeah, it's cool. Just don't dig up any bones or anything." We must be the only culture willing to sabotage our efforts at building modern infrastructure. If you dig deep enough under ancient cities in Europe and Asia, you'll find older cities that were built on top of. Maybe four or five cities deep. But not us, we're so enlightened that we won't build anywhere close to them! Feh.

Today, one of these sites came back in play after our Engineer received an email saying that a tribal leader confirmed that the Medicine Wheel at that site was not a Medicine Wheel at all, but was, in fact, just a pile of rocks.

Stupid white man.

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