Yesterday, Solstice Eve, Tyler Foote and I headed to Penn Valley, about 20 minutes away, to pick up firewood. Since I moved here in 2009, finding firewood has been stressful. As a child, growing up in Cleveland, we bought our firewood from "Gypsies" (I don't think that is politically correct to say anymore) who came to our house. I never saw them, but I have vivid memories of the colored, beribboned, horse-drawn wagons I pictured them driving though our suburban streets. My mother thought they swindled us with damp wood. And I have been leery of woodcutters ever since.
That's why I'm so happy I found Jesse Niesen of Penn Valley Firewood. Jesse owns 141 acres of land that has been in his family since his great-great grandfather bought the property in 1852 with gold he mined from the Sierra. Jesse sells Live Oak, hard wood with impressive BTUs (heat output) and no need for seasoning (drying for a year) that he clears for fire maintenance. He is conscientious and detail-oriented, and his background in marketing is apparent on his comprehensive website. It's a welcome crash course on everything you wanted to know about firewood but were afraid to ask.
Most of all, he offers a generous cord and lets you come pick it up, so if you happen to have phobias about strangers with chainsaws coming to your house to stack wood, (do you suffer from handy-man-a-phobia?) Penn Valley Firewood is for you.
Jesse wasn't at the ranch yesterday, but we met his darling, dog-loving girlfriend, Nicki Voshell, and his rugged, right-hand man, Donnie Wilkins who loaded up my Rav4. I got a 1/4 cord for $35. It waas a beautiful day, like stepping back in time. And I didn't feel swindled.
Thanks guys. Happy Solstice!
I spotted some Mistletoe (the dark clumps). It's a parasite that grows in the branches of trees. I grew up with the plastic kind.
Unloading, inspired by Marina Abramović
Visit Penn Valley Firewood.
P.S. I got a new iPhone. These photos were taken with the Camera+ app and doctored a bit in Photoshop. I have experimented with VSCO presets. I save my photos at flickr and iPhoto. Please send me any apps you like. I am feeling a little overwhelmed. Thank you.
P.P.S. Tyler Foote is a road in Nevada County, California built in 1913 by Arthur DeWint Foote, artist and writer Mary Hallock Foote's husband. The road connects North Columbia, California to a town called Cherokee that used to be called Tyler.