Rigging Shack "Classic"
(This column originally appeared in the July 1972 edition of Loggers World.)
Dictated on the freeway just north of Eugene, Oregon. The day is Saturday, the 20th day of May and my first day of labor on the July issue of Loggers World, which I hope you are reading now.
Left home at seven o’clock this morning for Oroville, California driving the ‘69 Ford Pickup that has a small ‘Roundup Camper’ on the back of it and accompanied by my Labrador Retriever called Pat.
First off we went through Portland at 20 minutes after eight and at 23 minutes after eight stopped at a road side rest area to unwater Pat. About 9:45 pulled into a Richfield Station with a VIP restaurant over the top, filled the tank full of gas, 15.9 gallons, for a total distance of 157 miles. Might keep these figures in mind if you are looking for good gas mileage out of a Ford like mine. Went up stairs and had a delicious cup of coffee, my second of the day and a piece of banana cream pie, first of about three months.
Back into the pickup and set sail farther south on that good old freeway. Just north of Eugene among my jumbled thoughts on the next issue of Loggers World etc. and so forth, it came to me that I have been skipping the Rigging Shack column in the last couple of papers. The fact that this isn’t very important is proven because no one has mentioned it. So decided when the idea was fresh in my mind to dictate this rigging shack and mail it back up to Loggers World and have the office force up there take it down and put it into a readable version.
Purpose of this trip, is to go into Northern California, meet some loggers down there and write about them. To many people this may seem like the same old thing but it isn’t the same old thing to me and wish it were possible to make this paper, to make the interviews with loggers, to make the trips around the country and into the woods as interesting to the people that read about it as it is to the person that does it.
Every paper, like every high lead setting is completely different. Every logger, again like every hi lead setting is a completely different individual who is very important in his own right and of course very important and very interesting to know. This is why I often say and feel and think that I am a very fortunate man, because I am doing exactly what I want to and probably very close to what I would do if I had all the money I could burn and was just looking for something to do to fill time, I would still be running around the woods and getting in the way of loggers and asking them a bunch of foolish questions.
When I came through Portland this morning, coming up the hill on the southern end, I passed a small foreign sport car. I thought it was rather unusual for me, driving a three quarter ton pickup with a camper on the back end, to be able to pass such a car. I got down the road, stopped for some refreshment and when I got back on the hi-way and went about ten miles, here was the sports car pulled over onto the side of the road and looked abandoned. Guess the reason I was able to pass it was that it was mighty, mighty sick.
In June of 1969 we purchased an eight & one half foot security camper from Henderson Trailer Sales in Centralia. This camper was equipped with four spider like legs that by turning a crank handle energetically one could stand the camper on the legs and drive the pick-up out from underneath it. Then the big job came when you set the camper back on the pick-up and had to turn the crank handles enough times on each of the four corners to retract back up into the safe driving position.
I used this camper many, many, many nights as I traveled around the different logging outfits. Used it many days too as far as that is concerned and I took it into many logging outfits and up and down many logging roads. It was a little bit top heavy and a little bit wide for comfortable traveling up these logging roads but we did it anyhow. But more important it was very hard on the camper. It never seemed to suffer any appreciable damage from the rough roads but occasionally I would poke a limb or something through the side of it, and it didn’t do it a bit of good.
This year we went back to Mr. Henderson and I said “I want a smaller camper, lower, one that isn’t so wide, one that isn’t so heavy, that isn’t so long.” So he filled our needs almost exactly and we walked away from his establishment with a Roundup Camper. Four feet and ten inches from the floor to ceiling which happily enough gets it out of this doggoned situation that we have now in the state of Washington to license campers.
Since we bought this rig, we just put it right on the pickup, I use it to travel with, pack things in, occasionally make a cup of coffee in and sleep in quite a few nights. Turned out to be just exactly right for me.
I think you know how hard and how difficult it is to find something that fills the bill and fits your needs exactly as you hoped. At least we have found one thing—-this little camper.
One of the peculiarities about the campers that we have owned, no one has discovered how to put a good lock on the back door. It seems that these locks are designed so that when the door gets into a bind it snaps open. That is one of things you constantly fight, I usually end up by putting a pad lock and also a bolt type lock that will keep the door tightly shut because it gets exasperating as heck to go up a logging road and find out you have an inch of dust all over your belongings including your bed. It means taking an hour off to clean the place up. I do that very seldom.
I have always been able to understand why a wife might be happy to see her husband leave home for a few days but I have never been able to contemplate with any understanding is why the same wife is glad to see her husband come back if he comes home like I do. Usually tired, due to too many nights with a short amount of sleep and bad eating habits and long days and lots of traveling. Normally broke, all the money has disappeared and maybe I spent way more money that I took with me due to credit cards.
Another thing I am going to have is a gunny sack load of dirty socks and underwear for the dear lady to do. I have probably got every pair of socks and every suit of underwear that I own dirty by this time. On top of that in my particular case my wife has all the sheets to wash, the camper to clean out, the groceries to buy and rearrange on the shelf and all these little things to be done.
As nearly as I can calculate if I am gone seven days she has 2 extra days work to do.
This year has been a very different one as far as I am personally concerned, than any that has gone before it. Difference has been brought about by the size of Loggers World steadily increasing. I am greatly in favor of this but it is imposing more of a work load, a work load that I enjoy.
In addition to that we are putting out this book, “Contract Loggers-1972” that also takes some work. In order to carry these jobs and maintain the schedules I have been forced to cancel every speaking engagement that I have had, every participation in anything outside the business and every logging show normally that I serve as master of ceremonies at. This will be the first in ten years that I have not had the enjoyment of announcing anywhere from six to ten Logging Shows. I am going to miss it but there are other enjoyable things to come along.
In order to get to the part of the country that I like to go, and must go, I do much of my traveling over the week-end. Some of the places I go, it takes most of two days to get there so it is handy to drive there in one week-end. Drive home on the next and thus no working days are fractured traveling. I fully expect to take some pictures at Logging Shows but I have no hard and fast schedule for this.
If there is anything that tickles me and gives me a lot of pride it is to run into very professional loggers. Whether they are working loggers or logging operators. I have a built in respect and admiration for people whose job to them is important & who have made up their mind that they are going to be the best at it. I like the people that study all aspects and become very proficient at their work and who know the whys and the wherefores that make things happen as they do.
I had just such an experience with a young man when I was visiting Alpine Logging job in the form of a timber faller by the name of Denny Athearn. Denny is a timber faller, he is a good one, he watches out for the man that is working with him and he is just as concerned about his partners safety as he is his own.
I think this is one of the reasons that makes the woods the fine place that it is because we have so many professionals in the logging trade. More power to them and I hope we get many more of them.
Logged Sutherlin, Oregon at exactly 11:30. Eleven fifty-five stopped at the North Umpqua State Park five or six miles north of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, to again dehydrate dog and enjoy a cup of tea. Two hundred seventy-six miles from home and making good time. Kinda pepped up the departure by spilling a cup of hot tea in my lap.
This government food stamp program no doubt has helped many many people and has done some real good. As in most of these programs many people that need and deserve them don’t get them and a bunch of culls that are able bodied, although lazy, climb aboard for a free ride.
A story I heard took place in a grocery store. A hippy type young man was checking thru the line with a bag of groceries. He had a dog tied outside waiting for him. The clerk picked up a bag of dog food that he had bought and told him that he couldn’t get dog food with food stamps. The guy took the dog food back and got a big steak out of the meat counter. He could buy that with food stamps. Then he went outside, unwrapped the steak and fed it to the dog.