Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Old Forest & Fun With Friends - Logging Boom Days of Northern Idaho

Years ago, I mean years, my friend Alyson and I took a field-trip type class called "Logging Boom Days of Northern Idaho."

Papers in my file say 1993, so 22 years ago to be exact. This summer. That was one of our killing-two-birds-with-one-stone plans. Each summer we would take a class, as teachers were (and still are) required to take continuing education courses. The multiple day courses we chose allowed us to travel, visit, camp and/or sleep in a cabin, experience a new adventure, and fulfill our school requirements.

Speaking of adventures, this course was the one where I locked the keys in the van at our campground en route to the class site. On the first day of class. We were late because we had to wait for AAA to show up and unlock the van. In the middle of the wilderness of northern Idaho. That was fun.

Together with our fellow classmates, we traveled over hill and dale, climbed up hill (many times) and downhill (again, many times). The cabin we stayed in during the class had bats living between the metal roof and the wooden roof. Our nights were filled with scritches and scratches as they climbed in and out for night flight hunting. I was positive they were inside the cabin, so I slept with my sleeping bag over my head. Regardless of the heat.

A beautiful river ran right in front of our cabins, so several of us enjoyed mini-floats. We toured sites of lumber industries, hiked down log chutes, and traipsed throughout the forests, kicking up dust and making it stick to our sweaty bodies. I recall pulling off my shirt at one point, once the coast was clear, to dunk it in the cool water. Such was air conditioning in the mountains.

Not only did we hoof it, but we also car-pooled and hit back country roads to get to many of our logging boom day historic sites. After starting the course in St. Maries, Idaho, we journeyed by dirt road over mountains and ended up in Wallace, Idaho. Just for fun, Alyson and I, as soon as class was over, hit the road east so we could count Montana as one of our states for the class. After which we had to turn west and drive late to make it home to central Washington.

Course number H1493hs93 was a three-state class - Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

Dare I wax poetic? Here is small portion of the poem I composed after being inspired by the beauty of the old forests.


Wandering trail, dwarfed,
Serene, cool, shade . . .
Shadows of majestic cedar trees.

Breeze gently ruffling the crowns
of the age old monarchs . . .
Untouched by loggers' blades, untainted by pest or flame,
Triumphant over man and nature.

(From "Old Forest" by Angie Quantrell, 1993)

The memories are worth the cost of the course. If you get a chance, take a travel class with a friend.

Angie Quantrell loves to travel and learn new things. Exploring old things is one of her favorite past-times.

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