Tree harvest day for the annual Pagosa Waldorf Initiative Christmas tree sale has become a day our entire family looks forward to.
A scenic drive out to Banded Peak Ranch gets more beautiful with each mile. Close to Chromo you can start tuning in to highly-entertaining local Chama radio.
This year, mother nature was easy on us, with sunny skies and late November soaring temperatures. Our band of volunteers — parents, children, teachers, and friends — met ranch caretaker Jesse and his friend Jennifer at the gate. With warm smiles Jesse and Jennifer greeted our caravan of pickup trucks, trailers and Lee Riley’s moving van (free to non-profits to use any time).
This year’s harvest took us to a sunny hillside thick with white fir trees. We divided our crew into lumberjacks and haulers. When I say “hillside” that’s an understatement. Haulers’ (that was me) jobs entailed dragging the trees to a launch area where we gently rolled the trees down to the road. Then we’d scramble down the hill/cliffside and load the trees into the pickups and trailers. Then back up the hillside for more.
You would think that such heavy labor would have volunteers moaning and grunting. Every face, however, grinned from ear to ear. White capped peaks towered against an azure blue sky with wispy clouds dancing gracefully. With the view and the fresh mountain sunshine we were all enjoying, we couldn’t help but smile. Or maybe for some of us it was knowing that we could skip a trip to the gym without guilt after climbing that hill 15 times.
Before we knew it, every truck bed and trailer was stacked high with trees, and we were headed back to town.
Coincidentally, each lumberjack was a perfectionist, so the harvest was like no other we’ve had. Just about every tree is the Christmas tree you dreamed of finding. As I sold trees on Sunday, most people bought the first tree they picked up.
A mother and her three children picked out a tree. “We drove over from Mancos. You guys are the only place around selling locally-grown trees.”
It’s a unique situation, selling wild trees instead of tree farm trees; selling trees that needed to be thinned to keep the forest healthy; selling trees not for profit, but to provide financial aide for families who need tuition assistance to attend Treasure Mountain Educational Cooperative. All these reasons make these trees extra-special.
We have about 80 trees left to sell on Dec. 4 and 5 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate. If you are concerned about supplies or the timing doesn’t work for you, you can always call Jann C. Pitcher Real Estate, 731-4065, during business hours and ask for Barb. If she’s in the office she’ll be happy to help you find a tree before the weekend. Otherwise, we hope to see you on the weekend. Please call 731-5965 with any questions.