In which the peacefulness of ridecamp is actually kind of loud

I think of ridecamp as a pretty quiet place.

Our little home in the meadow at Sawmill Flats

I often get up early in camp (at home, not so much) and wander around for the first hour of morning, taking pictures, feeding animals, drinking tea, and listening to the birdsong in the meadow.

Soon enough, it's time for work.

And work in the woods usually means noise.

Our main work crew this year was small:  five people, two quads, one horse,
and a few dogs.  To get to a work site, the other four folks would double up
on the quads with a dog or two, and Fiddle and I would caboose.

As I write this tonight at home, the Fourth of July fireworks are just starting to gain momentum.  Fiddle doesn't care about the booms and pops, as long as there is food.  Part of that is her natural personality:  she is Team Sensible, after all.

But part of her composure comes from lots of practice working in loud circumstances.  

Quad engines, chainsaws, and diesel trucks--we use a lot of these, and they aren't quiet.

Foxie Loxie PantsonFire MacFeagle is not a fan of quad engines. At the beginning of our work week, he would bark himself into a frenzy every time one of the quads was started or run near camp.  That drove me nuts, so I worked all week to teach him non-barking.

The middle part of this exercise was kind of hilarious.

By the weekend, Fox was pretty good about standing quietly when the quads were moving around--a much nicer citizen, but maybe a little less amusing.

Right now, Fox is more interested in barking at the washing machine than at the fireworks.  Maybe a little later, I'll put on a movie that features galloping horses--he likes to bark at the screen when he hears hoofbeats.

Hoofbeats on television are exciting!

This year, there was an additional source of noise in camp:

Active logging.

The day before this photo was taken, the timber (photo-right) had been
standing up on the hillside (photo-left).

During the entire week prior to the ride, we could hear the logging operations going on uphill less than a mile from camp.

Huge tree saws, delimbing machines, skid cats and bulldozers.  Empty logging trucks rattling up the hill to the work site at 4am. Heavily laden logging truck transports throttling down the hills and out to the highway towards the processing mills in Oregon.

And then, there was the water truck.

Every night around 8, the truck would fill up with water from the creek that runs through camp.  And then, for the next 8 hours, the truck would alternate running up and down the hill spraying water on the roads to reduce dust for the logging trucks, and backing up to the creek to tank up on more water.

And the creek was right beside our camp.

To say that we did not sleep well at night is to understate things rather a lot.

But there's no doubt that all the noise has made our neighbor's Independence Day festivities a non-event for the animals at Haiku Farm.

buzzing flies bother the Dragon more than loud machines
 and bombs bursting in air

I'll take it.


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