I snapped these photos this morning just before the kids loaded up in truck and headed off to the Oregon Logging Conference in Eugene. I will admit that the outfits were somewhat planned, but the kids were SO excited that they looked like REAL loggers. (Charlotte’s hands were cold, so she put them in her pants, and Levi refused to put his arms down for the photos, but oh well.)
The OLC is a pretty major annual event for all sorts of folks in the logging industry but for kids as well. They fill the parking lot with every kind of logging equipment, and kids are free to climb in and around the hotsaws, excavators, and huge wheel loaders. They have dozens of sawmill demonstrations plus occasional chainsaw carving competitions. The whole inside of the building is full of company booths selling magnetic chokers, fancy rubber tracks, carriages, etc. There are also meetings and seminars and all sorts of other goings on.
By the time Levi turned two, he knew more about logging equipment than 98% of adult Americans. We had a bunch of old issues of Timber West Magazine, and we used to flip the pages and grill him on makes, models, and machines. He loved it. I never thought I’d be the kind of parent quizzing my child on vocabulary and recognition as a toddler, but there I was giving him lines like “See, Levi, the excavator is red and white. That means it’s a Link Belt.” He ate it up, and my knowledge of heavy equipment expanded exponentially. It was fun.
Two years ago, we took Levi to the OLC, and he practically hyperventilated from excitement as we walked up to the action. His eyes got really big, his jaw dropped a little, and suddenly he pointed and shrieked at the top of his little lungs “STROKE BOOM DELIMBER”. His all-time favorite piece of equipment was parked right in front. He spent all day crawling around on equipment and staring at sawmills in action. It was awesome.
Levi’s newest obsession is Star Wars, which I’m a little less enthusiastic about. I’d rather learn to differentiate between makes of feller bunchers than discuss the finer points of Moff Tarkin’s uniform, but I try to be a good sport and follow along. Levi still likes trucks and equipment, but he’s not nearly as dedicated to that single subject as before.
I’m a little bummed that I decided to send the kids off to the show with Henry and stay behind to get some work done. I’m missing out, but I made Henry promise to take pictures. They’re going to meet up with our logger friend Travis, his son Tyler who’s Levi’s age, and his sister Jill who’s a forest engineer, and they will have a great time.
PS Charlotte is sporting pigtails this morning, which is a relatively new development in her wispy-hair life. I think she makes the cutest little logger ever.