Warming Up: Gathering wood for winter | Off Piste | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Pin It

Warming Up: Gathering wood for winter 

The Bend tradition of gathering autumn firewood appears to be making a comeback this year.


Twenty-five years ago on any given autumn weekend, Century Drive would be virtually bumper-to-bumper with old pickup trucks loaded with firewood. Firewood gathering, along with the opening of hunting and fishing season was a Bend tradition. Most gatherers did multiple loads during a day and for many people, wood gathering was a family affair complete with a picnic lunch.

Come winter, Bend was primarily warmed by wood stoves, so much so that an EPA study from a site near Pilot Butte in the late 90s showed the local air to be among the foulest in Oregon in winter. That was especially true during extended periods of inversion.

With the onset of an inversion there was a slight pall of smoke in the air. If you took a short walk in the evening, you'd come home smelling like you'd spent all night in a smoky bar.

Eventually, the City Council passed an ordinance calling for the replacement of, on the sale of a house, an existing old wood stove with a new clean burning stove. The ordinance also mandated the installation of clean burning stoves in all new construction, should a wood stove be part of the plans. More recently, the state has adopted rules that require all woodstove owners to upgrade to clean burning stoves because of air quality concerns.

Wood stoves and wood stove heat slowly became something of the past.

But apparently there's a renaissance of home heating with wood. Witness the dozens of wood gatherers along Century Drive for the past several weeks. Hey, it's almost like the old days are back thanks to lots of beetle kill and rising home heating costs.

I love it. It reminds me of when Bend was smaller and far more rooted in tradition. So, cut away wood gatherers and enjoy the warmth of a wood fire this winter.

Pin It

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
Dottie Ashley- Appaloosa Duo

Dottie Ashley- Appaloosa Duo - Bend Cider Co.

Sat., May 21, 4-6 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

Latest in Off Piste

  • Can't Wait for the Face-Kini Trend to Hit Bend

    • Aug 20, 2012
      More reasons to slap one of these on, according to The Indian Express is they are,"also extremely effective at repelling insects and jellyfish." Read about even racier Face-Kinis here: http://inventorspot. More »
  • A New Way to Protect That Gorgeous Mug of Yours

    • Aug 20, 2012
    Sick of the claustrophobic greasy cloud of sunscreen, fellow sun bunnies?  It drips into your eyes if you're active and sweating and sometimes has a pasty white sheen, but in Bend sun protection is mandatory.   The other problem is the way it makes you feel like you're being buried alive. More »
  • Bust a Love Move Today

    • Aug 9, 2012
    Long before Gay A. Bradshaw (one of Oregon’s own) put a name on them, trans-species relationships have continued to baffle, challenge, and warm the hearts of non-human animals and humanimals alike. More »
  • More »

More by The Source Staff

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2022 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation