February 1st Sunrise

February 1st Sunrise

The wind howled outside our bedroom window this morning.  It sounded like a freight train or mid-winter blizzard and made me want to cuddle deeper beneath the warm flannel sheets.  It was a deceptive wind, for the temperature was above freezing.  The energy had shifted the wind so it blew gustily from the south, bringing up warmer air from Wisconsin.

Bleary-eyed, I wandered by the kitchen window a little later.  The sky appeared stained beautiful shades of orange and purple and pink.  A photo opportunity!  I threw on Grandma’s old snowmobile suit from the early 1970’s and my boots over jammies and drove down to the bay to get some dawn photos.  However, my husband thinks the above beautiful shot may be his.  After I returned to the house, he commandeered the camera and continued snapping pictures. 

Our outdoors plan for the day involved driving way up in the “bush” to wrestle logs out of the snow for fun.  We met two friends (one of whom is a logger who knew the “secret” of where the wood was located.  Yes, he had permission to cut….)  and off we drove.

It was snowing and cold.  It got colder by the moment.  That temperature above freezing plummeted faster than one could contemplate.  We finally left the snowy paved highway and then proceeded to drive slowly up a logging road for ten miles.  Ten miles does not take ten minutes in the woods.  You drive about 10 mph (if you’re daring) and keep an eye peeled for logging trucks.  These guys work hard, even on Sundays.  You’d think all log truck drivers would be settled in front of the TV watching the Super Bowl but, nope, we started too early.

How many log trucks did we pass?  How many log trucks threatened our truck, our road, our sanity?  The official count is six loaded trucks and trailers.  If you meet a log truck on a narrow back road, there’s no way both vehicles can comfortably pass.  One vehicle (and it’s not the log truck) must carefully inch its way over to the edge.  The edge of the road is covered in feet of snow, or conceals a drop-off, so it’s not a pretty meeting. 

Fortunately, the Logging Gods were with us today.  Whenever a log truck came careening down the road, a handy pull-off presented itself.  Only once were we forced to back patiently up for far too long until we found a side road.  The log truck drivers showed remarkable patience with us. 

Of course we were driving the pride of the family’s fleet, a 1949 four wheel drive Studebaker pickup truck.  My husband spent 14 years fixing up this baby to make it road worthy and last winter put it on the highway.  He rarely drives it too far as it eats gasoline like candy.  However, today we needed the trusty fellow to haul our logs.

And such fine logs they were!  Hard maple.  Premium hard maple.  Barry said he’s never carried home a load of wood comprised completely of hard maple.  Usually there’s other varieties tossed in like soft maple, ironwood, even a few poplar.  Not today!  We were grinning like kings and queens at the thought of next year’s warmth.

The day was not without challenges.  Our friend smashed his finger and it wasn’t pretty.  😦   Our tailgate picnic, complete with sandwiches and fruit, lasted about nine minutes because the two women were near frozen into icicles by the relentless frigid wind–and so was the food! 

Then we hit a deer on the way home.  (It appeared out of nowhere, galloping fiercely out of a three foot snowbank too close to our truck.)  No damage to the truck, but the deer was not so lucky.  We said a prayer for the poor doe….

We’re now home safely complete with a truckload of prime firewood for next season.  You can view our gleanings below:

Our trusty 1949 Studebaker loaded with wood & chainsaw

Our trusty 1949 Studebaker loaded with wood & chainsaw