Sunday, February 11, 2007

Convenience Firewood

Our town is hugged by the Prescott National Forest to the South and the West. So it's no surprise that a lot of people still depend upon wood stoves for their heat. What is surprising is to find firewood as a convenience ... a modern amenity for one's lifestyle. Above, small lots at a convenience store on SR69.

Even more surprising, this display over at Fry's. That's a mighty small package of wood for $4.39. Surely not competitive with gas, even at today's outrageous prices. However, not really my problem: I have a lovely fireplace, but a beautiful ponderosa pine overhangs the chimney. And I am a positive wimp about fires. Therefore, the furnace is my sole source of heat.

However, if I were planning much firewood heating, I'd be talking to this guy or others like him. One taxi driver I see every so often heats with wood; he passed on this curious intelligence -- the $40 is for a load of oak or similar wood...

but if you want juniper, with its wonderful aroma, the price jumps. All of which suprised me a great deal. When we heated with wood down in Wilhoit many years ago, the guy we bought our house from recommended the root boles of scrub oak. Hardwoods such as oak burn cleaner than pine or juniper, which gunk up one's chimney much faster. Ah, well. At least we haven't had any temperature inversions this year; on such days, the sky looks like a control burn is going on in the forest. On the other hand, we never get the amount of wood smoke pollution that regularly occurs up in Flagstaff.

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