Capitol Christmas tree hauler heads for home

| 12/7/2006

Now that the Capitol Christmas tree has been lit in Washington, DC, OOIDA member Gordy Grove, who hauled the hand-picked tree from his home state of Washington, is heading for home - and some much needed rest and relaxation.

Grove, a resident of Langley, WA, delivered the 65-foot Pacific silver fir tree, which was harvested from the Olympic National Forest, to Washington, DC, on Nov. 27, on a specially designed 80-foot trailer. The tree was formally lit during a special ceremony by Dennis Hastert, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, on Dec. 6, and Grove was the featured guest of National Van Lines, the company he drives for and the event's primary sponsor.

"It was a great experience and is one I will never forget," Grove said. "The tree looked nice and beautiful when it was lit and I was fortunate to be the one to deliver it."

Jorja Coulter, vice president of marketing for National Van Lines, said Grove was the company's natural pick when deciding who should haul this year's Christmas tree to Washington, DC, especially since Grove hauled the companion trees to Capitol Hill last year.

Now that his month-long journey around the state of Washington and across the country has ended, Grove said he plans to take a little time off around the holidays and spend it with his family.

"This has been quite an experience and I have had a great time," Grove said.

The tree will stay lit every night through Jan. 1, 2007, from sundown until 11 p.m.

- By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer