I never expected to see a logging truck coming down our road but thanks to drought brought on by global warming, we had 43 trees to remove!
It’s time for a quick break from my Highway 395 series to bring you up to date on current events in our never-boring life such as a logging operation in our backyard. I’ll be back to Highway 395 and Virginia City in my next post. A note on photos: Peggy and I shared photographer’s duties on this post.
Removing 43 Douglas firs from our five acres was not anything Peggy and I looked forward to, either from an aesthetic or financial perspective. Global warming didn’t give us a choice. Severe drought weakened a number of our trees and voracious pine beetles took quick advantage of the situation. We decided to be proactive in hopes of slowing down or stopping the beetles.
I am no stranger to logging operations. My father was the electrician for a lumber mill when I was growing up. We considered the mill with its logging pond as part of our extended play area, much to the dismay of the nighttime and weekend watchman. He had an extensive vocabulary of swear words that he liked to share with us. We even had a logger with his logging truck living next door. He’d wake us up at 5:00 a.m. on summer mornings as he dashed off to collect his first load of logs. Since then, my backpacking trips have occasionally taken me through areas that were being logged.
None of this is anything like having a logging operation in your backyard, however. I didn’t actually hear anyone shouting “Timber!” but the buzzing sound of chainsaws accompanied by the crashing sounds of large Douglas firs (some over a hundred feet in length) was our constant companion for a week.
Peggy hiked up and took photos of the logs being hauled out of the forest…
We watched as the logs stacked up in our backyard.
And then were loaded onto a truck. (There were two loads.) Check out the claw!
This large claw, designed to grasp logs and load them on to the truck, was operated from the front of the truck by the owner, Davron Holland.
We waved goodby to our trees as they were hauled away.
Speaking of claws, all of the commotion disturbed the forest spirits that live in our canyon. Peggy and I came home one day to find our hammock being shredded!
Was it the same creature that left this mark?
It appears that its claws were of an appropriate length. Could it be the legendary Bigfoot?
Not likely. My nephew Jay Dallen and I check out a Bigfoot family at Crater Lake National Park. They hardly seem the type to rip up a hammock… (Jay, you may remember, backpacked a hundred miles with me last summer on my 750 mile trek down the PCT.)
Maybe Bone was having a bad day. My blogging friend, Crystal Truelove, took him up to the Bigfoot trap to show him what it feels like to be locked up. But Bone is good friends with Crystal. She took him back for a visit to the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma this past year and he got to hang out with Cherokee princesses.
Also, he had a photo shoot with Jay’s actress friend, Nichole Tompkins…
And was feeling quite balanced!
This fellow at Crater Lake was a possibility. I refused to feed him a peanut, but a) his claws were too small and b) Nichole shared a PB&J sandwich with him.
This buffalo we found in Al the Wop’s Bar in Locke, California last week had the right horns but his unique eyeshade eliminated him.
This Stellar Jay was unhappy enough to take on the challenge. He was hot! But again, his claws weren’t up to the job.
We found several possible candidates on our road trip through the redwoods where we found the claw marks.
But they were too far away.
Maybe it was an irritated buck with an attitude problem. This was my prime candidate with his “Are you looking at me!” pose. Turns out, it was a fellow that hangs out with him, a young spike with two small but sharp horns who was suffering from severe antler envy. He was using the hammock to clean the velvet off his antlers. And Other Events…
My niece Marion and her husband John. They had come out from Tennessee to collect my brother’s 32 foot RV that he had left in my backyard when he passed away. It was big! We were glad to see it go.
Next was a visit from a fellow blogger, Crystal Trulove. As most of you are aware, the friendships that evolve from our blogging are special. Crystal was in town for the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland and stayed at our house. She treated us to the wonderfully whacky play, “Alice in Wonderland.” The African cloth in the background, BTW, was sent to me by another good blogging friend, Linda Leinen at Shoreacres. Linda and I share a common background of having lived in Liberia, West Africa.
We had a delightful visit with Jay and Nichole. Here we are at a Beach Boys Concert at the Britt in Jacksonville, OR.
We took Jay and Nichole to our favorite kayaking spot, the Bigfoot trap, and…
to Crater Lake National Park. Here Peggy and Nichole share a look. (I am not sure it is possible to work more blue into a photo.)
Jay offers a piggy back ride!
On our way home from Crater Lake, we were treated to this sunset in the Applegate Valley. When Jay and Nichole left, Jay was heading off to film a National Geographic reality adventure show across Russia and Nichole was heading for Barcelona where she has a film opening.
We went on a short road trip through the redwoods. They’re big.
Until the national and state parks were created to save the redwoods, they were rapidly being cut down. My seat is an old stump.
And note the burls! I will be doing a much more extensive post on Redwood National Park (and Crater Lake) as part of my national park series.
We ended up visiting my old friend Tom Lovering who lives on the Sacramento Delta with his friend Lita in the town of Clarksburg. I was backpacking with Tom in 1977 when we found Bone. Tom immediately loaded us into his ski boat to head off for an Italian dinner.
When Tom got the boat up to full throttle, he climbed out of the seat and insisted that I take over, which was a bit scary considering I had never steered a speed boat! Woohoo! “Watch out for big logs,” he told me. Yeah, thanks.
Peggy with Tom’s friend Lita in the back of the boat, not nearly as worried as they should be.
Coming back from the restaurant we were treated to a beautiful Sacramento Delta sunset.
Afterwards, Tom and Lita took us on a tour of the Delta and we ended up at Al the Wops Bar in Locke. You’ve already met the buffalo who lives at the bar.
The deer were also decorated. One can only wonder how many drinks it takes.
If that seems a bit risqué, you can always feed the fish
Or practice the popular pastime of sticking dollars to the ceiling.
The friendly bartender taught me the trick! And, I am proud to report, I succeeded.
Locke when we left the bar. I can count on one hand the number of times I have ‘shut the bar down’ in my life. And I am pretty sure that Tom has been in on all of those occasions.
NEXT POST: I return to my Highway 395 series and visit Virginia City where silver was king and Samuel Clemens adopted the name of Mark Twain.