Monday, September 13, 2010

Woodchucks at Camp Chicken

The weekend weather looked pretty iffy. A front bringing lots of rain was supposed to roll through the area about noon on Saturday. We needed to get Mom and Dad's winter wood cut, so we decided to go to camp anyway.

Friday was really nice, sunny but cool. We made it to camp about 5:15 and got our woodcutting gear ready and the big trailer hooked up to the car. We headed to the area near Arlene's deer shack where we had a pile of wood that we had gathered the spring before.

About 3/4th of it was still good, so we managed to get it cut up before dusk. We went back to the trailer and decided to go see if the big buck was out in the field again. We saw does with fawns (a good sign) and two small 4-points but no big bucks. So we headed back to camp for dinner.

Arlene made our Friday night favorite: sliced polish sausage, baked beans and fried potatoes all mixed together. It was delicious! We ate it out of our new "cowboy" bowls that Arlene's sister Judy bought for us in Ohio. They are made from metal with a white enamel coating and remind us of the kind of bowls that cowboys use around the campfire.

Saturday morning we were up at 6:10 AM having our coffee and we were out in the woods by 7:30 AM. We knew that we had to beat the rain that was coming by noon. We were really hustling. I think we only took one break. We cut up all the piles of wood that we had collected and loaded them in the utility trailer.

The rain had held off so far. Mom came up for a visit just as we finished and we headed to her house to unload our trailer. We finished up about 2:00 pm and headed back to camp. We just got in the trailer and changed our clothes when the rain came down. After a warm cup of coffee, we opted for a nap. We were pooped!

Cindy came up for supper and we had Arlene's famous hamburgers. Wow, were we hungry. After dinner, we played Phase 10 until 10:00 PM and hit our beds.

Sunday we slept in until 8:00 AM. We had our coffee and headed out for Phase Two of our woodcutting weekend. There were about six large, dead, peeled, maple trees near Arlene's shack that we thought we could cut down.

Now we have a new Husqvarna chain saw and it is a really good saw, but I've never taken down a tree bigger than eight inches and these babies were over a foot in diameter. But, we figured we could try it. I cut it just the way the manual that came with the saw had described and it fell exactly where I wanted it to. I was pretty proud of myself.

We felled at least eight or nine of those big trees and cut them into lengths of four blocks. Then we had to move those big logs. They were to heavy to carry so we flipped them end for end. What a lot of work.

Cindy came up just as we were about half-done and helped us move logs. We put them in piles near our trails and the road so that we can cut them up and split them. Our neighbor at camp, Ronnie Leach, is kind enough to let us use his wood-splitter to split them up.

After our chore was done, Arlene grilled us up some Polish Sausage and we had them on a bun. We were starved. Mom came up for a visit as we were eating.

It was a beautiful sunny day. We took our time closing up camp and left about 4:00 PM. We stopped at Cindy's and put more Round-up on the poplar gads we had cut off. We knocked on her door but when I peeked in, it looked like she was asleep in her chair. So we went to the BP for an ice cream cone and headed home.

We got about two miles when Mary noticed that a large black cloud had come up out of nowhere to the west of us and was moving rapidly toward us. We joked that we had been trying to beat the rain all weekend and now we had to race it home.

As I drove faster the cloud seemed to be gaining on us and by the time we hit 9-mile road it had almost caught us. We hurried to get to the Soo before it hit. We dropped off Mary and Tiny and hustled home. We made it into the house and got everything unloaded as the rain hit.

I was in the shower when the thunder and lightening started. I got out of the shower and went downstairs to check the weather on the Internet because the sky looked really weird. Sure enough, we were under a severe thunderstorm warning.

It was a humdinger too. Some areas near us got baseball sized hail. Mom and Dad had lightening strike so close to the house that it blistered the paint on their back door and the wind was so bad that it blew their storm door open and broke one of the hinges.

Thank goodness we made it home before the thing hit. The storm was pretty severe.

We are hoping for better weather for next weekend.


Judy Merrill-Smith said...

Sounds like a very productive weekend!

CDGardens said...

Wood cutting is hard work but worth it when it fuels the fireplace.

Glad to hear you made it home safe before the storm hit.