Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ben 3, Tree 1

My folks came down from Alaska the last week and it was really awesome to have them visit. I always enjoy when they come to visit, and we always seem to have a good time. They really enjoyed the house and the area around it. It was beautiful and hot the whole time they were here and we mostly stayed outside relaxing...Good times. One of the projects I wanted to get done when my Dad was down, was to get rid of some trees that were threatening to do damage to the house. In preparation for this, Dad sent down his tree spikes for us to use to get the job done. They came a few weeks before my parents did, so we tried them on. The original plan was to have Trox go up because I felt I might be too heavy for the tops of the trees. So she harnessed up and climbed a tree. The saw blade was so dull that it was too difficult to really get anything done.

We decided to just store them away till my dad showed up. When it came time for the big day I had decided to go up and get rid of the gnarly pine that was close to the house. We de-limbed the tree as we went and tied a rope to the top of the tree for my dad to pull on. The second tree was a much smaller cherry tree that wasn't even worth our time! It's going to make awesome cherry smoke flavor on all our grilling in the future.
Then there was the title fight. I knew going into it, the last one for the day was gonna be tough, not because of fatigue, but climbing this tree was difficult for many reasons. The bark was very smooth, making the rope not want to catch as well as the rough bark of the pine had allowed. Also, the tree was very curvy at the base of the tree, making the beginning of the climb and the decent difficult to manage.
We tied the rope to one of the larger branches and then had it run over the opposite branch for leverage. Then as I made the wedge cut my dad, Mom, and Trox were pulling from 20 feet or so away.
We miscalculated how large and troublesome the large branch would be, and the tree was beginning to sway the opposite way we wanted it to go...Right toward the back deck! My chainsaw began getting cinched in the tree and I couldn't get it out. I began hearing my mom yell, "Leave it, we'll buy a new one", which locked in my mind the serious need to get the hell out of the tree. As I was thinking this the tree began to crack and rotate right toward me. As I was trying to leave the tree as fast as I could, the top came barreling down on me. I ducked and brought my arm up to protect myself and it slammed into my forearm and then slid toward my hand, sloughing the skin off as it went.
The tree top came to a crash on the deck and the remaining ten feet of tree trunk that I was on top of. I stared at my forearm and the wound that was there, also I tried to move around to see about getting out. I looked down at my left leg, and it was pinned between the tree top and the base of the tree. Most of the pressure of the tree was resting on the meaty part of my thigh, pinching my leg. A small thread of panic came to me and I began to yell, "I'm stuck!". The next few moments were a scramble for my parents and Trox. My mom told Troxy to call 911, and my dad ran into the garage grabbing the ladder to get up to me. He grabbed the chainsaw and started to make cuts where he could, trying to get the large branch off of my leg.
Seconds later, three police, two paramedics, and two firemen arrived and started to try and get the tree limb off of me. After a few attempts to move the tree, I was free and I bear hugged the tree and scaled down as fast as I could.
The paramedics team asked a few questions, gave me a quick look over and we all agreed, for the most part, I was ok. All the service men took off, just as quick as they had come.
The deck railing got busted, the patio umbrella, and a few of our plant starts got destroyed, but when it's all looked back on, it could have been MUCH worse. Here are pictures of my arm, the deck destruction, and me licking my wounds...

1 comment:

  1. Holy Shit Paul Bunyan! Damn! WTF! A widowmaker type incident almost happened! Fucking glad you're all right! Man that could have been bad! Holy shit! Boy, that's quite the bandage.