Cedar Fiends

First, sprinkles. Then rain fell at the South Jetty.

I made my way along the trail. I was wearing my special rain stocking cap. My mind moved with rain.

The tide was out and I found my favorite gap in the crumbling rocks. I began to enter the gap when the smell of cedar caught me. I love the smell of cedar in the rain. I looked around and noticed the fresh remains of cut cedar driftlogs, chainsawed, red shavings and saw dust everywhere.

The cedar fiends had struck, in the night, perhaps, because I had visited this spot 24 hours ago and the logs were intact.

I kept moving south down the beach and found more cedar shavings and a newly cut cedar round. I sat down on it and ate my meager breakfast suffused with the aroma of cedar.

Who are these fiends? I’ve never seen one in 20 years of Oregon beach rambling. Not one. I have seen evidence of their handiwork, dozens of times. They always take the choicest cuts. They know their wood.

Technically, this cedar harvesting is illegal. So is building a driftwood fort. I wonder if anyone has ever been caught or cited.

I suspect the wood is used for crafting, perhaps kindling every now and then. Maybe some shakes. It might just be a hobby for lovers of a sacred wood. If I ever met one of the fiends, I would ask.

It just occurred to me: why hasn’t anyone distilled a spirit from cedar?

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