Well, I’m only six days late posting my first update. I’m going with the physical exhaustion defense. Imagine hiking a trail, but stopping every fifteen minutes or so to work out on a bowflex. That is what trail bucking is like, at least if I’m imagining correctly what it’s like to use a bowflex (I imagine it’s sort of like bucking trails, but without the walking. There is a dangerous circularity here.).
There has been some conjecture about me possibly metamorphosing into a full-blown woodsman before all of this is over, but I think our initial optimism was misplaced. I am two weeks into this tree-bucking experiment, and facial hair output remains disturbingly low. Against reports of a strong correlation between beard formation and exposure to Douglas fir sawdust, I must interpose the results of my own study: negative. I’m probably a little bit stronger, though, but I’m not exactly bursting out of my size M flannel shirt. Patience, Nathan.
Fire season has begun here in Oregon. We’ve seen plumes of smoke to the south and to the north. Our home base, the Barlow Ranger District station, is now temporarily hosting about fifty firefighters. It reminds me very much of tornado season in Oklahoma, actually. Fires and tornadoes both get priority coverage on the TV and radio, pop up semi-predictably yet randomly enough to require on-the-ground reports from spotters, and create an atmosphere of sympathetic voyeurism among those not directly affected.
In the spirit of the sportswriter Bill Simmons (a spirit of creative exhaustion, most haters agree), I am soliciting readers’ emails for my upcoming post. Send me your questions, comments, and concerns regarding my tree-bucking/trail walking/log wrestling activities. It’s a classic trick: publish the funny and interesting things your readers say, and cash in on the positive response. You do the work, I get the credit. You can reach me on facebook or via email at ncrain42 at gmail dot com.