Sunday, January 14, 2007


Largest Spruce: New Candidate for Disaster Tourism

It seems that Oregon's largest Sitka spruce, located at Klootchy Creek just inland along Highway 26 from the Oregon Coast, is in dire straits. It was hit by lightning and damaged some years ago and a recent storm revealed serious rot. Experts think it's only a matter of time before this giant falls.

When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade. We will hate to see it fall, but there may as well be a silver lining. Disasters are big draws. Rubberneckers slow down traffic to pass accidents. Idiots hear tsunami warnings and rush to the beach for a better view.

We should do something like that for the Klootchy Creek spruce. Sell tickets to watch it. The Oregon Lottery could start a game; winner guesses when it falls. If it starts to go, it'll be even more of an attraction. Nobody would watch the Tower of Pisa if it weren't leaning, would they?

All this levity masks my deep dismay. I'm a tree-hugger at heart. I love the big ones. It will be a shame to see this one go.


When the spruce finally goes down, you could pulverize it and sell souvenir toothpicks for the next 100,000 years. Let's see, at 25 cents a pick...

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