When you find this cache, the building before you is the home of the Eau Claire Curling Club (ECCC) from October 15 to April 15. Curling is an indoor sport played on artificial ice. A 40 pound polished granite “stone” is carefully slid down a 138 foot sheet of ice towards a target or “house”. The ice facility first opened at this location in January 1996 for the Men’s “Bonspiel” tournament. This building is also used as part of the annual Eau Claire County and 4-H Youth Fair during the summer. Many other activities take place here as well. As part of this cache, a series of 7 ECCC Curling Pins have been released as Travel Bugs over time to help spread awareness of curling. The Eau Claire Curling Club was established in 1956 and for many years utilized the County buildings on Fairfax Avenue in Altoona. The original facility used “natural” ice in a building whose floor sloped 5 inches resulting in extreme challenges making level ice for curling. During the late summer and fall of 1995, club members banded together and worked evenings and weekends, providing several thousand person hours of donated labor to construct the 238’ X 78’ facility before you. Recently, research has identified that the first curling club in Eau Claire was in 1876.
In PHOTO 1 you can see some of the 700 feet of stud walls that were built.
The contractor then installed the roof trusses. Curlers followed by nailing over 600 sheets of plywood for the roof – PHOTO 2.
Four weeks were spent building up and leveling the substructure for the flooring of the ice area. Two layers (4 inches) of insulation plus “chairs”, rebar, and lengths of one-inch tubing set 4” apart -PHOTO 3- were sealed layed out and covered with steel mesh by members prior to the contractor pouring th 5” thick concrete floor.
The club members also attached the exterior siding, fascia and soffit –PHOTO 4.
The exterior walls were insulated and wafer board skin applied to the inside – PHOTO 5. Interior stud walls were assembled and the electricians, plumbers and sheetrockers performed their trades to finish the facility. Ice in now readied in less than one week thanks to modern ice making equipment and a floor that is extremely level.
The curling facility has 4 sheets of ice with video observation capabilities. Curlers and guests can also observe the game through large windows separating the heated club room from the ice area. A large flat screen TV and fireplace help to create the informal atmosphere in the clubroom.
To learn more about curling check out the ECCC web site where additional sites are listed.Eau Claire Curling Club
Introduction to curling as well as the basics of the game and more can be learned from videos at the Milwaukee Curling Club website.: Curling Basics
This cache is on Eau Claire County property and permission was officially granted for placement. Seekers should know that Eau Claire County’s stated policy on geocaches anywhere on County property is “enter at your own risk” as per GC234A. .
********** Congratulations to cdnajn the FTF! **********