26: logging!

I'll update this post with some pictures soon, but on Tuesday, I received a project lifeline from a friend, a burly big guy in his 50's, born and raised here, who has logged for a living and keeps his fingers (all ten, still!) in it, and is conversant in the mountain culture of yore but at the same time is an adventure racer, works at the University, is married to an English professor, and is as at home with shaved-leg cyclists as he is with Appalachian work crews. Tom, the Renaissance Mountain Man.

Tom showed up at my house mid morning with his 24" bar Stihl. For the ignorant, that's a big man's saw, but he's easily two of me. We dropped two large Poplars, just barely small enough in diameter to be moved (in sections) without heavy equipment or leverage devices. After felling the trees, Tom bucked them into 14 and 12 foot logs, perfect for our project. We moved several to the cabin subfloor for notching and construction. The rest we left nearby, on the ground.

Later that day, I tended to the logs with a bark spud, the 2' tool that I purchased for the task of skinning them. It's a wooden-handled instrument with a sharp, curved, two-inch-wide blade that slips under the bark. Surpisingly, with all the water the trees have been soaking up, bark slipped off in massive sheets and long strips. It was easy! In Chapter 8, I considered returning this tool, and that would have been a huge mistake.

Excitement did occur when the biggest log decided to exhibit a playful nature and pretend to be a tobogan sled -- I lost it, and now it's going to take at least 4 strong folks a few minutes to retrieve it 60 feet from the bottom of the hill it descended. I had to jump it like I was skipping rope!

Once again, I'm grateful for and humbled by the generosity of my energetic and skilled friends -- without help, I couldn't physically or safely have accomplished this part of the log cabin project.

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I use this blog to chronicle certain aspects of my life near the Smokies. I'm building a cabin. I kayak. Sometimes I bike.