A Long Tractor Trip Through the Bush

It was a day dedicated to a combination of firewood and more logs for construction. Grandpa was here bright and early and with a bit of work, I managed to get the tractor started. Twenty below can be pretty inhospitable to a diesel engine, as I think I’ve mentioned previously.

Grandpa had cut down one large jackpine, but was a bit disappointed to find the base had already been invaded by ants. He cut off about five or six huge segments before getting to solid wood – this still gave us two huge twelve foot beams, so I considered it a success!

I skidded these two out of the bush with little difficulty, then hooked up the trailer, freed the runners from the ice, and headed back up the trail.

This time I was annoyed to get stuck at the base of the ravine yet again. It sure will be nice if we can ever just drive up there without a second thought. I disconnected the trailer, drove past the sticking point, then chained the trailer tongue to the tractor and dragged it a few more metres before returning and reconnecting. This worked well and more quickly than previously, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain.

By the time I returned to Grandpa, he had already cut down another tree that we thought would be good for firewood, and instead, it was still so sound that we opted instead to use it as beams. Leaving this tree for later, we then cut down and segmented two other dead, standing trees.

With some effort, we managed to turn the tractor and trailer around, and loaded them up with firewood.

This took us to lunch, so I just brought the load to the yurts and went inside for some summer sausage sandwiches (thanks to a great Christmas present!).

After lunch we headed back to the bush to skid out those last two logs. This time I proceeded down the trail to the very end! Grandpa had cut and slashed and landscaped a trail deep into the forest – right up to the property line and up high on the ravine. It was a great feeling to get to the end, turn around, and return without mishap. This was a long distance, and that spot up on the ravine was populated by a number of large, dead, standing jackpines – surely enough to see me through a month or two of hard weather!

It was uneventful to hook up the last two logs and skid them out.

All this time on the tractor really gave me time to enjoy my latest accessory – a cupholder that I hope does me proud. Pricing them out at $10 or so for a commercially made one drove me to try to be more creative. It works great!

Grandpa headed home for a bath, and I escorted Donna and Kenny on a trip to show them how far the tractor had gone.

Once we returned I took up my axe and finished off the trailer load in an hour or two of well paced chopping. The woodshed is not nearly full, but we’re back in business. It’s a good feeling.


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