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Showing posts from September, 2019

Beaver Dam

My craft drifts on the water like a birch leaf, downstream with the slowed current. This swamp was once a  mere trickle, rushing water that undercut high banks. As high as I could reach  from the creek bed, was the leaf litter and tree roots. Now the water is over the banks, and standing knee deep, fifty yards each way. As I drift on, the cause of this flooding, the beaver dam, comes into view. Perhaps the largest I have ever seen in these parts,  hundred yards or more across. From base of the slope on either side of the bottom land, this dam stretches. The architects worked tirelessly, spring, summer and fall, to build this great structure. And every time the sound of running water is heard,  the call of duty is answered. A builder comes forth from the depths of its lair, and repairs the breach. Weaving in more saplings and packing sticks and mud in the holes, the dam holds. I survey this engineering feat from my craft of molded plastic, and I am perplexed. One of the great wonders of

What's In Your Pocket?

There's always that sinking feeling you get when you end up in an adverse situation, only to realize you are unprepared, not having critical tools you need to perform the task at hand. You may be at work, stuck in traffic on the interstate, or even in the middle of an apocalypse, when you discover that you are SCREWED, that you went against everything you were taught in the Scouts, or on those survival reality shows on TV. You vow to God, yourself, and Bear Grylls that next time you won't be so careless. That you'll never leave home without it again.  Next time, you tell yourself, you will be able to cut that length of rope needed to repel down the waterfall, use a flashlight to signal the rescue chopper once you have located a group of lost children in the gorge, or open that beer that you thought had the twist-off cap. There seems to be a trend in preparedness going on right now referred to as Everyday Carry, or EDC.  This simply means that the participants in this subcul

The Opinel Knife

This is a departure from the regular content on this blog, but when I find something of quality, I want to pass it along to you. Quality craftsmanship and affordability are what I look for in outdoor gear. I found out a long time ago that you get what you pay for. While this may be true, there are reasonably priced products out there, if you know where to look. That's how I discovered the Opinel knife. I was looking for a knife that was durable, hard working, and that looked nice. Also, it would be great if it was easy on the wallet. I purchased my Opinel No. 8 at Mast General Store for $15. The simple beauty of this knife caught my eye, and the fact that is was a traditional working man's knife made in France for over one hundred years, convinced me to make the purchase. In 1890, Joseph Opinel began making his wooden-handled folding knives in Savoie, France, selling them to farmers, herdsmen, and paysans-vignerons ( peasant winemakers). Soon, the knife became popular with rail