Above all, try something. ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Splittin Time

Blog it up!

It's been a long time since I sat at the 'puter and blogged it up. Things have been busy! We've had a beautiful Indian Summer here in Montana. The snow has just recently begun to fall and it's beautiful. I can't believe it's the middle of November already. I've been busy since the start of September hunting elk and deer. Most of my free time and thinking, has gone to chasing wild game. Just tonight (Friday, November 12), after 2 and a half months, my elk hunting season has come to an incredible end. When I put down the elk, the snow was falling gently on the pines as the sun was setting in the west. I couldn't have asked for a more unbelievable Montana evening. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to harvest such a beautiful animal. This hunting season has been very good to us, as I was able to harvest a white tail deer on my 32nd birthday as well. Many thanks to my folks, who got us an upright freezer for our anniversary. My parents are known to give all of us such special and thoughtful gifts. I love you guys and miss you dearly. The new freezer will now be stocked full of delicious and healthy wild game, as well as all of our 18 chickens that we raised and butchered in late summer. Can't wait to share it with all of you who come to visit us here in Montana!

Wood Splittin Time!

I knew this day would come. I've had the wood stacked in round 16" logs for about a month now, just waiting for me to either keep adding to it, or just get to splittin! There was no way I was going to split 12 cords by hand. Some people may be able to handle that, but they are not right in the head. My thought was to rent this bad boy for a coupla days and get after it:

It was a 25 ton hydraulic splitter that can be used horizontal or vertical. I decided to go with the horizontal splitting action, thinking it would be easier and more efficient. I'd like to shake the hand of the man who tinkered around till he invented this thing. It was amazing! She worked like a champ for 2 straight days, with no problems other than a flat tire.

Most of the credit needs to go to my incredible helper "guys". I strategically scheduled wood splitting day around a time when I knew Katie wouldn't be teaching, as well as when I knew my man Joe Difulgentis would be around to help. We were very efficient as a three "man" team and got all of the wood split that I wanted to. I kept 2 cords of lodgepole pine for me to split by hand. Here's Katie Rose and Joe (and Hattie the Dog) at work on the first snowy morning:

Most of the pine split pretty easily as you can see in the photo above. Other logs like the fir, were more difficult. I think our record was a total of 12 pieces of wood out of one 16" length of a log. It was a bit cold, so we made sure to have a fire on hand to keep our hands, feet, and backsides warm.

At the end of the first day we had split half of the wood. Katie set up the lanterns and we had headlamps on as we worked into the night. I did manage to snap a photo of the sunset though:

We worked hard for 2 straight days. It felt good to be done!

Having all that wood split and food in the freezer feels like money in the bank. It's been a long season and I'm happy things are slowing down. I'm very excited to have some time with my wife, pick up my banjo on a regular basis, and get to some skiing! We are really looking forward to a visit from my parents for Thanksgiving. My brother Frank is coming up from Idaho as well. It'll be so nice to have some family here for the holidays.
I wish you all a great holiday season, filled with laughter and love with family and friends. We miss you all, and can't wait to see you.