Five Finger Freddie the Fief of Fuelwood and his Fortuitously Fortified Firewood Fortress!

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This is the story of Five Finger Freddie the Fief of Fuelwood and his Fortuitously Fortified Firewood Fortress!


I found a note in one of the lakeside cabins out by the bear cave the other day.  I think it was left there by one of the eco-activists
the Forest Talkers.  It looked like it was instructions on how to spike a tree.  The note said to pepper the area in and around the
Clear Cut logging area so the crews out there would stop cutting down old growth timber.  There was a note scribbled in the margin that
this would give Five Finger Freddie his comeuppance...  Local legend had it that Freddie had it in for the activists as he blamed them
for the accident that caused him to lose his fingers when the chainsaw he was using suddenly exploded when he cut into a spiked tree.  
Ever since the incident there was bad blood and Freddy was determined to thwart any and all attempts to shut down his business.  

I was intrigued so I decided I'd go and check this area out.


I started off fairly early in the morning, leaving Camp Office and the security and warmth of my bed.  It was a normal morning,
slightly snowing and I was making good time as I followed the railroad tracks down to the loading area, until the wind started blowing
a little harder.  As I passed the derailed train cars I did my little hide and go seek dance with the wolves there and as luck was on
my side this morning, managed to avoid them out incident.  When I was safely passed the two roving marauders I quickly ducked into the
tram car briefly to get out of the wind and have a quick snack.  It wasn't long before I was back on my way. 


As I left the loading area, I scurried along atop the snowbanks lining the roadway with my bow at the ready in case I ran into any
trouble while on my hike.  It was quite and nothing was moving except a couple of bunnies which bolted as soon as they saw me.  I
passed the logging trailers without incident and as I came to a bend in the road, I really started to notice that the area was littered
with stumps. The fallen Cedar and Fir trees had been limbed marked and graded, the orange paint still looking freshly applied on the
haphazardly stacked piles of frozen logs.  And the once majestic trunks were now laying there in the snow, waiting to be loaded onto  
trucks that were probably never coming there again. 

I began to understand why the area was called Clear Cut.



As I rounded the final bend in the road, that's when I saw him.  Five Finger Freddie!



Still clutching his can of paint that he used to mark the timber. 

How did I know this was Freddie? His mittens were wool and in good shape. He didn't need them anymore.  When I took them, I Looked at
his hands...  three fingers missing on the left and two on the right.   I took the paint too, can was half full.  Maybe I can use it
for something when I get it thawed out? I dunno


Having looted yet another corpse without remorse or second thought, I quickly checked my surroundings. 

I was looking at a wide open area, just ahead was a swath of stumps, stacked logs with many deer and rabbits scampering about.  I
decided to take this opportunity to shoot a big buck which just came strutting right to me.  I drew my arrow and my shot was quick and
deliberate.  At that range I fully expected to take him down but he bolted instead heading straight up into the middle of nowhere.  
Can't let this one go I thought to myself, I only have three arrows and I cant afford to loose this one. 


 It's still fairly early in the day as I start tracking the wounded buck.  As I am weaving my way amidst the stumps and logs I do a
quick survey sketch in my journal of the Clear Cut area.  As I looked around I noticed more of the spray painted markings. As if on
cue, the blood trail I'm following veers abruptly up to the left and I follow in pursuit.


The snow continues to fall and the blood trail I've been following is slowly being blanketed by fresh powder.  I come across this
strange marking on a stump. Beyond it lies nothing but steep hillside and old growth trees, that and my precious arrow.  


Continuing upwards, I find a tree with two markings on it. Odd, first time I've seen any paired like that.  Wonder what it means?


reacquiring the blood trail, I'm led straight up hill, the going was steep and treacherous and the sprains were numerous.  Good thing I
had a plethora of bandages...  Had to wince thru the pain on occasion but I think I would have OD'd if I took any more pain pills.  
This sign on that tree musta been a warning?  I probably should have paid attention.  But I did find the deer...  but not my precious


As I skirted the along the hazardous incline, high on the ridgeline, the thought of avalanche was heavy on my mind.  But then coming
back down is when I saw it...


Nestled between the rock face of the ridge, tucked away behind some tall cedar trees, way up in the middle of nowhere, I spied a
hatch?!?  I made my way over and began to laugh as I got closer.


Oh Freddie, didn't know you had that kind of sense of humor.  No one, and I mean no one ever suspected.

I let myself inside



As I look up after descending into the gloom of the bunker, I'm hit by the smell.  The smell of seasoned cedar and fir.  There's no way
to describe it, kinda like pine needles.  The earth smell of cedar, the oils having natural insect repelling properties and antifungal
to boot. Used for centuries as far back as the days of Pharoh in ancient Egypt, the pungent smell of pine wood although locked up tight for who knows how long, the air
still felt and tasted fresh.


I start to look around as my torch sputters and begins to die, as I do, my eyes grow wide with amazement.

I grab a lantern off the file cabinet.  It's in pristine condition and full of fuel.  It ignites on the first try.  I am speechless as I
begin to look about the room.



Every bit of space is packed. 

The wood was all sorted and stacked into perfect piles.  



Branches and sticks nicely arranged




Cedar in one stack



Fir in another


even the reclaimed wood was sorted and stacked.



Back against the wall, near the lockers was gut curing under stacks of paper... perfectly preserved and ready to be used.



And then the light revealed the creative genius that was Freddie..

I never would have expected this magnificent work of art!



My attention now turns to the shelves. The shelves were neatly laden with all things fuel and fire related. There were liters of fuel for
the lamps.  Flares, fire logs, tinder plugs and newspaper bundles.  Axes and knives, sharpeners, the works.  

The storage lockers were empty.  And the file cabinet containing various odds and ends, bits of metal, crow feathers, pieces of cloth.


The gloom beckons as I peer down the slightly slanting passageway.  



I traverse the space and look back, noticing the a couple of
climbing rope bundles and it would appear the floor is practically carpeted with rabbit pelts!  wow!

Entering the main chamber I pan my gaze from left to right


On the left side of the chamber theres a set of lockers.  20.thumb.png.8b869ef24736281630d42e5a8c6e469b.png

The floor is softly carpeted with numberous deer hides and perched on a tree
root artfully attached to the wall so as to appear it had broken thru, a new lamp and refill bottle of oil.  on the ground lies a brand
new sleeping bag


and next to it perched on the grate of the air duct, yet another lamp in addition I find a resource book and salty meat snacks.   The adjacent file cabinet has another lantern, fuel and some flare gun shells.  I don't have a flare gun but they are bound to come in handy I'm sure.



I pop open the grate to reveal ZAP power bars and a couple of firearm cleaning kits.


Looking back to the floor I see the wolf pelts on the ground have been arranged creating a nice little seating area where I find a nice
collection of knives and axes.  Each blade was honed to utter sharp perfection.  The previous tenant here was serious about
keeping his sharps sharp as evidenced by the multiple guide books about the subject strewn about as well.



In the corner stood an abudantly stocked pantry of goods.  Everything you could possible want or need just ready for the taking.
Freddie apparently only stocked the good stuff.  All the sodas were local favorites made with good ole sugar.  None of that nasty high
fructose corn syrup to be found.  I dunno where he got it from, but he even had dehyrdated vegetarian meals on hand.  Now that was a
pleasant find indeed!  Not sure how much bottled water was there, but it must have been close to 50 liters.



The shelves were full of everything you could ever want.  From pain pills to stims, antiseptics to antibiotics. 
The bounty was bountiful.  Just no TP...  



Stepping back a bit, revealed a very comfy bed, complete with extra sleeping bag for additional comfort and warmth.  Ole Freddie musta
had quite the sweet tooth considering all the snacks he had tucked in around his pillow.  The rabbit skin mittens on the edge of the
bed didn't fit, on accounts there were made by a guy with five fingers for a guy with five fingers...



Under that comfy bed were countless skill books and survival guides. I'm really looking forward to doing a little light reading when I get all this stuff back to Camp Office.



Before exiting the room, I check the lockers...  Jackpot!  



As night begins to fall, I gather up some of the abundantly stocked firewood bundles and exit the hatch.  There's a fire pit in the  lee crook
of an old tree, my kindling is so try it catches the moment the flame of my match touches it.  As the fire crackles and my venison is
grilling on hot rocks, I step back to admire


The Fabulous Find of  The Fief of Fuelwood, Five Finger Freddie' s Fortuitously Fortified Firewood Fortress!



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