Working On The Lines

Our local utility company, West Oregon Electric has a big job. The power lines stretch through some of the most densely forested areas of the Northwest area of Oregon.

In the 1950’s, when the power company was beginning to place poles and stretch wires to the unincorporated rural customers, costs would skyrocket with the miles of network needed. In order to curtail costs a plan was developed. Instead of following the county roads that skirted along the path of the river, shortcuts were established through meadows, across meanders of the river, through fields and farmlands. The shortcuts did the job of getting power to the people but it also caused a lot of trouble as the years went by. Continue reading

Stirring The Chip Pile

We were gifted with a couple of loads of chipped vegetation from our local West Oregon Electric Line Crew recently. The chips are very green and were heating quickly with the warm weather. To keep the pile from molding, we had to do a little mixing.

Using the bucket on the tractor to pile wood chips.Mike got a chance to practice techniques with the new bucket tractor as he broke apart the stack and re-piled it up.

During the winter months, the chips will be used for bedding in the bull and show barns. The chips will be spread across the flooring in thin layers to absorb (like a large scale cat box) and to provide a comfy spot for the cows to relax.

A Yard Full

Local power company working around yard and garden.An old transformer that was in need of dismantling was tackled by the local power company this morning.

An early morning phone call alerted us to the West Oregon Electric crew being available to complete this job that had been on the list for over a year.

The yard was filled with 2 of the large boom trucks, 1 smaller boom truck, and the supervisor rig. Another pickup showed up to direct traffic as the wires that hung across the road were taken off poles and removed from the site. The project took a couple hours.

The crew did a good job of getting in and around the garden area without any impact to the vegetation and once they left we found no trace that anything had happened other than the transformer being gone and wires removed from poles.

Busy Day In The Driveway

The local power company, West Oregon Electric was hard at work in our driveway as they prepare to update our lines on the poles that run from the grid to the farm.

Local power company working on pole in driveway.

We are too rural for big power companies, just not enough density of people to support all the costs associated with providing electricity. We belong to our local co-op, over the years we have had temperamental service, we used to comment about the electricity going out if someone sneezed. But the crews have worked diligently over the last ten years to upgrade poles, bury lines in susceptible storm areas, and logged line zones to make our power more dependable than ever.

We appreciate our power company and the job that they do to keep up up and running throughout all weather and through every season.


Downing a Danger Tree


Early in the spring I had told you about our local electric company, West Oregon Electric (WOE). They had come out to help us with a dead white fir tree that was near their electric lines and needed to be removed. This old white fir was about 120 years old and had been on the decline for the last decade. It was time to remove the dangerous tree before it ended up wiping out the power to the whole rural neighborhood and quite possibly the town 10 miles up the road.

WOE crew used their cherry picker to top the tree twice. The first cut removed the very top fifty feet of the tall tree and dropped it right by the base, likewise with the second fifty foot section. The fifty foot base was left standing since it was no longer a threat to the power lines and we would need some time to clean up the tree that was on the ground before falling the last portion.

We consider our local power crew as family.  It’s not just the wave and a honk as they drive past the farm. They are courteous and helpful, and work long grueling hours during horrible weather, to keep us in power. I witnessed first hand, the safety first attitude put into practice with each task. And the grateful giggles from the crew when a pan of brownies was rewarded to them as they were moving onto their next project. Continue reading