Friday eve, about 8:45, my buddy Brian and I headed out of Springfield for his friends' cabin in Cape Fair, Missouri, just above Table Rock Lake. On cue, it started to freezing rain as we were pulling into the cabin. We had planned to tent camp behind the cabin about 300 yards, but the weather forced our hand and we opted for dry and thawed gear and moved inside.
Morning broke and we fixed a breakfast of cowboy coffee, thick cut bacon from Horrmann Meats in Springfield (which was awesome!), potatoes, scrambled eggs and homemade biscuits I baked before we left town.
After breakfast, I got to test out a new pipe I got in the mail a week ago. It's a replica Dutch Gouda clay pipe from the colonial era. Somewhat brittle, I had to keep it in an old cigar box for travel. It smoked the "Morning Coffee" blend tobacco nicely. Being smaller than my Missouri Meerschaum "Country Gentleman" corncob, it held just the right amount of tobacco for a quick smoke before heading off to the hill behind the cabin for a day of cutting firewood.
I got to test out the restored Norlund splitting axe. It performed very well, splitting some of the densest red oak we'd ever seen. Not all of it, some was so dense it required an eight-pound maul or chainsaw to work through.
The first trunk section we got to, we sadly took out a few field mice huddled within. The mom scurried off, but her four babes didn't fare so well in the subfreezing morning temps.
By about 2:30-3pm, we'd filled the trailer with red oak and we headed back to the cabin to fill our bellies again. Brian whipped up a couple of t-bone steaks with the rest of the bacon, potatoes and biscuits. We ate like kings for a second time before packing up and heading back to Springpatch, tired, a little sore and happy to have done an honest day of work and fun.