Friday, October 31, 2014
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Monday, October 27, 2014
After loading my backpack with bread and honey sticks, I headed back by way of Glenstone, Galloway and the Galloway Creek Greenway. They really need to put a Greenway connector bike/walk path in at the north side of the Springfield Conservation Nature Center sometime. Getting south of James River Freeway on a bicycle can be a nightmare. The few arteries you have available are pretty much deathtraps.
I got home around 10am, met the Mrs. and kiddo and we went to Houlihan's for lunch. Gwen and I left her mom here with a friend and we drove down to Highlandville and Mountain Springs Trout Park to make up for the skunking we got last weekend at Roaring River State Park. Mountain Springs is barrel shooting fish, for certain, but awesome for kids. It's a guaranteed catch and likely to be a big one. Gwen caught a 3.5 pounder, which they cleaned for us. The owner and I had a good conversation about knife making and game processing. He was a really nice guy. If you have kids and want to make sure they catch a fish the day you take them out, I recommend them. But be prepared, it's $6 a lb. Cleaning is free, though.
Back home and we busted out all the camping gear from the weekend before for a little backyard camping. I made a fire in the fire pit, broke out the cook tripod and then set up the tent. After the coals had built up a bit, I threw in some potatoes and warmed up the cast iron skillet. We cooked steaks and then our day's catch, a la Hemingway - with salt, pepper, thyme, lemon, corn meal and wrapped in bacon. Unfortunately, it was too big for my largest skillet and I had to cook it directly over the coals. It might've been better if it were smaller and pan-fried.
After dinner, we made vanilla, caramel, chocolate, graham cracker and toasted marshmallow s'more Sundays, then hung out around the fire for a bit before turning in.
In the morning, we woke to the sounds of traffic, owls hooting and my wife letting the dogs out for their morning constitutional. We got up, I made oatmeal pancakes, we got ready and then hit the road to check out some fall colors.
We drove south out of Springfield, through Ozark and Sparta and out Bradleyville, past Hercules Glades and out by Longrun, then up to Ava and Mansfield, then took the main highway back. It was an awesome drive in places with massive hilltop views. A great way to blow a couple of hours and half a tank of gas. We had lunch at a mom'n'pop in Ava. Nothing to write about there, though. With small town restaurants, you win some, you lose some. Some are amazing, some, well, they're alright.
Last night, after dinner with some friends of Abby's from her old place of employment, I managed to get a large part of lashing the kayak done, as well. All I have left is to lash the keel in two places and fashion a rear deck plate and get it lashed to the frame. Then I have to make the cockpit hoop and varnish everything before skinning begins.
A busy weekend, but a fun one. Most of them are or at least I try to make them so. The weather we've got right now, you have to take advantage of it. It's too good to pass up.
Friday, October 24, 2014
I love the smell of artificial sinew in the morn'n! Well, not really, but it has potential. Unwrapping a new spool of the stuff means good things are afoot. Good things like lashed gunwales and stems and moving onto the chines, as well.
YAY! Lashed stems!!!
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Over the weekend, I took the family on a short road trip to Roaring River State Park.
We got down there about 1:30pm on Saturday. A little late to bother with a trout fishing pass for the day, so we opted to do a little hiking around the hatchery grounds and above the spring.
On the trail decent we came came across this cuddly little guy, a three foot long copperhead. Luckily it was cool out. These snakes are right bastards. (I still don't condone their random killing or abuse, though. A snake just does what it's designed to do.)
With the campground at the state park full, we drove a half an hour south to Eureka Springs, Arkansas and the KOA Campground there. It was an easy spot to make online reservations on my cell phone and I had stayed there years ago, so I had some familiarity with the place. I bought some red oak firewood on-site and went about putting camp together and making a fire to cook our hotdogs.
The new Eureka Taron 3 is pretty easy to pitch. I even managed to stuff a fully inflated queen-size mattress into it.
The prerequisite camp corncob pipe, a Country Gentleman Bent by Missouri Meerschaum. I have a new one coming in the mail sometime soon. Only it'll be a rusticated version with a straight stem.
Up in the morning, bright and early. None of us slept too well. It got colder than the Mrs. was OK with and the kiddo may have had too much chocolate in her s'mores. It took her forever to calm down and pass out. I did my best to chase away the grumps with coffee, cinnamon oatmeal pancakes, eggs and bacon from Horrmann Meat Co.
Love my cast iron and cold handle steel skillets. The smaller is a Lodge 8-inch and the larger is a 100+ year old carbon steel pan. I need to sew a carry bag for them.
After breakfast, I cleaned up camp and we headed into town to show Gwen the "haunted hotel on the hill", the Crescent. She thought it was pretty cool. Out back, a "ghost cat" even ran over it's grave. Spooky!
It looked pretty nervous around these...
Then it was back to Roaring River to do a little trout fishing. We got skunked. I nearly landed three, but they either threw the hook or broke my 5x tippet altogether. I lost two flies and a little pride. Gwen lost her composure as we left and she hadn't caught her dinner. She was none-too-happy about it.
I would count it a pretty fun weekend, same for the kiddo, I imagine. My wife may have a differing opinion, I'll leave it at that. Hopefully I can convince her to do another outdoor weekend in the near future. Maybe if there's a heated cabin involved and no chocolate in sight.