Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cutting Wood

Many of the people who live in our area heat their homes with wood. Living in such close proximity to the forest and National Forest Lands makes wood gathering and cutting much easier than other areas. With today's efficient wood stoves and virtually no air polution, it makes sense to try to save on heating costs. Especially when you realize that our area of California's Northern Coast (not too far from the Oregon border) never gets hot...seriously, we use our heating system year-round. My house (and Scottie Dog Quilts) doesn't have air conditioning....in fact I don't know a single person in our area who has air conditioning in their home. Temperatures are between 45 and 75 degrees year round.

So last Sunday morning Mr. Scottie Dog and I loaded up the pick-up truck and joined Liz, Steve and Sydney on a 2 hour trip to Zenia. Just past the tiny Forest Lookout post we turned off on a tiny road. Before leaving, I asked Bill what the weather was going to be. One of Bill's favorite things to do is check the weather. He always knows what the weather is in Minn. where daughter Beka lives. He knows what the weather will be tomorrow, or the next day, or the weekend. So I thought I was safe asking, "Should I take a coat?" Mr. Scottie Dog said, "It'll be nice, in the high 60's." So I picked up my sweatshirt jacket and I was ready to go.
A minute or two up the tiny road from Zenia we saw snow. Not just a little, enough so that Bill had to get the 4-Wheel Drive active. We still slid around and it took several tries to get past a huge patch of snow. Liz and Steve were up ahead by about 10 minutes and so as we drove up another mile we found them parked in the middle of the road, digging in the snow with Sydney. The road ahead was blocked by a huge snow bank. Now the landscape that the sun reached didn't have snow, but the road in the shade had about a foot of snow. We parked our truck too. Poor Sydney didn't have her boots, only tennis shoes but that didn't stop her from digging in the snow with her little shovel, making "snow castles" and generally having a grand time. My job was to watch her. Bill, Steve and Liz had the hard work. They had to climb a hill and find large downed trees (If you get a permit you can cut 2 cords of wood on the designated National Forest Lands) that were dry but not rotted. Then they had to cut them into 4' sections and roll them down the hill to the road. The really hard part was getting the logs onto the truckbeds or the trailer. My job was to set out lunch. Really hard, right! By then Sydney was wet and cold so we climbed into the cab of the truck and read stories until the gang was ready to go home.
On the drive home the sun set and the silloutes of the trees at dusk along the ridge was absolutely stunning. By 7 pm we pulled into Fortuna for dinner. Twenty minutes we were home. Mr. Scottie Dog delivered the wood in our truck to Liz and Steve's house on Monday. Just keeping the grandchildren warm!

1 comment:

Christine Thomas said...

Memories...but we never cut firewood in the snow. My toes are freezing just reading this.