Originally Posted by hmason
It's a fascinating view of man/machine interface.
I have been fascinated by logging ever since coming across a book in the Honolulu library when I was a little kid called Railroads in the Woods
. The year before I moved to the PNW I had visited a friend in southwest Virginia, then flown to Toronto to try to persuade the CBC to hire me, ridden the CP train across Canada, much of the trip in the cab of the locomotive, and rented a car in Vancouver to drive down the coast to visit my mother who lived in Carmel at the time.
While driving on 101 around the Olympic Penninsula I stopped at a roadside store to ask the counter person if she knew if there were any nearby logging operations I could get close to to take pictures. A fellow in the store heard me and said he'd be happy to show me some. As we walked out of the store he asked me if I has a car. I said yes, and he told me to leave it at the store and ride with him. His "ride" tuned out to be a Peterbilt tractor with a Roadrunner logging trailer and 70,000 pounds of logs he was taking to a sort yard near Port Angeles.
I spent the next four days riding with Pat. He and his family live in Forks and he got me a room in a motel that had a trailer I could stay in as everything else in town was full due to the upcoming Fourth of July weekend. He was working a logging side (not site) deep in the mountains and while his truck was being loaded I watched the trees being cut and limbed and yarded up to the tower skidder. Then we'd race down the mountain, sometimes hitting 60 mph on the dirt logging roads, to 101 and the drive north to Port Angeles, unload, and do it again.
All the while Pat was telling me about logging and how log trucks worked. His father had been a log truck driver and Pat had grown up in logging. I had asked him why, as we barreled around curves on 101 with the cab just a few feet away from the cliffs next to the road, the trailer and logs never hit the cliffs. He explained that and everything else about the truck. He even let me drive it, empty with the trailer stacked on the tractor, on the highway and part of the way back up into the mountains.
if I hadn't been fascinated with logging by before I was after that experience. Since moving here I've toured mills, ridden a log train (the only one that's left), and talked to loggers and retired loggers, captains of tugs that haul log rafts and self-loading barges along the BC coast, pilots who fly for logging companies and even a couple of logging company owners.
I find it an absolutely amazing industry, in the machines that are used and the people who use them. I'm sure I would find the mining and oil and steel industries equally fascinating but I don't live where these industries are.
I feel very fortunate in getting to know, at least a little bit, the people responsible for the wood our house is made of.