We're not sure how long it has been since our land was inhabited, but we do know that the woods haven't been managed in many years. For every ten trees standing, there are probably one or two laying dead. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if we had enough casualties from recent storms to heat our eventual home for a decade.We've hired Rick to help us move all the deadfall to a central location with his excavator, and we're hoping he'll be here later this week. When he is done, we'll have a truly massive pile of lumber waiting to be split and stacked for firewood. Long term, we'll be doing this sort of work by hand, but it seems sensible to get some help for the cleanup operation, especially while the ground is frozen and the machinery won't hurt the forest floor too much.
While we're waiting for Rick to arrive with the heavy machinery, Tara and I decide to spend an afternoon hauling a few trees out of the woods using our truck. We take turns: one of us running the tow chains while the other drives. Neither of us is sure how much our Chevy 2500 can handle, so we start small. After snapping a few smaller trees in half, it becomes clear we can pull a pretty massive timber, as long as it's accessible.
The ground out here is frozen solid, and there's often an ungodly cracking sound as the tree we're aiming to move breaks free. Once our target is loose, it goes crashing through the woods, dragging behind the truck like a twig. Meanwhile, Tara hoots and hollers from the driver's seat, giddy with excitement, pumping her fist out the window as she motors up the drive.
I haven't seen her this happy behind the wheel since we were in Mongolia!
I can't wait to see what we can accomplish when Rick arrives with his excavator!