Friday, November 29, 2013

Cut Christmas Tree

Friday November 29, 2013

This year we decided to go for the Griswold Christmas by going to the woods to find and cut down our own Christmas tree. We bought a $10 permit for a 12 foot tall tree from the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest ranger station and were directed toward the Mt Pilchuck trailhead because the trees we were looking for are upper at these higher elevations and we'd probably have luck searching there. We went to the back of the parking lot, away from the trailhead. We started our march into the woods to find the perfect Christmas tree. 
The problem was all the fuller trees are clumped together with others making it seem like a good find when it really wasn't. The neighboring trees hide the bare zones of the tree. And then there were the lonely trees fully exposed to the elements that really take a beating: the quintessential Charlie Brown Christmas tree. 
No need for snowshoes at this elevation. 
Chance loved running around free in the snow. 

We ended up with one of the trees that weren’t that full. Jackie swore it looked like only 12 feet, within the legal limit. 

Let the sawing begin. 
All three of us (Joe, Nikki & Jackie) took turns sawing. 
Nikki sawing down the Christmas tree 

Jackie’s turn sawing down the Christmas tree 
Nikki watching the sawing action 
Channeling her inner lumberjack 
Now how are we going to carry this thing back? 
We hadn't thought we had hiked through the snow that far away from the car, but it was probably half a mile that we now had to carry the tree back to the car. Each of the girls took turns carrying one end while Joe had the other. 

Jackie & Joe carrying the tree back to the car 
Joe and Nikki somewhere behind him 

The toughest part was navigating around icy creeks and slippery footholds. The girl not carrying the tree helped direct the carriers to a good foothold area so they could focus on their feet and not have to scout out the terrain ahead. Meanwhile Chance was loving prancing through the snow and saying hello to the few other families in search of their Christmas tree. 

As we loaded the tree onto the car, we start to realize how tall it is in comparison. Too late now. We already cut it down and killed it. 

Once we had the tree secured, the cloud cover started to clear a bit giving a glimpse of the view near the Mt Pilchuck trailhead parking lot. 
As we drive Hwy 20 out from the mountain we grow tree envy for the trees on other trucks where some of the great specimens others seem to have found looked great! 
Once we arrived home we took the tree off the car and started to attach the tree stand. 
We pulled out the tape measure. 

Yep almost 14 feet. Oops! 
Here's a photo of the tree outside the house where you can see it's a story and a half tall! You can see the window sill of the bedroom on the second floor just above the tree. 
The other issue with the height is even though our entry foyer is a double height space, we still had to angle the tree in the front door and get it to the upright position in a small amount of room. 
We ended up cutting about a foot or so off the bottom in order to get the tree in the house. 
The tree was so big that we couldn’t get upstairs unless we placed it in from of the front entry door. Jackie will need to go in through the garage for the next month. 

We continued our Thanksgiving weekend with Nikki on Saturday morning by Jackie making homemade pumpkin pancakes 
The 3 dogs peacefully sleeping by the fire. Eli & Tiger are probably dreaming of their family having a good time in Disneyland 

We put the lights on Saturday night while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

We added Christmas ornaments next. During the middle of the night we woke up to a loud crash which sounded like breaking glass! I knew immediately that the tree had fallen over. We found the tree laying halfway up the stairwell with broken silver bulbs all over.

We were worried about the tree staying upright again with how tall it was. We ended up tying the tree to the entry door frame to make sure if it fell, it would fall into the corner and not out again.

All in all there were only a handful of ornaments that Jackie will need to glue back together. Most of the silver bulbs that broke were part of large sets so it wasn’t too heartbreaking to lose those. Her favorites from her childhood survived the tree fall.

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