This tree is coming down. It’s a flowering crab apple and is very pretty for about 4 days out of a year and looks like crap for the rest of the year. It also increases the shade in my garden, which is already too shady.
One of the YaYa’s husbands has a chainsaw and Beck emailed them to see if we could use it. He replied that was concerned about safety and how much chain saw experience I had. I replied, “An old UFSF woods rat like me? My only concern is that I might not be able to use it without a fire burning around me!”
He was apologetic about doubting my chainsaw machismo, but the fact of the matter is I haven’t used a chainsaw for about thirty years. And I never actually did use one in a fire. During that summer, all of us on the crew got a chance to use the saw and we were tutored by a contractor who was a real woods rat. An Idaho redneck woodsman of the highest order, he probably fed his family with elk and trout and knew the North Fork from mine dump to pristine mountain waterfall. I’ll never forget him telling us that if you used a chainsaw all day you’d have “muscles in your shit.”
Forest Service saws were used and abused and we waisted hours trying to find one that ran or was sharp enough or schlepping back to camp to trade an unstartable one for a functioning one. When you used the saw for Smokey, you had to wear heavy chaps, and the standard Smokey gear was steel toed boots, long pants, long sleeved shirt and a hardhat. That’s how I was dressed when it was my turn to run the saw. Of course, it was the hottest day of the summer and my task was to cut out a tangled deadfall at the bottom of small revinge were they were going to do a burn in the fall. It was probably the only humid place in Northern Idaho, unless you count the bottom of a mine shaft.
Everyone was a little apprehensive about the city kid (after all I grew up in a town of twenty thousand) college boy handling a dangerous tool. But I managed to come out of the experience unscathed, but hot and exhausted. I didn’t notice any muscles in my shit though.
So wish me luck. I’m going to call the Emergency Room and North Memorial so they can prepare for limb reattachment surgery. They’re famous for it.