Saturday, April 21, 2012
Posted by pathfindertom at 7:21 PM
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Over the past few days since returning from Sam's "Arizona Challenge", I have been cleaning, repairing, and modifying my gear for my upcoming trip to Maine.
One of my projects was to put a "D" ring handle on my Lard Bucket cooking pot lid. It was a simple thing really. After rooting around in my plunder I found a "D" ring from something, a square washer, 1 machine screw, 1 nut and a small piece of steel with a hole in it.
My tools consisted of an Awl for punching a hole in the lid, and my Swiss Army knife to screw it all together with.
I made the handle so that it will lay down when packed away (in my river bag), and then stand up when Im cooking.
It came out pretty good. I have always enjoyed making useful things from cast off junk. Im looking forward to using this pot over an actual fire(instead of my stove), and get it blackened up with pitch and soot - just like a real Maine woodsman of long ago.
Anyway, I hope you like the pics.
Tomahawk - soon to be "Whisky Jack" again - Scouts Out!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
I was sitting around yesterday afternoon, sippin' a Whiskey and soda, with my Green river knife "Ol' Butch" hanging around my neck. the sun was warm on my chest, I began to notice a slight tainted fat smell.....I soon discovered the source of the Ambiance as the handle on my Green river Knife.
Unsheathing the blade, I took a long sniff of the handle, and was flooded with memories of past expeditions, wilderness adventures, countries, people,war zones, horses and Mules, skinned deer, elk and moose - the list goes on.
This knife has been with me for 23 years. I bought it in a junk shop in Moab, Utah back in 1989 for the ridiculous price of $6.00. Later on I made a sheath for it from some raw hide salvaged from a dead horse I discovered while on a trip in the Utah desert. The handle has always been used as the socket for hundreds of my friction fires(Bow & Drill).
My knife has been to 87 countries, and 6 war zones on 5 continents - "Ol' Butch is a comforting friend and a constant companion to me and will continue to be Just that for many years to come.
I have to kinda chuckle at the knife kooks I read about online that ask silly questions like "How do I force a patina on my new Mora?" - First of all - throw away the Mora, Get a Green River and USE IT. Get off of your computers,get out on the woods, deserts, jungles and mountains. Split some wood, cut some meat(and a finger or two),build some fires, defend yourself, and simply USE the Knife!
Stop Playing at being a woodsman or survival expert and actually get some experience.
Tomahawk - Scouts (and Ol' Butch) Out!
Of late I have begun to loose my taste for coffee, Im down to 3 or 4 pots a day now. Far below my usual 10 or so...Anyhoo, On a recent trip into the boonies, I didnt take any coffee with me. I was hoping to "kick the habit" but only succeeded in getting massive head aches and nausea. One thing I did to combat the effects of caffeine withdrawal,was to drink some Mormons tea(Ephedra fragilis), this seemed to help but was no replacement to good ol' coffee.
Several years ago while bumming around South America(outside of Colombia) I discovered Yerba Mate or simply "Mate" as the locals call it. I found that it had the astringent ,bitter flavor I liked in coffee and had sufficient caffeine to satisfy me.
So Remenicing on this, I headed to the local "Hippy store" to look for some "Mate", I found several different brands with a wide range of prices. I chose a 1/2 pound bag to try out.
I will use/drink "mate" for a while to see if I can completely throw the Caffeine monkey off my back. If it does not help with that?? hell bells, then I guess Ill have to move to Colombia for better and cheaper coffee.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Around the end of this month Im heading out to meet up with my good friend and fellow woods Bum Tim Smith of Jack Mountain Bushcraft & Guide service in Masardis, Maine.
I will hop on the Amtrak in Benson, Arizona and take it to meet Tim for our 3000 mile drive to Maine - cant wait! it will be a good time, filled with great conversation and lots of pageantry AND perhaps a few shenanigans.
My friend and I are pretty much polar opposites in our wilderness skills but share a similar intellect which makes hanging out together fun - and Adventurous.
Teddy Roosevelt once described his Maine wilderness guides Bill Sewall and William Dowd thusly;
"They were tough, hardy, resolute fellows, quick as cats, strong as bears, and able to travel like bull moose."
Not at all unlike Tim Smith.
I will be offline for a good while in Maine due to our 28 day canoe expedition, as far as we know it is the longest education based wilderness canoe expedition in North America....I'm looking forward to it.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Here is a little bit of Arizona History for you.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!
Thomas Jonathan Jeffords (January 1, 1832 – February 21, 1914) was a U.S. Army scout, Indian agent, and later a stagecoach driver in the Arizona Territory. His friendship with Apache leader Cochise was instrumental in ending the Indian wars in that region.
Born in Chautauqua County, NY, Tom Jeffords came west to Arizona in 1862 as a scout for the U.S. Army. Warfare with the Chiricahua Apaches had begun the year before, when Cochise, one of their chiefs, was accused by the Army of kidnapping an 11-year-old white boy from a nearby ranch. (The abduction was likely the work of Pinal Indians.) Hearing this, Cochise came forward under a flag of truce when summoned by the Army to declare his innocence. The Army chose not to believe him and tried to place him under arrest. Cochise pulled his knife, slashed the wall of the tent in which the meeting was being held, and escaped into the brush. The six men who had accompanied him, including three relatives, were held and then hanged (Lt Bascom Affair).
Cochise, formerly inclined toward peace with the white settlers, now joined other Apache chiefs in hostility to them. It was not long before the Army retaliated, and the war was on.
Jeffords was the superintendent of a mail line that later became part of the famous Pony Express system. After some of his mail riders were killed by Apache raiding parties, he rode alone into the camp of Cochise to parley. This bravery so impressed the chief that he became friend and blood brother to Jeffords, granting his mail riders safe passage.
President Grant sent General Oliver Howard to the Arizona Territory in 1871 with orders to end the Apache wars by negotiating treaties with the tribes. Howard was an apt choice, as he had been head of the Freedman's Bureau, the agency responsible for assisting freed black slaves after the Civil War. General Howard enlisted the help of Jeffords in concluding these treaties. Learning of his work with the Freedman's Bureau, Jeffords knew that Howard was honorable and would be respected by Cochise, and eventually conducted the general into Cochise’s camp. A treaty was signed in 1872, ending the decade-long war with the Chiricahua Apaches. Cochise requested that his people be allowed to remain in the Chiricahua Mountains and that Jeffords be made Indian agent for the region. These requests were granted, and the Indian raids subsided.
However, certain white residents of the area disapproved of this arrangement because it denied them access to the copper and silver that had been discovered on Apache lands. They branded Jeffords “Indian lover” and wrote scathing reports to politicians back in Washington. In 1875 he was removed as the federal agent and the Chiricahua Apaches were relocated to the San Carlos Reservation. Cochise was spared this; he had died of natural causes about a year after signing the now broken treaty. The Indian wars began again, but were ended in 1918 Arizona with the Battle of Bear Valley, between U.S. Cavalry and Yaqui Indians.
Jeffords became a stagecoach driver, a deputy sheriff of Tombstone, AZ and finally a gold prospector. He lived out the last 22 years of his life in the Tortolita Mountains north of Tucson, AZ, at a homestead near the Owlhead Buttes. He died on February 21, 1914 and was buried in Tucson's Evergreen Cemetery.
The story of Tom Jeffords, General Howard, Cochise, and the Apache wars was told in historically-based but dramatized form in a novel by Elliott Arnold that was adapted into a 1950 film and a 1956 television show that ran for 72 episodes. The novel, movie, and television show were titled Broken Arrow.
Okie Dokie,yesterday, I got back from the mountains after spending 12 days Hiking, Camping and teaching survival skills & natural history to my good friend Sam at www.samexplores.com .
It was a good trip but the time went too fast. We stayed at around 7000 feet of elevation most of the time, carried packs weighing from 50 to 80 pounds - depending on how much food and water we needed, and made some hefty elevation gains and losses during our hikes.
Check out Sam Larsons website at samexplores.com for more detailed info, pictures and videos.
Tomahawk - Scouts Out!