Sometimes we just pack a lunch, load up the dogs, and head out on a drive with no special destination in mind. Yesterday was one of those days. My only hope was that we’d see some nice fall foliage and that I might get some nice photos. We did see nice foliage, but best of all, we stumbled upon a heli-logging operation — something I’ve never seen before.

It started when we heard the unmistakable sound of a helicopter while out in the middle of the forest. We stopped, rolled down the windows, and as we watched, a helicopter appeared out of the woods right in front of us.

A helicopter appears out of the woods

A helicopter appears out of the woods

After it left, we assumed it was safe to continue on our journey. Turning a bend in the road, we discovered that we were on the edge of a heli-logging operation.

Heli logging in progress

Heli-logging in progress

According to Wikipedia, heli-logging “is a method of logging that uses helicopters to remove cut trees from forests by lifting them on cables attached to a helicopter.” It is often used in inaccessible areas, reduces the level of needed infrastruction, and can reduce the environmental impact of logging.

At first I was afraid that we’d have to turn around, but after consulting with the man in the truck, we learned that we could pass through as long as we did so quickly because the turn-around time for the helicopter was short. When we got the sign, we headed through, and rounding another bend discovered that we were in the middle of a logging operation — like it was happening right on the road! I grew up in timber country, but I’ve never before been in the midst of a logging operation (although this was probably a small one). As we hurried through I took some quick photos.

In the midst of a logging operation

In the midst of a logging operation

It was early in the afternoon, and we had been looking for a good place to pull over for lunch, so after clearing the operation, we found a decent vantage point for more photos. We ate lunch listening to the chop-chop-chop of the helicopter as it worked.

Heli logging helicopter

Heli-logging helicopter

A tree dangles from the line

A tree dangles from the line.

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