Finley's Rigging Shack Classic: April 1973

Old haunts

When I visited Gordon Dills logging side that uses a Skagit Tower, was back in some country that I hadn’t seen for forty two or forty three years. That is up the South Fork of the Nooksack River.

Forty some years ago my Uncle was Forest Warden (think that was his title) in that area. The cabin was where Sister Creek and the Nooksack come together. I spent most of one summer with him. Too bad that every twelve year old boy couldn’t do the same thing.

At that time we walked in up the Nooksack about twenty five miles from Saxon. This time I drove in taking about forty minutes from Concrete.

Some difference!

Not too far from the Ranger Cabin, 12 or 15 miles, was the big logging camp belonging to Lyman Timber Company. Their railroad ran from the woods down to Hamilton. Supposedly they had the highest single pole rail road trestle in operation—-think it was 130 feet high.

Along about that time they had a fire that burned out the logging camp. My Dad worked on that fire. Burned up the camp and the livestock they had next to camp to butcher for meat for the hungry loggers.

We had lots of company that summer. Two or three parties a week would walk in to fish and to hike. Remember locomotive engineer and his daughter came in for awhile. Ed Woods was his name, his daughter was about 17 at the time and the first love of my life.

Remember a boy about my age coming in with a group. He had a brand new Remington slide action .22 rifle and cases of shells. We did a lot of shooting but little damage.

That was about the time that Colt came out with the .22 Woodsman pistol. One fellow who came in there had one. One day while he and I were fishing he came upon a snake in the trail. He stepped on the snake and carefully shot at the head of the snake that extended out from under his foot. He miscalculated a bit and shot himself in the toe.

Most of what I learned was good. Some wasn’t.

A friend of my young Uncle’s came into the cabin to visit. He brought in some whiskey but they were careful that I didn’t get any of it. I did sneak a drink or two, enough to know I didn’t like it. They’d do their work, sip on the whiskey and tell the latest dirty stories.

That fall when I went back to school had a fund of dirty stories to tell. This came to the attention of the man teacher. I got expelled from school.

So everything I learned that summer wasn’t all for the good!

Loggers World people

I’m a very fortunate man in that my work is enjoyable. The part I like the best is the traveling, meeting new logging men, writing and taking pictures.

About six months ago we purchased a 22 foot travel trailer and worked it over so that it also served as a field office and a darkroom. Then on the road could do my work and develop the film and make contact prints. Thus moved into an area and spent a couple of weeks there traveling around the logging jobs. Should have done this years ago.

There are things in any business that must be done whether they are enjoyable exciting sort of tasks or not. The part I like about my work the least is working in the office. Don’t really dislike it but it does get tiresome being concerned with details and such.

One of our most important ingredients in our business is the excellent people that work with us. Bill and Vi Iund, the husband and wife advertising selling team, is the best in the business and deserve most of the credit for our growth. My wife Jean has completely devoted herself to our business and puts in more time at it than anyone else. She is a gem and for eight years she has worked hard and long doing those things that wouldn’t get done without her.

First of the year in 1968 June came to work with us and she learned and she mastered new jobs. She left last year to be married and I’ll never forgive her husband. During her stay with Loggers World we had a Jean (my wife) and a June in the office. This lead to confusion due to both names being so similar.

When June left we were fortunate enough to attract to our work a lovely lady named Jean Curtis. Now the two women in the office were both named Jean. That is what I call curing confusion. Jean Curtis is a lovely lady dedicated to getting the job done in the best way she can do it. Born in England she married a career Air Force man (John Curtis). John has retired out of the service and is now a logger. They have lived all over the world and can tell you about almost any country you can name because they lived there. We keep lucking out. We continue to get good people.
The newest addition to Loggers World has one of the world’s toughest jobs. He has lots of responsibility without the needed authority. Dave Rimes is his name and he is a career military man—-a Navy man. (Keeps calling me Sir.) Think that Dave just celebrated his sixtieth birthday and he is eager to learn and is full of energy and curiosity. He is interested in his work and is completely new to our kind of business. He is training to be the general manager of the office and surrounding territory. When he learns that ropes and masters one job after the other this will free my wife Jean from some of her duties.

Then she can accompany me on most of the writing trips and work with me in the ‘Mobile Office’ Then I’ll have an executive secretary. Dave and Jean Curtis will look after the functions in the office and my Jean will help me work in the field. We shall spend about half the time away from the office and the other half at the office.

This year we have another excellent gentleman working with us. Hank Nelson. His main job will be to increase the circulation of Loggers World but he will cover other things and have other duties.

All the men that work outside the office and come in contact with logging people are ex-loggers. Wouldn’t have it any other way. So we are growing and scrambling and working to increase and achieve in all ways. Our people that work with us makes it all possible and in fact make it a cinch. We have the best in the business and I’m most thankful of that. I think they’ll be surprised to read this because I’m not much on compliments.

The strange thing about our racket is that no one has had any prior experience in this line of work before joining Loggers World. That is why they are so excellent. They use initiative and imagination and are constantly coming up with newer and better ways of getting the job done. At the same time I had to urge and sell almost everyone on the belief that they could do it. And they did it!

Coming events

We have a river drive story coming up later this year. There is a big outfit logging in or near the Nass River up above Terrace British Columbia. The logs are put in the river and driven to a bay that I believe they call Iceberg Bay. Then they are boomed and towed to the mill at Prince Rupert.
They handle over a million logs a year in this fashion. I hope to spend a couple of weeks there the first of June and am looking forward to this trip.
In a couple of months we will come out with a ‘Timber Cutters’ special paper. This will be in addition to  our normal Loggers World. You as a subscriber will be glad to know that you’ll get this special issue at no cost. One of the bonuses we like to give now and then.

Hope to have another issue later this summer or fall on water logging. Intend to put a boat in the water at Vancouver B.C. and go up the coast on both the mainland and Vancouver Island and take pictures and write about logging outfits that log on or near the water. Who knows how this will turn out?

If our plans turn out right next January we shall have a big special issue on the logging operations of Simpson Timber Company. They log in Washington, in Oregon, in California and in Canada. This will require lots of miles to gather information on these far-flung logging operations. Looking forward to this.

The October issue of Loggers World is a surprise package. Earl Roberge will be the writer, photographer and editor of this issue. Don’t know what will be in it but know it will be good.

Boats

Several years ago we got a river boat from Nulf Boat Works in Gold Beach. They specialize in river boats. They are good at their business. This boat was sled design and powered with a Ford Marine Engine driving thru a Jacuzzi Jet pump. A good boat but needed a bigger one for the boating we intended to do both for business and for fun. Traded that in on a large one with a bigger engine and pump. Am looking forward to some fun with this. Will use this boat on our ‘Water Logging’ special.

Seriously intend to use it for some river fishing from time to time also. Then next summer want to spend a coupe of months (that will be in 74) in the waters of South Eastern Alaska and calling on loggers in that area.

I’m going to try to learn to take some week-ends of and play more. I learned how to work but have never learned how to play at things. So intend to take a couple of week-ends off each month and boat around and about. Want to explore some rivers and lakes and bays. Will we actually do it? We’d darn well better because we have too much money in that boat for it to just sit there.

Trailer parking

One of the problems of hauling this trailer around and about is parking it, or rather finding a place to park it. Lucked out this last time. Found a trailer park and Redway California called ‘Dean Creek Tent’N Trailer. They have a motel gas pumps, and store and are fine helpful people. Nice neighbors and fine location. Hope I can do as well every time.

Weather

We boast that we can take pictures in any weather that loggers work in. At times this is difficult to do and we spend a lot of time drying out cameras and using extra lights and working under most horrible conditions. But—-we get lots of help and lots of good weather too. On the California trip we were blessed with perfect days. Warm sunshiny days that were most pleasurable. Appreciate it!