Well I got the family rounded up and we did the Talimena Drive. It's in the Ouchita National Forest in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas. The Fall is the best time for this drive as you get a real show of fall colors that the forest offers. It's not the most outdoorsy trip when you're mostly driving but there are quite a few hiking trails throughout that will test your limits if that's what you're after.
This trip was mostly driving and enjoying the view with a somewhat bushcraft lunch.
Hey folks, No affiliation other than being a customer but Omaha Knife did a special order of the Council Tool FSS boys axes. They also upgraded the handle quality and are using the Velvicutt boy's axe handles. This should be a superb axe!. I have one of the original FSS axes and love it. It is my favorite axe hands down. Feel and performance is just amazing. With the better handles on them now I can't imagine getting something else, in any price range. Just wanted to pass a long.
Here's a few pics of mine from the previous run. You'll note the horrid grain orientation on mine. It's still going strong though. I am doing an experiment of sorts on how long it will last. This is the issue they corrected by using the upgraded handles. So you should be confident that the handle will be a good one.
I removed the paint from the head and sanded the handle down. New model won't have lacquer.
Well the kiddos birthdays are only a couple weeks apart and their big gift was a combined gift. Bel has been wanting a puppy for awhile and and we decided now is as good as time as any. So here is "Duke", named by the kids. He is a Cocker Spaniel. I've always been found of this breed and now I'll get to find out first hand if there was any reason for it.
I'll be taking him out this fall for upland hunts and maybe see how he does in a goose pit here. Not sure what to expect but I'll post updates accordingly.
Decided to take the kids out for some dinner in the woods. Hot dogs and finger foods seems easy enough. So we packed up and headed out to see how much spring is taking over in our neck of the woods. We stuck to some trails mostly, so Jack can walk without tripping every two steps. Then we went off path to have an alone spot for our woods meal.
Onto the pics...
found this little guy under a log
to give you an idea how little, here's Jack's massive toddler boots for scale
after a bit of hiking we found a suitable spot to make a quick camp and felled a tree and sawed it up
made some shaving with fatwood to get a quick fire
happy kiddos and a mess for dad to pick up, after that we headed on back out
sunset shot through the trees
we finished up throwing rocks, don't think kids would have it any other way
I was in one of those moods where I needed a spot no one else would be at, taking the canoe to the back of a remote lake is a good bet on that being the case. It was windy and 40's but I was out. Spring colors haven't quite come in. I think we're close though.
after put in and making some head way
I brought the fishing gear, I tried probably 30 throws with the castnet at various places, not a single fish of any kind. If I can't catch baitfish that's usually a bad sign for finding active fish. I did try a few spots but no luck. Still relaxing though
I paddled to the back of the lake, it's on overgrown mess of trees
I went to find some greenwood for some fire practice, into the trees
found a suitable tree, Elm, I would later regret this decision
I'm really liking the old Plumb Cedar axe. I limbed the tree and brought back with me. I sawed up a few logs with it and proceeded to break it down. The bigger log in this picture turned out to be the biggest PITA to split down.
after this swing I was surprised it didn't split and knew then this was going to be interesting
I tried laying it sideways and splitting it from that angle, axe was penetrating all the way through fine. Fibers just would not let go. I've never seen any hold together as tight as this one. So I made a quick wedge to drive through
seriously? This was turning into one of those battle of wills, or whits I should say. Course I can't lose to a log...
finally apart. I kept a good sense of humor through this. Never thought a log of this size could put up this much of a fight.
proceed to split down with the knife
at this point I knew this greenwood fire with this piece would not happen. Every part of the wood was wet to the touch. Even the inner most parts. Not damp but wet. So I decided to use one of the smaller pieces towards the top of the tree and see if that was dry
much better but not completely dry. But worth a shot
Now I'm not the best at making curls but I'm not the worse. The twisting grain of this tree made it not curl worth a darn. I made up a pile of shavings and set them in the sun to dry
broke down smaller pieces and set them out to dry as well
some summit goodness, really like this pack. No fancy kuksa cup here. Need something with a lid when wanting to enjoy a hot cup while canoeing
After about 20 minutes I got impatient and decided to get this going
curls went up pretty easy
I put the smaller pieces on top as they were starting to catch and then I put the bigger pieces over. But then the little pieces didn't sustain and it all died out pretty quick. Still a little too damp, more drying time would have helped a lot, as would more curls and more smaller pieces. Lessons learned...
After that it was time to go. Loaded up and headed out. Here's some parting shots on the way back