Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Photos From A Prior Life

I used to be self-employed, as some of you remember. I grew Christmas trees, logged my own property, ran a sawmill part-time and sold hand-split firewood. I wasn't skinny even then, but swinging an axe, rolling logs and walking up and down hills kept me in pretty good shape. I've always said that I began to die the day I left the woods, and that's in more ways than one. Here are three photos from those days.

Click images to enlarge.

This is a little quarter-acre logyard my neighbor let me keep in a corner of his pasture. As you see, there are piles of seasoned firewood waiting to be split and hauled. My property was just across the fence.

This shows the diameter of the logs that I sometimes hauled on my little truck. The crack in the big log happened after the tree was cut and and the log cut to length. Since it was from tensions within and not from splitting the tree when falling, I doubt if the buyer marked it down. The more horizontal crack in the smaller log looks as if it was probably from misjudging the gravitational tension on the tree when cutting the log to length (my fault), so I probably was docked a grade since there also appears to be a narrow regular tension crack going nearly vertical. This was taken at the opposite end of the little logyard.

Here's another shot, taken at the top of the rise, to show the comparative size of the logs to the truck. It was only a 3/4 ton with extra springs under the back. I HAVE taken heavier loads, but I generally tried not to go beyond a certain point, as I couldn't afford down-time for repairs. The rear axle was slightly forward of center on the 8' bed, so most loads were rather heavy in the rear, giving me an "anti-gravitational" assist for my power steering! I'd gladly have another new truck like that one (but with AC) and give up my Toyota. PARTS of that old truck had over 400,000 miles on them. It was a real work horse.


deborah harvey said...

glad you have photos. nice to look back on the pleasant, disease free days.

Gorges Smythe said...

Yes it is, dh.

kymber said...

Gorges - i wish you didn't have to look back on those days as "back in those days". but i sure am glad that you have the pictures and the memories. thank you for sharing!

sending much love. did you get them new boots? your friend,

Gorges Smythe said...

I've learned that life moves on, kymber. I don't mean to sound overly melancholy about those days, but I AM an old geezer who enjoys a good grump! lol

Weekend-Windup said...

It is nice to keep us active all the times. That makes our body and mind to be fit.

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

How did you get the logs in the truck?

Chickenmom said...

Love the pictures! Back then you owned a truck to do work. Now-a-days you hardly see one with an 8 ft bed except in the countryside.

Lady Locust said...

I think anyone who has had the opportunity to work in/with Mother Nature recognizes the benefits ~ if not while working, at least later when that opportunity is no longer in front of them. Also, we have an older Chevy w/ about 375K miles on it - still running. We use it to go get wood etc. What a beautiful place you live in.

Gail said...

Logging is hard work but not something every one is born knowing. Looks to me like you knew your business well.

Gorges Smythe said...

Absolutely, WW!

Muscle power and a four-foot cant hook mostly, Kathy. REALLY big ones, I sometimes cross-hauled with the tractor, but those were usually "one log loads."

You're right, Cm, I've got a short bed on my Toyota, and I wish I'd never seen it.

You know what they say about West Virginia, LL, "almost heaven!" lol

Being third generation might have had something to do with it, Gail.

Brenda said...

Nice pictures. My dad used to work at a sawmill. Brings back memories

Gorges Smythe said...

I should show you some sawmill photos, Brenda. I'm they're nothing like your dad worked in, but they had sawdust in common, at least.