This is the 8th year we have gathered early at Hallelujah Junction and then driven up into Sierras to cut trees in the national forest above Frenchmans Lake. You have to go up high to get a silver-tip spruce. We drove on 14" of snow but it was 17 degrees, so crunchy and doable with care. We stopped here when we could go no further.
Grandson Evan blazed the first trail. His new duck-
hunting clothes were perfect for this. We had nine permits and five trucks, but we picked up an extra truck. A guy and his family saw an opportunity to go in with a group - safety in numbers. They were quite relieved to join us.
Carol snagged the first tree of the day. She had five permits, cutting for friends who couldn't come along, and this one was for Gayle. The forest service checked our tags on the way out and all nine trees sported a tag. I wonder how many trucks they had to help pull out before the day was over.
Once Evan realized that his clothes really were water-proof, he was in the snow as much as he was out of it. The rest of didn't fare as well and had wet pant legs, but not enough to dampen the fun. This is the most fallen snow we've had in our eight-year tradition.
Ron and Allie brought there son Ryan, who was the youngest of our troop this year. He brought dogs too. Labs seem to love water, even if it's frozen.
Amy found her tree! It's perfect for her little house. This was an inaugural off-road trip for her new Toyota. We had to drive through five mud pits that were quite nasty (Ian had to use compound low) and when we got back out, her little truck was covered in mud. Christened!
The diciest part of the drive was negotiating around vehicles of incoming tree-hunters on the drive out. The roads were getting a little slushy and some people lacked good sense. Driving up out of a valley, we were trying to maneuver past some incoming vehicles when one guy stopped us, asking Ian how far in we had to go to get the "fancy" tree. Grrrr. All the trucks behind us were stuck and DS Josh and to use a tow strap to free Carol whose new used truck needs new tires. Grrr.
Josh got their tree. They wrapped in up a tarp and put in their camper shell to take back to Oregon. They spent $70 on a tree last year and you can't knock a $10 forest-service permit tree, plus they collect another memory. It's a great deal!
And this is our tree. Part of the memory making is stopping in Chilcoot at the Wood 'n Rose for lunch. Because we're the earliest tree hunters, we get the place pretty much to ourselves. They are wonderful to us, plus they write individual tickets. It wouldn't be complete without this meal and the visiting.
We are usually home by 1:00, but the difficult snow added hours and we weren't home home late afternoon. Everyone but us was headed to the UNR/Boise State game, so we were on tap to babysit Alexia. SIL brought her out and then he and grandson Kiernan were off the game.
I just discovered Watch Now on Neflix last week and so set Lex up with Angelina Ballerina on my laptop and on her bed. We were using the TV to watch the game. Sadly, we both fell asleep right after half time and by then Alexia was already asleep. We missed the upset of the year. UNR won! Go Wolfpack!!
Alexia and I have a full day ahead of us, starting with a tree to decorate. I'm anxious to try out the new looper loom, but that might have to wait until tomorrow. Meanwhile, it has snowed since we awoke and is supposed to snow all day. It's a good thing it didn't snow yesterday!
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