Hazards of the profession

Out 'N The Woods Again


August 16, 2018

Photo provided

Dale Terrillion

It was another one of those timber tramps over Idaho way for Columbia Helicopters.

Just this side of the grade that goes up to Grangeville, there's a Forest Service road to the left. Up, up through a lot of switchbacks to a big burn they were trying to salvage.

Anyway, the cutters were staying in Grangeville, a two and a half hour drive one way. Gett'n up at 3 a.m. cause you had to be on the job at 6 to get flown in.

Not me sez I, I'll camp out.

The only problem was rattlesnakes abounded. Waking up next to a slimy viper was not my idea of "good morning." Problem solved by not sleeping on the ground. So I crashed on the seat of the pickup. Leaving one door open and a little platform for my feet. Everything was hunky-dory.

One morning about 5:30, as I sat on a rock by my campfire with my coffee pot, up drives a shiny new pickup. Turned out a native father and son timber cutters from Klamath, Ore. Dad was driving and look'n around sez, "Where did you sleep last night?"


Sez me, "Right here."

Casting a doubtful eye at the rock pile, he turned to his son and said something. They drove off and went back to town. A five hour drive every day was too much. I didn't blame 'em. Besides he didn't like sleeping on a rock pile.

Anyhow, we had some big pine. The landscape had four-five foot rye growing that they tossed from a helicopter the year before. Some rancher turned his cattle loose on this feedlot. One of the cutters fell a huge pine out in this blind mess and killed three cows that were bedded there. I think they flew the cows to the landing so they might be salvaged.

These helicopter log'n jobs are full of hazards.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 10/28/2019 07:17