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Hunting for wild trees
posted by John : December 9, 2012

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Tree hunters

So, this Tubbs thing, right? This is finally the justification that's needed to try snowshoeing into the woods to cut down a Christmas tree, right? Even though we cut down a farmed tree last week, right?


So into the woods we went. Well, after I did an extra early trip up Mailbox. And after we dug out six of the nine pairs of snowshoes we have. (All Tubbs!) And after we packed the truck so full there was no room for Treen. (I'd say, "Sorry, Treen," but after Mailbox I think she was secretly relieved.)

11:30am and we're on the road. We need to be back by 3pm so Clara can head downtown for another performance. No problem, we're only going up to Hansen Creek Road. They plow that so folks like us can pay only $10 for a tree instead of the OMG HOW MUCH DID WE PAY FOR A FARMED TREE? Unless, of course, you bought a farmed tree and then decided to get a wild one. Cuz, you know, Tubbs.

Except, they don't plow that road any more. They do politely suggest you put on chains, though. And they make fun of people that don't put on chains. Regardless, we had chains on and were at the upper Humpback access road by noon... thirty. Just in time for the rain to start. Well, freezing rain, really.

No problem. After all, we're not here to have fun. We're here for Tubbs! (Sssh. Don't tell Amy, but this whole Tubbs thing is an awesome excuse for me to drag the kids out snowshoeing.)

I put on six pairs of snowshoes, some multiple times, and we were off. (Oh, the sixth pair? Nana and Papa, but Papa was more than capable.)

There were some great trees right by the gate, but manly man me disregarded those. We needed an adventure! Luckily, there was a great trench so we were able to motor up the road. It was mostly hemlock, but there were a few clusters of noble firs every once in a while.

This one? Too tall.

This one? Too short.

This one? It's bare on the back side, but it'd make a great corner tree.

<sigh> A "corner tree."

About three quarters of a mile in we found a great tree, but before the kids could weigh in they decided to climb a hill. Good for them. Wait, I have to follow? Ugh. Did I mention I had Mailbox legs? No great trees at the top, so we descended (some faster than others) and the cutting began.

When it came down it managed to get wedged between two other trees. Papa and I pulled and struggled to get it out. Meanwhile, the others were already heading back to the car for hot chocolate.

Finally back in the trench, I made good work of erasing our footprints in the snow. First, by just pulling, but then with a harness made of twine specially designed to cut off circulation before snapping and landing me face down in the snow. (No, not really, but it felt like it was about to happen at any moment. The anticipation was almost worse than the snow.)

Amy stuck with me for the return trip except to give keys to the others. When we finally made it to the truck the kids were warm and cozy snacking away. Without the usual bundling, getting the tree on the roof was a little more difficult than usual, but it didn't come off even after 16 miles on the freeway, though we were only doing about 50 mph.

Now that it's here, it looks absolutely huge. Never mind putting it in the house, it's a backyard tree to be sure. Heck, we might even build a treehouse in it.

And all for $10. And a little frostbite, but our deductible is all paid up so we're good.

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