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Canoe Collision
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Dust, Dips, and Bear Tracks
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The Tough Trail
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Family Forestry Expo     

We woke up on a damp Motherís Day morning in early May, disappointed. The previous day, Dad had said that we would go to the annual Family Forestry Expo. But Mom and Dad watched a long movie that night, and thus went to bed very late. It was 8:30 A.M by the time they awakened, and the Forestry Expo was at
9 :00 A.M. We did not think that we would get there in time and the Forestry Expo would be over. Upon asking Mom if we could still go, she said that it really started at 10:00, and would last until 4:00 P.M. We were glad that we could go and got  dressed.

At about 12:30 P.M, we left for the Forestry Expo. Upon our arrival, we were not quite sure what to do. A woman told us that there would be a logging demonstration at 1:00 P.M, and that in the meantime, we should go eat hot dogs at the free lunch. We were cold, so we got on our jackets, then proceeded to the free lunch. The free lunch would be eaten in a big tent with long picnic benches for people to eat at. We prepared our hot dogs and filled paper cups with soft drinks. At the table where we put mustard on our hot dogs, M knocked over her soft drink  and spilled Mountain Dew all over the table. She felt like a slob, so tried to clean it up with napkins before anyone noticed. After refilling Mís cup, we all walked over to another table where we ate our hot dogs, Oreoís, potato chips, and soft drinks.

While we still had soft drinks and cookies to finish, Dad said that it was getting near time for the logging demonstration. We quickly got up, threw away our plates and leftover chips, and walked back to the small grandstand. Upon finding a spot, we sat down and waited for the presentation to begin. After a few minutes, a man came with a microphone and began to introduce us to what would be happening and the Forestry Expo. It was announced that there was going to be a contest between people from the Flathead Valley Community College. There would be the blue team and the green team. The audience was assigned teams to cheer for according to their location in the grandstand. We got the blue team. The first contest was who could climb faster up a 50-foot tall pole. M was wondering if someone would fall down the pole. The contestants put on straps that connected them to the pole, then scampered up the pole. The person from the green team accidentally slid down the pole before he reached the top. The other contestant made it all the way up and slowly made his way down.

More logging sports contests were performed, including races sawing off pieces of wood, and chopping logs in half. There was also a chainsaw game where two contestants used a chainsaw to cut off one end of a long log, run to one end, touch it, then run back to the starting point and touch it.

Also demonstrated was a dangerous logging sport called springboard chop. A professional chopped a notch in a medium-tall log, stuck in a board, then hopped on the board. The player then chopped another notch, stuck in a board, hopped up, and cut off the top of the log. The blue team won that game.

Then, there was a chainsaw carver who came to show his work. He said that he was going to carve a bunny with his chainsaw. The man, after doing lots of silly clowning around, wound up carving a good mini chair instead of a really stupid rabbit. He gave the tiny chair to a kid who sat on it for the rest of the show.

After a few more logger sports competitions, it was time for the machinery logging demonstration. M was wondering if one of the machines would topple over, since it was near the base of a hill. Suddenly, the operators revved up their engines. The big red machine began to move. We were shocked when it suddenly sawed a tree down in a split second, and grabbed the tall, shaking tree. M was expecting the machine to pull and uproot the tree from the ground. All M could do from then on was to smile in shock and excitement. Another machine came and dragged the trees to another machine, which would do the next job. That machine was quite exciting as well. The machine smoothly pushed the tree out of its claws and then sliced the tree into a section. It looked like the tree was falling from the machine grip. The machine peeled the limbs off cleanly, then cut the tree into a couple of pieces. The machine did its work more simply than if it was peeling and chopping a carrot. Yet another machine came along which would later take the wood to Stoltz, the nearby lumber company.
 
The next show was a mule train. The mules came along to the area where all the logger sports were being played. There were nine mules in the train, ranging in age from 5 years old to 28 years old. The mules started walking in circles, being led by a man on a horse. The horse started to pee, and the entire crowd began to laugh (we only let out a tiny giggle). The horse left a foamy pile on the ground. A mule also began to pee, creating even more laughter throughout the grandstands. A man explained that the packs carried by the mules weighed 100 pounds each.  Most humans cannot carry 200 pounds on their back! The mules left and the show was over.

After the show, we left to view the exhibits. We first went to observe the fish exhibit. We saw the marine animals of Trumble Creek, a creek near the Forestry Expo. At this exhibit we saw crawfish, a turtle, and fish. We even held the turtle and fish. The crawfish had blue arms, but most of its body was a red hue. In an ice chest, there were several trout that were caught in the waters of Flathead Lake. One of the fish was quite massive. We thought that it was strange, because one of the deceased fish was a Cutthroat Trout.  Due to conservation efforts, it is illegal in some cases to keep a Cutthroat Trout in the state of Montana.

We continued our way along the trail though the woods. We went to see the llamasLlama at Forestry Expo and talked to a couple who owned the llamas. They told us all about llamas, as we plan to get some at a later date. After about 15 minutes there, we continued to the forestry tent, where we received many fun things such as stickers, pins, magnets, fake tattoos, and pencils. At another tent, we received a free tree to sow at home. Yet another tent enclosed two owls, and many stuffed bird corpses. After going into a few more tents, we visited a place where there was supposed to be a paper making machine.  But, the Expo was almost over, and as you may have guessed, the paper making machine had been taken away. There was some paper on display that had already been made that was still damp. After looking around that tent, we went back to our vehicle and drove towards home.

On the way home, near the Forestry Expo, we had to stop for a very long train to pass. At home, we watched the videos we took and remembered all the fun we had.

©05/20/08

 

 
     

 

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