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Winter Solstice


Rick Kempf

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Nice little write up Rick. I’m burning some bone dry oak right now. It really is nice. The winter solstice, always an encouragement.

What kind of wood do you mostly gather in the desert?

Mike

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The most common is Palo Verde. The hottest is Mesquite. My personal favorite is Desert Ironwood. Way too tough to be any fun cutting, but it lasts nearly forever after it dies and the desert is full of dead ironwood trees from decades or longer ago. The really aged ones are slowly termite ridden and gathered can be broken over a sharp edge of a desert stone. Caveman wood.

Lights like cardboard and burns quick and hot. Never a spark and no smoke if you manage it. Or course you need wheelbarrow loads of it a day because it’s all eaten up by the termites, but lord - what a beautiful and easy to manage fire.

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I'm sitting here watching my gas fireplace and not having to deal with the ash and such....life  is good my friends.

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Heat 100% with doug fir and lodgepole pine. Got sawdust in my blood from logging most my life so making sawdust cutting firewood is just something I have to do?  Love to do it but the body needs a few more breaks...lol  The shack with a puff of smoke out the chimney with wood stacked nice and dry behind the shack.  Doesn't get any better than that imo. Keep on going till the wheels fall off...!!!!!!!

 

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Some really nice Douglas Fir that had to be cleared off the highway here in the Siskiyou mountains of Northern California. The hardwoods we like are Tan Oak and Madrone.

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It just looks like a whole lot of work to me Mike. My wood cutting days have passed, thankfully. I really like setting the thermostat at a certain temperature and my oil heater holds it right there.

Make no mistake, I cut wood for all the 37 years I lived in Alaska, so I have been there. I'll leave it to the younger generation now.

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Rick,

Some nice thoughts there.

My wife and I are sitting here with a fire going in the wood burning stove. Makes for a cozy evening when the temps drop. It's 19* (F) outside at the moment and moving lower.  Certainly not as cold as our friends further North, but cool enough to chill the bones.  The ice fisherman have been out on the lake for a few weeks now.

Plenty of 'free' firewood around as well as that available with an inexpensive permit from the Forest Service. 

Rich - 

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Delnorter...  In '74 I fell redwood down there for a short time, guy got killed and boss shut us down while the Osha did their thing, came back home.  I'd cut tan oak and madrone on Fridays after work for drinking dough on the side.  NICE Doug you got there!!!!

Jim... Spent one season falling timber ('84) on Chicagof Is. up there...wet and miserable but some big assed Spruce up there!!!

Keep on going till the wheels fall off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Yah I know what you mean about getting old Jim. I do still chop a fair amount of wood but I got a splitting buddy a few years back. It’s still quite a bit of work feeding it, but it is a big help.

Oneguy, a lot of danger falling any timber and the redwood is a big, brittle tree that can literally explode on impact. I haven’t fallen many redwoods (especially big ones) but have cut quite a few up to remove from the highways. Tremendous pressure on a big fallen redwood in uneven ground. You start sawing and they really talk to you.

I built the tree fort in the back yard some years ago for my boys. The fort is about 10’x10’ so you can see how big the base of this old growth tree is it sits on. The old fellers went up the trunk as ways to get away from the huge base.

Mike

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