Sunday, August 5, 2012

Catchin' Up - At the Homestead

Around July 10th, our biggest gathering of guests arrived - from Meisner, Germany; Santa Maria, California; and Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.  And as usual, our good friend and neighbour as well as native son Don Oakes took the lead as tour guide and logging instructor.  One thing he loves to do for all our visitors if he can is to take them to his family's original homestead, just a few miles west of the ranch.  Because I can't remember things and always forget to write things down, I don't recall the exact date the land donation claim was filed, but it was in the mid-1800's, before Oregon became a state (in 1859).  A good time was had by everyone, especially seeing the giant tree and throwing sticks for Sybil's sister Jan to fetch in the pond, and Don gave quite a history lesson to our friends from Germany.  I don't know how much was lost in the translation - they all speak very good to excellent English - as there were some technical terms that maybe didn't translate well.

The homestead.  Don logged the timber for everything you see and built it all himself

The Big Tree

That stick in the ground to the left of the picture is what is termed a 'widow-maker'.  It was hard to gauge the size of it, but it was easily 20+' long and stuck deep in the ground.  Had a married man been standing in that spot when it came down, his wife would be a widow, hence the name.  Scary stuff, that.

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