Friday, after work, my friend Brian D. and I loaded up his truck with camping and firewood cutting gear and drove down to a cabin in Cape Fair, Missouri. About every six months or so, we head down there to check on the place, camp for an evening and cut firewood or put the kayaks on the lake below the place. The cabin is extremely well build with no drafts and very little sound passing through its walls, even with its close proximity to the road. The owners, a couple Brian knows through church, have been extremely gracious to allow us access so regularly. So, we always try and leave it better than we found it.
Friday night, we got down there, unlocked the gate, pulled in the truck and trailer and hooked up the electricity from the post out front with a long extension cord. Then got to cooking dinner out on the porch. Brian made steaks with potatoes, bell peppers and onions. A feast for kings. While we were out on the porch we heard something rustling in the leaves on the hill above. I broke out my spotlight and shined it up in the woods. A large gray fox was slowly making its way along the hill above us. It was really pretty and easily the biggest fox I've ever seen. The red ones we have in our neighborhood are always about a third smaller. If it wasn't the color and shape it was, I might have mistaken it for a small coyote.
After that, we played some checkers on my DIY camp checker board made from garage scraps and we hung out on the porch for a bit before calling it. Brian got the loft, I crashed on the futon downstairs, reading for a little while before turning the light out.
Up Saturday morning at dawn. Coffee and breakfast on the porch. Brian saw a handful of deer moving through the property before I got out of my sleeping bag. Two of which were good-size bucks. Breakfast was bacon, eggs and biscuits that I made scratch on Thursday night for the trip. Can't beat bacon from Horrmann Meat Co. in Springfield. Easily my favorite butcher shop in town.
After breakfast, with rain looming on the horizon, we got to work on the white oak tree that had been felled behind the cabin.
It didn't take us long to fill up the trailer. Luckily for us, the white oak was much less difficult to cut and split than last year's red oak. We had a couple of fun points dropping the larger limbs to the ground. At one point, Brian cut through one with the chainsaw, only to have it fall to the limb below it and pivot horizontally across it perfectly balanced. The way it was bent, it took a little thought to bring it to the ground and cut it some more.
Around noon, as we were throwing the last pieces on the trailer and lashing them down for the return trip, the rain really kicked in. We moved back under the porch for a lunch of chili dogs and watched it come down for a while before loading the gear into the truck and cleaning up and locking the place behind us.
It's odd how a thing like cutting firewood can be so much fun. Here it is Monday morning and I'm still feeling the effects of it in my back and shoulders, but in retrospect, the work seems way more rewarding than a pain.