Above all, try something. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Astrid Hardt kind of inspired me to write this with her recent picture and comment of Josh's firewood pile. She said he better get working on it. It kind of gave me a hot flash, and made me want to go collect some more wood. It seems as though The Hardt Family and The Coyle Family are often very similar, minus two awesome boys and a dog named Scout Racecar. I always wish we could spend our free time together, but it's probably best we live 2000 or so miles away from each other. I have a feeling Josh and I would not get the chores done we would need to be doing.

This will be the first year in the history of Katie and I, that we'll be heating our house with wood. We've had a fireplace in the past, but this is the first wood stove that we'll be relying on to keep warm through the winter. I recently asked the woman that lived in our house before us, how much wood she has gone through in a winter, and she said about 10 cords. Holy smokes, that's alotta work.

I've been going on nightly excursions about the same time when some of you are nestled into the couch with a book or TV. (Mostly because some of you are two hours ahead on the East). I've been taking the truck and my Stihl MS 260 Pro Chainsaw on a hunt for standing dead Pine and Fir trees. I understand that these two arent the best sources, but it's all we have. I'm learning all about this, and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. This is how the growing stash looks as of tonight. The pile on the right is stove length at 16 inches, the pile on left is twice that length, and the pile in the back is 4-8 foot logs. I'm thinking it's about 4 cords. What do you think? :

Cutting firewood is extremely hard work. I actually related it in my head the other night to building ski lifts for Doppelmayr. As close to slave labor as I can imagine. Every time I pull up to a dead tree right on the side of the road, it's always more work than I think, and takes way longer than I expect. But it's good work. And as sore and beat up as I may get, I truly do enjoy it. I feel I aquired that trait from my father, who has always worked hard.

I hope to update this post a few more times with photos of the ever growing pile of wood that is so important to us in keeping warm for the winter. Part of my motivation to do it now, is the fact that hunting season is rapidly approaching here in Montana (September 4th is opener). I am so psyched for my first season hunting with a bow.
My dog and one of my best buds, Pfeiffer, also known as PTD (Pfeiffer The Dog), loves to help me with all my projects on the ranch. However, his idea of helping, is hunting marmots, squirrels, chipmunks, and other critters. He recently found a mouse living in between the logs in the pile:

Here's a killer shot of the moon and Fan Mountain from the driveway. Some of you may get sick of this peak with all these shots of it. It's so dramatic, always in our face, and always looking so incredible. I hope I never get sick of it. The other night I got a look at a bunch of elk through my spotting scope, on that far right face in the sun, way up on the peak. So cool.

Here's a shot from a great ride with Katie last night up the trail behind our house. The horses are a whole other story in my life right now. I am loving the experience of being around these amazing animals. So much fun.
Life is great and we've been incredibly busy. I can't believe it's almost September already! We've been loving having all our friends come stay and play with us this summer. The fun continues next weekend when my buddy Panda comes for a day to float the Madison River. Looking forward to a day of chucking hoppers on the bank in hopes to catch some monster trout. Stay tuned and have fun.........


  1. Good post, Ed!

    I remember one year (back when I used a woodstove in the living room for most of my heat) buying 11 cords of log lengths of hardwood. The flatbed wouldn't fit through the driveway opening into the back yard, so I had them dumped in my front yard in Fairfield. Sawed and split them right there and all the oldtimers in the neighborhood tottered by and reminisced (kind of like I'm doing here).

    There's a big debate online about using softwood in a woodstove and its creosote buildup and the risk of chimney fires. The old wisdom is to not use pine except for kindling, but there's a theory that it's not the pitch in the wood but the water content that causes a creosote buildup.

    Whatever advice you choose to follow, use well seasoned wood and have a chimney fire killer handy. I had one chimney fire in eight or ten years of using the woodstove (despite annual cleanings) and it was scary, scary. Sounded like a semi truck was accelerating down the flue. Luckily I had a perfectly tight installation, shut the stove totally down and the fire smothered itself without immolating the house and its resident.

  2. That's what I'm talking about! A great old story, some sound advice, and a wise recommendation. Thanks for the quality follow up comment Todd!