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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 4/9/2010

I had decided several days ago after my last visit to Tanglewood that the tree overhanging the road just on the way to the site was just gonna have to go. The tree had been slowly falling all winter long, descending further and further down the supporting branches of its neighboring pines on its way to a rendezvous with the gravel road below. The winds of the past week have been particularly devastating, with the tree sliding several feet and running dangerously low on neighboring branches upon which to rest.

So today I hoisted my trusty chainsaw, loaded up Blackie and headed up the canyon to turn the falling tree into firewood. We first went past the tree up to Tanglewood proper, where I had planned to fire up my beloved Gator ATV and drive it down to the tree, only to discover that sometime over the winter its rear tires (which were very cracked) had died. Dang... two flat tires and no spares. Okay, no ATV for me today (mental note: buy ATV tires).

So Colleen and I loaded up the generator (and I nearly broke her finger in the process--I apologize again for that, Love!) into Blackie and we headed back down to the tree. We quickly hooked up the winch (one of the best purchases I've ever made for Blackie) and pulled the tree down (wasn't hard), and then I set about cutting it up.

Overall it wasn't too difficult a task, though I quickly realized that I had foolishly stored the chainsaw with a mostly dull blade.  (Side note: It's positively amazing how much difference a sharp vs. dull chainsaw blade can make. You'd think that with something hacking at a tree at the rate of thousands of RPMs, sharpness wouldn't matter, but it does--it really does.) As I recall, last fall I knew it was dull having run it virtually to exhaustion on my last cutting day of the season, and figured it was something I'd take care of in the spring--which is, you know, now. Sigh.

At least I was smart enough to have remembered to bring another chain down, and I stopped halfway through to swap them out, but that wasn't as successful as I'd have hoped either--the backup chain was dull and rusty in spots (having been exposed to the humid winter air for several months) so it wasn't much better than the first chain. Still, it was sharp enough that I was able to finish the major cutting, after which we got the logs loaded into the truck for Colleen's delivery to a friend in town (who was looking for some nice firewood). 

So once we got the tree cleared we went back up to the house to do some basic trash pickup and download my weather data. While downloading the data and glancing over it as I usually do I realized that despite the continual windy conditions, the anemometer was reading a speed of 0 mph. "That's odd", I thought. I then checked the past previous day's worth of data and for one of the windiest weeks we've had in decades--the anemometer steadfastly logged readings of 0 mph. 

Hmmm.

So on our way out of the canyon, we stopped to take a gander at the anemometer over on the ridge, since we can spot it easily from the road--and it's not there! It's gone. Not on the pole. Missing.

What. The. Frack.

The sun was headed down, so I wasn't inclined to hike up the ridge to see firsthand what had happened, so all I could do was note the problem and head home. Tomorrow we're going to come back up here and I'll take a closer look. I seriously doubt that it's been stolen or anything, but it could have fallen or possibly been shot off. We'll see.

I didn't see any point in more pictures of Tanglewood, since there haven't been any changes this week anyway. 


Steven in Colorado Springs

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