Well, today is Thursday, June 3, 2010. I have been super busy and have not had any time to create cards and whatnot. So today I am sharing a slew of photos I took during one of our 'adventures'. My husband has been laid off from work for the past month, and we(he) decided to gather up some firewood to sell and make some money. We generally do this each Fall, but hard times call for hard measures. By the way, my hubby LOVES to get firewood! And chainsaws. And big block motors. And to freak his wife out!
This first photo is of Kevin and our son, Jay.
Kevin had gone up scouting one day, and found this big beautiful dead Tamarak, still standing, about 250 feet up an embankment. Kevin estimates the tree to be about 200 feet tall. In the world of logging in 2010, this is a trophy tree. You just cannot find them like this anymore. Needless to say, he rushed home and grabbed me, I was stamping, and he MADE me go help him get this tree right then, before anyone else could find it!
Here he is after he dropped it. It was so amazingly LOUD when it crashed through the branches of surrounding trees and slammed down to the ground. I was in shock from the ground vibrating and all the crackling and the loud BOOM. Debris was flying everywhere, and there was a huge cloud of dust and dirt. And I was down the embankment, safely by the truck with Jay!! Truly amazing!
To get the tree down the embankment, we used a system of cables and pulleys, with Kevin driving our beefed up 78 Chevy flatbed, and me up on the mountain side with a walky-talky. I was scared out of my mind!! I had to watch the tree as it slid to make sure it did not hang up on any other trees or debris, and watch the cable so it did not snap. I'd call 'hit it!' to Kevin, and he would punch the gas, inching the gigantic tree towards the road. I'd call 'woe, woe, woe!' if the log butted up against a tree or root, or stalled out. Jay sits in the truck with Kevin, buckled up, and loves it.
I was completely nervous, out of breath, and shaking, especially since I had to run after each stump as it went, and stumbled and fell over logs and brush as I went because I was watching the cable - not my path! I had to dig dirt and bark, branches and roots out of the way several times.
We ended up cutting the tree into 3 sections to bring her down, as she was too heavy whole. The tip was rotten, and we left it on top of the hill. The rest of the tree was FANTASTIC.
We actually snapped a cable on the first day, when the tree was whole, and had to go back to Spokane to get a new cable. So the above picture, and all that follow are day 2. We really hussled to get back to our fallen tree before another guy came along, and managed to return at 6am!
We brought cold pizza and juice, apples, cheese sticks and candy. Jay loves to eat outside, and thought we were having a picnic. He is a funny boy! After all the running and shouting, digging out roots and branches in the way, and climbing up and down that embankment over and over again - I was already pooped!
The above picture is the second section of the tree. I stand back as Kevin slices it into sections, and then I roll them out in the road and space them out so he can split them. Then I load and stack the pieces in the truckbed.
This picture is truly worth a thousand words!
It shows you the hill we climbed up and down all day to get to the tree, some 250 feet back there on the left; and it shows how narrow the road was that Kevin was driving on to pull out the logs. Down the hill to the right there, is a creek! Straight down about 20 yards!
The other thing this picture shows, is that we filled the truck with 3/4 this length of wood, and had to leave it on the road side while we emptied the truck at home, about 45 minutes away. We also had pulled the 3rd length of the tree, the butt end - and most important part, to the edge of the hill up there, and I had covered the end up with bark and branches so no passerby's would see it. My husband wanted me to stay behind and guard the wood, but I said 'hell no!' and he brought me with him. There could be bears!!
We drove carefully home with this load, dumped it, grabbed more food, and returned in minutes flat! My husband drove like a bat out of hell! We all had our fingers crossed as we rounded the curve to the log, and sighed heavy breathes as we saw it still laying there! Can you imagine what another logger would feel if they had found this huge chunk of seasoned Tamarak sitting there? Would have been the score of a lifetime for them! But no - it was OUR lucky day!
We loaded 2 cords this first trip.
My poor husband! He works so hard! I feel for him, splitting all the wood himself. It's the hardest part. But I cannot even pick the mall up over my head! So I pick up the wood and stack it!
Each round produced 16 to 18 large triangles of dry, pitchy, wonderful firewood. The smell was so strong and beautiful. The final log we pulled down was the butt, and the pitch in it was as hard as the wood itself, petrified. We measured the end at 3 feet across. My husband could not even pick up one whole slice of it, it was too heavy. And my husband is a very strong man! We wanted to bring the final slice home whole, the very bottom, but had to split it into quarters. Kevin was very disappointed, as it would have proved his trophy's size and weight, and he loves his 'bragging rights'!
The second, and final load, was another 2 cords.
Here is the pile at home.
It does not look like much now that it is in a heap, but we know what we have there!
And what a day! My legs were killing me, my back was killing me, and I was dog-ass tired!!
But we were very proud of ourselves, our find, our teamwork, and that we made a lot of money!