Posts Tagged With: logging trucks


At one time, gigantic logging trucks like this one rumbled right through downtown Murphys. Officially rerouted in the 1990’s,  they can no longer do that. They roll down the mountain and keep to Highway 4 on their way to the mill. Loggers can still plow right through  downtown  Angels Camp on Highway 49.  I must admit to a bit of joy at seeing them. In the 80’s I rode with a logger to the woods and photographed  the complete operation from cutting, skidding,  loading, chaining up and delivering them to the mill. In fact, the driver pulled over to tighten his chains once we left  the rugged logging road and I got out  to take the big behemoth’s picture.  A guy backing out of his driveway, without looking, backed into me with his pick-up. I was unhurt, thankfully.  I wish I had those pictures in digital format.

Today’s logs, compared to logging in the seventies and eighties look like toothpicks. I’ve seen two or three or four logs fill one of these trucks. A tree trunk riding high half above the cab made you fear a slipping chain would allow a log to  smash through the cab and kill anybody inside.  The weight of the load was especially noticeable on Murphys Grade from Forest Meadows to Murphys with the driver managing the winding road, his jake brake scudding.  The memories, the sights and smells are great and I’m glad for the truck owners and loggers who have work again. Standard recently opened their mill in Sonora and I followed three trucks down to the river, and across the other side over Parrots Ferry Bridge on my way to the dentist. I returned by way of Stevenot Bridge on 49 through Angels Camp. I counted, coming toward me, four logging trucks which means a full truck was moving through town every five minutes on both highways.  As I did some errands,  I saw two more pass. Sure enough, I waited and caught this one moving through town.  While the jobs are great, they are most likely clear cutting for Sierra Pacific. SP refuses to compromise and do select cuts. They clear huge swaths of land and destroy the beauty and ecology of our area in the Sierra Nevadas. SP owns over a million acres above us, and young trees are falling to the axe.  A local group, Forest Watch, has photographed and protested their business practices, but the best way to make them accountable to the local community is to refuse to buy Sierra Pacific Lumber. I recommend you  buy certified lumber that is sustainably cut. It is stamped on the end of each board. It is possible to log without desecrating the land and habitat, but the bottom line for corporations  is people, nature, and animals last and money first. When I saw that logging had resumed, I speculated on the recent appearance of bear and feral pigs at our elevation and wonder if clear cutting could be upsetting the balance?


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Oregon is green and beautiful, even when the day is overcast and cold. Expected to rain, but the drive from  Rogue River, to Florence, which is near the coast, is scenic. Crossing through the Umpqua watershed, following the river, then the Smith River area…this abundance of water helps make it the Great North West.

I even enjoyed seeing a parade of logging trucks, though I despise the clear cutting that is still happening here and in Washington State.

Old bridges, some with swinging draws are plentiful because rivers are plentiful as water pushes toward the sea from the cascades. In fact, someone told me there are 52 covered bridges in Oregon. What a wonderful goal for some summer, to find them all. There is one near my property.

As we got lower in elevation near the Dean River watershed, an expansive meadow held a huge herd of elk, lying around in plain site. Signs everywhere, elk crossing, siting area, benches and shaded places were set up for viewing. By the time we spotted them, the turn out was past so we cruised on by. Couldn’t even get my camera focused in time to catch a shot from the window. But, we did stop for lunch at Brandy Bar, above. Its filled with trees and ducks.

The nearby bank showed off a patch of little English daisies in bloom and bright, new green leaves on the trees. I would have taken a dunk if the river was in Redding with its 93 degrees instead of here.

The sun came out for a moment as we passed this beautiful pond full of lilies just before reaching our destination, South Jetty Thousand Trails at Florence. After four hours driving, we set out for a brisk walk around the park in a light rain. Then I finished my book, The Little Friend, by Donna Tartt, an interesting novel about a southern family forever impaired by the unexplained murder of a young son. Sounds gruesome, and had some haggard characters but a compelling and fascinating read. Its great to be on the road again.
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The road West of Reno had over a mile of narrow passage for roadwork and I was grateful that Jim was driving. The Sierra’s are beautiful, the weather was balmy and nice for the last stretch to home.
There is a song with these words: Far away places with strange sounding names,
Calling, calling, me!
The strange soundings names disappeared as we entered more familiar territory on Highway 80. It occurred to me that what is familiar to me is just as exotic to someone else, like Sparks, Dutch Flat, Heather Glen, Blue Canyon, and flumes.

The flumes hug the hillsides on the Western slope of the Sierras. Whenever we have out of state visitors, they are quite curious about the flumes. I’ve seen them in the wintertime around Truckee with icicles five and six feet long.

The snowshed is also visible in several different places. The sheds cover the train to make passage possible in the winter.

Another familiar sight, logging trucks with skinny logs these days. We saw one in Colorado as well.

My last stop before home?  Pick up my Prius from my daughter’s house and visit with family. Grandsons Theo and Owen have two new family members, Lyra and Luna. Named for a star and moon.

I visited a couple hours before heading up to Murphys in the foothills above Sacramento.

The boys are now earning their spending money by collecting and selling owl pellets. Its a bit hard to relate to a Lemonade Stand, or walking the dog. But, science classes use them and they are glad to get them. The world is an ever changing place.

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