So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Follow by Email
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Trespassing and poaching
I must have been around 12 years old when this happened. I was tall and strong for my age so dad had no problems with me helping him out. Dad had a little side business making traditional style snowshoes. My grandfather would build the harnesses and help with the woodwork. Dad paid me to do some of the lacing. I was fast enough to make about double minimum wage, pretty good work for a kid.
The frames were made from ash trees. It's strong wood, straight grained and good for steaming and bending. One year there was a shortage of suitable ash trees. The local timber companies had high demand for things like baseball bats and hockey sticks. They used to let dad take the occasional tree, but that access was cut off. Every stick of ash was being shipped to Canada. The weird thing is that these very same companies also bought snowshoes from dad for their timber surveyors.
That's when my dad resorted to trespassing and tree poaching. He'd disappear into the woods by himself and search out suitable trees. When he found one he'd get me. We'd snowshoe up into the woods. Using a two man crosscut saw we'd cut down the tree we needed. Chainsaws were too noisy. We weren't supposed to be there and certainly not cutting trees.
Dad had built a little sled for skidding logs out of the woods. We'd load one end of the logs on the sled, letting the other end drag. Together we'd pull it down the packed trail that we made coming in. Dad was pretty good about picking trees where it would be a downhill drag all the way.
For some reason it was always dark by the time we got down to the truck. It took no time at all to load everything up and get the heck out of there.
The next year a cousin had bought some timber acreage. There was a good stand of ash trees that my cousin let us have. That was the end of our tree poaching. Too bad, trespassing and tree poaching was a good father/son bonding experience.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.