Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Clear-Cutting: BCM Colorado Mission Trip

Hey guys, I just wanted to give you all a quick update on the Colorado mission trip.

Today, we spent the large majority of our time clear-cutting part of a ridge on the Sky Corral property that had been burned by the High Park fire in the summer of 2012. The High Park wildfire burned more than 80,000 acres, and was the third most destructive fire in Colorado history, in terms of the number of houses that were burned. The flooding that followed also wiped out many of the roads in the area.

Clear-cutting the burned/dead trees on the ridge.
Greg and Joe surveying the area.
The way we worked today, Joe, Patrick, and Jim (one of the Sky Corral staff members) ran the chainsaws, felling dead trees and bucking them (cutting them into manageable pieces *read* “small enough to be carried”). Matt, Greg, Kim, and I worked on creating “slash piles” of excess branches and debris that would later be burned. We also carried the logs that had been bucked to the wood pile, where Joe cut them into firewood sized chunks, and Kim used the hydraulic log splitter to split them into firewood. Near the end of the day, the log splitter stopped working! Kim made it very clear that this was in no way her fault. Apparently, one of the critical pieces that transfers force between the engine and the hydraulic piston decided to give way. Jim’s son Luke is now in the process of trying to find a replacement part so that we can can get the splitter running again.

"Do you want to build a snowman?" One guess as to which of our team members created this.

Patrick "exhausted" after a day of work.
Today’s work was harder than Saturday’s due to the wet, muddy ground produced by the snow melt. The temperatures have been in the 60’s the past couple of days, and the snow that was on the ground here when we arrived now only exists under shade trees and in large piles. However, the forecast does call for more snow during the day tomorrow… anywhere from three inches to one foot of accumulation is possible. That should make things interesting.

Matt and his helpful footrest.
This evening, we had a delicious dinner (made all the more savory by our work-induced appetites), prepared by Sky Corral staff members Jon and Mallory. We also had a good time of testimony as a group, and played a couple of rounds of Spades before heading off to bed at an early hour - since all of us were worn out. Tomorrow, depending on how much snow we get, we hope to burn the slash piles that we created today. Colorado regulations require that four inches of snow be on the ground before you are allowed to burn a brush pile. They probably have a really good reason for that, but I’m not really sure what it would be off the top of my head.

If you are praying for our team, please continue to pray for us as we eat, work, and live together. Pray for the continuation of the sweet spirit of fellowship that has formed. Pray that we would be able to get the rest we need, and that we would have the energy to do our work to the best of our abilities in order to bring honor to God.

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