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A Very Special Walnut Log

This post is about the one log that I though got away. A little over two years ago I got a phone call from a man in Gatlinburg TN. He stated that he had a nice Walnut log for sale. A bit of history on the location. Gatlinburg is a tourist town located in the Great Smokey Mountains. In 2016 the town was hit by a major Forest Fire that resulted in both property damage and loss of life. The man stated that the Walnut tree was 14 feet long, had a nice crotch at the end and was removed from a parking lot of a hotel to make way for new utilities being installed to replace the fire damaged ones. I was every interested in this log but just wasn't able to come get the log in his time frame that he needed it removed. I did though forward him to my friend Garrick (log buyer) whom bought the log from him and brought it back to his companies yard in Rogersville TN. I assumed the log was probably either on its way to Ohio or worse China for processing and figured I missed my chance on it.

In January of 2019 while in Duffield Virginia buying some Crotch Walnut Logs from Garrick he told me that Walnut log was still at the yard in Rogersville last time he was over there. He told me he would check that again and get back with me. A few weeks went by and another set back on me acquiring this log occurred. Garrick quit the company and went to work at a sawmill in North Carolina. I did speak to Garrick whom stated he never made it down to that yard to to check but said it might be there. Around April I made the trip down to Rogersville to look for the log. I arrived about mid day and the log buyer was busy unloading trucks. I took about 30 minutes and looked around but didn't see the log. Garrick had sent me a photo of the log after he bought it that was sketched in my mind. Shortly after the search the log buyer came over and confirmed there were no big crotch walnut logs at the yard. Feeling like I had lost the log for a second time I went back to my truck and drove back home.

About a month ago I got a text message from Garrick stating he had left the mill job in NC and had returned to his previous employer and would be taking over the log yard in Morristown. I told him this was great news (Garrick has a good eye for specialty logs and having him back in my region will result in nice timber for my sawmill) and to keep me in mind when he comes across Walnut. I didn't even think to ask him about the Gatlinburg log, Last week I got a text message from Garrick that read "I found it." I read the message and immediately knew what he was talking about. I cut off the sawmill and called him before the engine stopped running. He told me that he had found the Gatlinburg Walnut log in a warehouse stowed away at his new log yard. The log company places a bar code on all timber they buy so it can be tracked in their system. He said the bar code matched the log as well did the measurements. He also sent me a recent photo and I knew what he had. He said the log has no current buyer and that he wants me to have it! Right now we are discussing the price of the log which based on its history might bring upward to 1k or better. I hope to get this log next week. Regardless this is an interesting story and I hope the log finds its way to my sawmill soon. I will keep you all up to date on what happens next. The log is 14ft long and the diameter is 28 inches before the crotch starts. The photo does not do it justice, this is a huge log.

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