Riding the Log

Some people go to the gym for exercise.  Some people are adrenalin junkies and go white water rafting or bungee jumping.  Here on the mountain, or abroad for that matter, we don’t subscribe to such extreme ‘sports’.  Our work around the house pretty much suffices for our exercise… AND adrenalin fix.

When we were away on our road trip we had a tree fall near the house.  It was only 6′ from the house itself, so we were lucky it fell the right direction… particularly since we weren’t home at the time in case it fell wrong.

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Now for the task of getting rid of the fallen tree.  The tree measures about 50′ long, 30″ around at it’s base.  We limbed the tree to rid it of all the scraggly branches, and cut the root ball off.

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Most people would cut it on the spot and carry up logs for firewood, one at a time.  But that would be too easy.  For us though, this beautiful cedar tree can make great lumber for projects.  We can slab it and make shelves with it, or lathe it and make salt cellars.  The possibilities are endless…. particularly if it is kept whole.

The tree sits down a fairly steep incline, so the task is to get it up the hill … without of course hitting the propane tank, pizza oven, or rocks.  We have a 2′ space we’ll have to thread it into.

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So we rig up snatch blocks in a tri-pull configuration to snake this 50′ long tree around several trees to thread it between the propane tank and rocks, using the winch from the truck parked up hill.

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We use tree branches as rollers to help finesse it up the hill.logride_IR.jpgtripull2_IR.jpg

When the truck starts sliding over the chalked tires and lumber toward the hill we have to stop to chain it forward to a tree on the top of the hill.

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John winds up having to ‘ride the log’ jacking it away from the propane tank to situate it through our small opening.

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As a fire fighter with chain saw and sawyering skills, he looks like the poster dude for what NOT to do in those Forest Service training video’s he watches.  All is fine until he is bucked off the log as it makes an unexpected turn toward the propane tank.

We turn to steel ‘rollers’ to get it up the rest of the way.

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Whew!  What a chore.  But we got it up the hill, rode the log, and got enough adrenalin to spare.

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Salt Cellars

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As we continue to finish up the pizza oven exterior (currently working on the pizza oven doors), we shift our attention to the ‘accompaniments’ to the pizza oven.  Not only will be have to develop custom drawers and ‘tool rack’, we’ll have to develop the tools themselves (pizza peel, brush, etc.) and a system to break them down for storage.  Alas, we are not quite there yet.

But we did find time to make salt cellars for the salt, crushed red pepper, and oregano condiments that will accompany the pizzas once they are finally coming out of the oven.

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We made several… out of red heart cedar… and spruce.  They’ll make great details for our custom pizza oven.  I’m ready to make pizza… too bad our pizza oven isn’t.

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