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Author Topic: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast  (Read 606 times)

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Offline Howdy

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I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« on: August 03, 2017, 10:18:27 pm »
The time to return to Michigan has arrived.

Every year the Forestry Forum has a gathering called a “Pigroast” where people from all around the internet come to share stories, reestablish friendships, and try to consume an entire pig fresh from the barbecue.  While being a member of the Forum is a pleasure in itself, the friendships I am forming is the reason I want to attend the Pigroast.  People from diverse backgrounds offer something whether it is forestry, lumber cutting, wood working, cooking grits!, construction, or who knows what have found kinship through shared experiences.

I was exploring the idea of making my own lumber with a portable sawmill and harvesting timber from my own land ( a dream of wanting to live free from neighbors, rules, and trying to be self sufficent ), and while I will never experience this myself I found rather a bunch of people knowledgeable and friendly.  I took a month or so reading postings both historic and current before I exposed myself to becoming a member.  I wasn't sure if I would be accepted let alone fit in but I had found people who I wanted to get to know better and was willing to expose myself to being either welcomed or ignored. 

From the first post of a message I was made to feel welcome and warmly brought into the fray.  So for several years I would post a message once in a while while reading about the adventures and daily lives of my new friends.  Then the forum held a contest where people that had never attended a Pigroast gathering would be allowed to write a small note expressing why they wanted to come and the winner would receive a $300 prize to help defer the cost of attending given by Logrite (one of the wonderful business' that keep the Forestry Forum lights on) .  I carefully crafted my note and somehow was the winner of the prize.  That was in 2015 my first Pigroast.  So here it is 2017 and I wished to return once again.  Here is the story of how I returned to Michigan again...

Background:
I am a person who enjoys making pottery.  Over the last year or so I have been putting together a garage studio where I can work more often than the once a week time allowed at the Hillsboro Cultural Arts Center my local place where I go to learn and work on their equipment.  So far I have workbenches, lighting, shelving, and even a pottery wheel where I can create pieces.  Once the clay is formed into bowls or cups or what-have-you, I needed to transport them to the Arts Center to be fired (cooked) into pottery.  Until that happens whatever I have made is just dried clay and very fragile.  Transporting dried clay results in many broken items and after putting so much time into a piece it is somewhat discouraging to see it cracked or chipped, and ruined.  I need a kiln of my own if I am going to grow as a craftsman in pottery.  While my family likes me to do something that I enjoy I do not like to take finances that are needed elsewhere to spend on my personal enjoyment.  I had put together my studio at little expense thus far and a kiln is a very expense piece of equipment.  For a year I had been searching for a kiln that I could afford but was not willing to take the next step until I found one I could afford. 

Finally I found just the right size and kind of kiln on a government auction site in Michigan at the same time as the Forestry Forum Pigroast was scheduled.  There was hope!  Somehow the kiln had been placed in the wrong area and was with industrial equipment within the auction site.  No one could find it and so the bidding was very low.  This was my idle kiln in size, shape, electrical power requirements and was a very popular model but no one knew it was available. 

I knew the only way I could afford to have the kiln transported to Oregon from Michigan was to do it myself as trucking companies estimated it would take $700+ to move it.  The kiln was about to be auctioned off for less than $100 and time was running out.  I brought up the idea of attending the Pigroast this year to my wife. She knew the state of our finances but said I could “think” about it.  To her this meant no way could I go but it was something I could dream about.  Now, while she meant I could dream, what I heard was “Yes” I could go!  So I bid on the kiln and won the auction of a $2500 kiln for $106.00.  Thank you government fiscal watch dogs.  So sorry to see the arts being discarded from schools and finding little used expensive equipment being gotten rid of cheaply.  Whoo Hoo! I got my kiln, now how to get it back to Oregon without it costing an arm and a legrite (brought to you by those wonderful people at Logrite, makes if the Legrite bench legs).  See I am loyal to a great company of Professional tools made right. 

Bring in a television program about people who travel the country transporting goods for people and businesses needing items from dog and cats, horses and cows, to old military hardware and everything else to be shipped.  People driving all kinds of trucks, trailers, buses, and whatnot hauling goods, anywhere there are roads to travel.  I could see myself doing that once in while, so I started looking at their website and seeing the possibles.  I needed to get to Michigan and back home to Oregon with my new kiln while also attending the Pigroast.  How to put these pieces together and maybe even make enough money to finance the trip was my goal.  I found several cars needing to be moved across the country so I “bid” on them hoping the owner would allow me to drive their auto myself and not load it onto a truck and trailer for transportation.  Most wanted their auto loaded and moved but a few were open to having it driven so I bid low (remember the shipment goes to the lowest bidder unless the owner chooses someone different) and kept trying until I found a shipment that was perfect. 

I found a pickup truck needing to be brought from the Midwest to Oregon and won the shipment.  I could pick it up before the Pigroast, attend the gathering, and drive it home afterward.  With this I also won a small boat that needed towing back to Oregon and a motorbike as well.  Three shipments coming from the same geographic region and going to Oregon at the same time was just perfect.  I had found a way to attend the Pigroast, get my kiln and even pay expenses too.  My wife gave me the “Hairy Eyeball” for a few days but allowed me to go.  I started making airplane reservations.

The Trip...
I wanted to fly into Dayton Ohio from Portland but a plane ticket there was just too expensive.  So I allowed the computer travel websites to search for the lowest fare at alternate airports.  Cincinatti was the best choice so again I allowed the website to find when the best fare was to be had.  It said I could fly for $84 plus tax's if I chose an earlier day.  I booked a ticket and was a happy camper.  I was to fly out Sunday night and arrive in Ohio Monday morning around 6 AM.  Then I would board a Greyhound bus for the short trip to Dayton, pickup the truck and away I would go. No stop overs or delays expected. 

On Saturday evening I was checking to be sure I had everything in order and ready for my trip when I noticed the airport I was to fly into was not Cincinatti but Cleaveland.  The computer website had also redirected me to a different city to save me even more money, something I had failed to notice before booking my non-refundable ticket..  Gee that was nice.  I tried to find a way to make things work but my every effort would result in my losing a day or two and cost me even more money.  So I called Frontier Airlines and plead stupidity hoping to get a change without extra fees.  Hah!  Frontier charges $10 just for talking to a customer service rep.  With their help I was able to get a different flight to Cincinatti with an 18 hour layover in Denver for only a little more than the most expensive ticket straight to Dayton on any other airline.  So much for saving money on airfare. 

Sunday morning I boarded an airplane and flew to Denver where I checked into a hotel (added expense) and waited the 18 hours.  I did try to call my brother who lives about an hour south to see if he wanted to have lunch or do something but his family uses a telephone internet connection so the phone was always busy.  Monday morning I then flew to Cincinatti arriving around 12 noon.  My bus connection was for 12:30 so of course I missed it even though I took a $36 taxi ride from the airport to the bus terminal rather than a city bus for $2 bucks hoping to make the connection.  There was a later bus leaving in two hours so I re-booked another non-refundable ticket complete with a change fee for the ticket I had purchased at home days earlier.  Well Greyhound could not find a driver for that bus so I had to wait another four hours for the 6 PM bus.  At last I left for Dayton and was on my way only 12 hours late.  By the time I found the pickup in Dayton, it was to late to travel so I spend another night in a hotel. 

Tuesday I left to find the boat and motorbike.  Thank goodness for the GPS unit I had purchased just for this trip as I wandered so far into the country that I could hear banjos playing and smell sour mash cooking.  When I found the boat, it was at the end of a farm track sunk deep into the earth having sat for 12 years without moving.  When I agreed to transport the boat it was with the understanding it would be road ready and freshly serviced.  What I found was far from that.  The lady I was to meet was nice and tried to be helpful as she was giving the boat to her son after her husband had passed away, but there was little she could do.  I worked on the trailer for three hours to get it unstuck and the hitch freed from the rust that had frozen it together.  Once I was able to move it I took it to a tire shop and replaced the 20 year old tires and had the wheels greased. 

The GPS again saved my bacon and even though it lead me down dirt roads it brought me to the motorbike in another city three hours away.  There I was able to load the bike and get on the road to get some mileage under the wheels.  I drove through the night stopping for cat naps to save on hotel expenses due to the unexpected costs for taxi fares and hotels already spent and arrived in Harrison Michigan Wednesday morning.  I was rather tired so upon arriving at the home of Jeff and Tammy where the Pigroast was held I crawled into a hammock for a nap until they were ready for company.  Jeff found me and gave me a place to hand my hat/take a nap.  Later that day I was more alert so it was nice to talk and help set up for the Pigroast.  Thursday I traveled to far Northern Michigan and found the kiln ready for me to pick up.  Back to the Pigroast and now I am sitting and catching up before Friday when people start to arrive.  I am looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones so even if it rains (which it just might) it will be a good time. 

Offline yukon cornelius

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2017, 10:40:35 pm »
Life is an a amazing adventure if a person is up for it. Thank you for sharing. I am very excited to meet you face to face my friend!
It seems I am a coarse thread bolt in a world of fine threaded nuts!
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2017, 05:45:25 am »
I remember the train ride and the drive it rig story,so knew this would be enjoyable reading too.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2017, 08:56:35 am »
Howdy,

   Wonderful epistle so far. Keep us in the loop of your on-going adventures. I see a career change here (Maybe transportation related, maybe writing). The whole tale so far reminds me of the famous saying from Hannibal Smith - Don't you love it when a plan comes together. (May be slightly paraphrased but in the general grid square.) Good luck.
Howard Green
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Offline Magicman

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2017, 09:14:08 am »
We are here!!
 

 
Marty, Jeff, & Me.
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Offline PatD

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2017, 09:49:21 am »
Surprise Surprise Surprise Have a great time eat some pulled pork for me❤️
I'm the Magic in the Man

Offline DPatton

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2017, 10:15:35 am »
Howdy,

That's a great story and a travel adventure you will likely never forget.
 It reminds me of an old colleague of mine that was a construction administrator for and architectural firm. When we would hold our regular meetings with a projects owner he would always say "everything's going as smooth as barbed wire" :D.

 Anyway, that pig roast sounds like a really great time with a lot of diverse and interesting people. Maybe next year.... 

Hope the rest of your trip home is safe and "smooth as barbed wire"  ;D.

Online Dan_Shade

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2017, 10:29:01 am »
Howdy, it sounds like you are on a quite exciting adventure. 



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Offline samandothers

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2017, 01:04:04 pm »
I too enjoy your stories and life adventures including the train trip and the RV transport. 

Glad you made it safely and hope your return is safe as well.

BTW, welcome PatD!  MM you gotta mind your P's and Q's.... at least the P's :D

Offline Chuck White

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 05:51:12 pm »
Yes, almost forgot my manners!

Welcome to the Forestry Forum, PatD!
~Chuck~
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2017, 06:06:06 pm »
Hey there Howdy nice story.  Do you have any pottery this year? Hope the kiln works out.  ;)

Hey Jeff and all,
Wish I could have made it, just too involved with the house this year. I did get the old house in Royalton (Centreville) and shed removed Monday and Tuesday this week. The demolition boss noticed the neighbor's kids sitting across the road in the grass for 3 hours for the show. He had to go to town to pick up the demolition permit and got the kids some ice cream.   ;)

Hi PatD, your finally here. :D

Have a good roast all.  :)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

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Offline Banjo picker

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2017, 07:52:14 pm »
I loved reading your adventure Howdy.  I look forward to hearing about the return trip.  Hopefully it won't be as memorable as the first half.  At least thats the way it works for me....when things don't go just right I remember every detail, but when things go smooth its usually forgotten pretty quick.  I poured concrete for most of my working life, and made hundreds of pours....I only remember a very few.  You will enjoy that new tool, and it will be worth the trouble.  Banjo
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Offline thechknhwk

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2017, 10:23:18 pm »
Glad you made it thru that misadventure.

Offline tree-farmer

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Re: I wanna go to the 2017 Pigroast
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2017, 07:15:03 am »
Howdy, you should  be the star of a reality show. Sounds like following you around would be an adventure. Thanks for sharing a great story written in such a entertaining  way. smiley_clapping
Old doesn't bother me, its the ugly that's a real bummer.