The S.O. and I went out scrounging for firewood yesterday. Gleaning is legal in Michigan, which means you can paw through the slash left after a commercial logging job. There are always logs (or pieces of logs) that were too twisted, too small, or too short to make it on to the logging truck. I know that it's getting more and more common for nothing to be left after a logging job -- what's too small or twisted for saw logs or pulp goes into a chipper and ends up as biomass -- but it's not happening every time. Yet. In any case, we had noticed the first time we drove the Nestoria Road this spring that there'd been winter logging along it and a few good-sized piles of slash left behind. We figured we'd take a closer look once the mud dried up some.
Well, the mud has dried, sort of, so yesterday we headed out with the pickup, a chainsaw, the two-man logging tongs, and a small axe. The first pile of slash we checked out was a disappointment -- way too much softwood, almost no hardwood -- but the second one looked good. We managed to get a decent load of mixed oak, maple, and yellow birch in not much time at all. And that was despite the heavy traffic on the road. It was unreal.
How bad was it? In the approximately 45 minutes we were there, three vehicles squeezed past our parked truck. Three! On the Nestoria Road. What the heck are that many people doing driving a one-lane seasonal dirt road in the middle of nowhere? It used to be that when we drove that road we never saw another car. Now it's a case of every time we go that way, we end up meeting someone or getting stuck in someone's dust. It is getting much too crowded around here. Pretty soon we'll be dealing with traffic jams.