Sunday, August 02, 2009

Wisconsin Logging Site: Not Your Ordinary Wood Pile

If you pop your head in the unlocked office door, if you wave to the security camera, and holler “Hello” loudly as you walk around the property and no one responds, are you trespassing? I’d say “No.” So we continued without escort to venture closer and closer to the stack of logs Ed and I noticed during our drive on a country road outside Ashland, Wisconsin.

This was no ordinary wood pile! The logs formed a mountain showing off the concentric circles – the growth rings – of each cut tree. Logs wedged on the end of the stack kept the mountain from cascading in a disastrous roll sure to crush anything in the path.

Train tracks ran parallel to the log mountain. And, more piles across the tracks gave the illusion of a landscape of rolling hills.

Ed and I wandered around this industrial site carefully. And, even though Ed loves big logs for our campfires, the massive size of these cuts caused him to pause. He didn’t even consider grabbing one as a souvenir for fear of causing an avalanche.

As travelers, we stop at places like this because it gives us a glimpse of the economic engine behind the façade of a town’s painted murals, quaint specialty shops, and antiseptic visitor centers. It builds an appreciation for the raw materials before they go to market to become a household product. And, it reminds us of the hard working, extraordinary people found in each community we visit.

July 15, 2009

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