Our head Woodchipper for the week, Brett McLeod, likes reminding us of an oft repeated Abraham Lincoln quote: "Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I'll spend the first four sharpening my axe." Neither of these axe-toting gents is/was waxing poetic--when it comes to woodsman skills, everything is a labor of patience and practice (even when power tools are involved). So today we climbed on our chopping blocks and worked on our splitting patterns; we watched Dave Jewett carve a deceptively cranky bear out of a piece of white pine and rev up a hot saw (snowmobile engine meets chainsaw); we had Nathan "Bucket" Waterfield guide every stroke of our single buck until it felt like an old dance partner (fact: dance and golf comparisons abound in the woods); and in between breaks we snuck off to whittle away at our axe handles because making something real (and feeling its weight and shape) feels really (insert preferred expletive here) good.
Honest Abe was on to something. We're halfway through the week and all we want to do is keep sharpening because (honestly) we're going to hang some serious steel before going back to city living.