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Back in the mountains, we had an extended winter. That was a simple fact of life, due to our altitude, 9,96? feet. Of course we always told everyone it was 10,000 feet above sea level. I heated my house all year long with a wood burning stove. I took it to the extreme of never allowing the electric furnace to kick on. Being that our winter lasted about 9 months, I burned on average of 8 to 9 cords of wood a year. I very seldom purchased firewood, choosing rather to go foraging for it during the summer months. This meant many a weekend dedicated to cutting up and splitting wood.
There had always been a comforting feeling in sitting next to a warm fireplace, watching the flames flicker and dance along the logs. The soft crackling with an occasional “POP” was music to my ears. After working all day out in the cold, I was always comforted to return home and stir up the fire once again. I very seldom had to light a new one, for I would bank the fire with long burning pitch pine, and turn the stove way down before leaving. I had three wood stoves in the house, but only burned one most times.
One time, after an extended stay in Denver, Holiday shopping, we returned to a terribly frigid house. I had forgotten to turn on the electric furnace prior to leaving. It was about 25 degrees below zero outside, and probably 0 inside. Thinking I could quickly heat up the house by lighting all three stoves, I set to the task. Carefully crumpling up papers, and setting the kindling just right. I had my own method, and refused to let anyone talk me out of it. Lighting one then moving on to another, I lit the kindling. By the time I got the last one lit, it was time to go back to the first and set a few logs on it carefully to guarantee a good flow of air through the logs.
In no time at all, I had a pleasant warmth encompassing our house. We went about our chores, and unloaded the car. As I was working along, I noticed it getting warmer and warmer. Pretty soon I was stripping off layers of insulting clothing. After about 30 minutes, I finally figured out that perhaps three stoves was not such a good idea. It had warmed the house very quickly, but I do believe I did too good a job of laying the fires. It was so hot in our house, we ended up having to open both the front and back door, and a few windows.
No real harm was done, but I did heat the outdoors for about an hour and a half before two of the stoves burned out and it started to cool off inside the house.