Here’s the schedule for the whole weekend: Snow Walker’s.
After breakfast, there were three whole-group presentations. I especially enjoyed Laura Beebe’s ” Stories, Songlines, & Ephemeral Mapping in Traditional Inuit Communities. The ability of Native Americans to craft mental maps of their landscapes was astounding. Laura showed us photographs what looked like sticks with carved bumps on them that turned out to be detailed sailing maps. She also showed a photo of an amazingly detailed ” map” that had been made with pebbles and carved lumps of wood that had been placed in a sand tray. The placement and detail were as accurate as a modern satellite map.
In the afternoon, I attended Mark Kutolowski’s 1 hour- “Basics of Bush Knives” workshop.
Mark is a Vermont guide and traditional wilderness teacher. He developed and teaches Physical Education courses in Bushcraft, Survival, Foraging, and Natural History at Dartmouth College. He also leads New Creation Wilderness Programs, a series of retreats focusing on the intersection between contemplative spirituality and wilderness living.
I was excited to take the course, as I was the proud owner of a new H. Roselli handmade-in-Finland bush knife that had been given to me by Don Kivelus, as a celebratory gift for my completing the Pacific Crest Trail. Here’s a shot of the knife, which
features a beautiful dyed curly birch handle with a 3.75″ razor-sharp polished carbon steel blade. This knife also has a full-tang construction with a brass bolster. Mark’s workshop covered basic aspects of sharpening, as well as carving, including some moves from the wrist, elbow, and shoulder. Then we went outside where he taught us how to use a baton to chop and split wood with the knife.
Later he demonstrated using just the knife to cut down saplings.
I bought a couple of things from some of the vendors as well. One was a pair of angora rabbit wool socks. Here’s a photo of the package , with a cool image of the rabbits that supply angora wool.
I also bought two books: the latest edition of Garret and Alexander Conover’s Snow Walker’s Companion and a new book entitled Wildbranch: An Anthology of Nature, Environmental, and Place-Based Writing . I plan to review those two items in the coming weeks.
By the way, I’d strongly recommend that you ” readers” out there check out the Goodreads web site. I have used it for a few years now and enjoy the ability to organize my reading, store books ” to read” as well as share my reactions and ideas about books automatically with my friends who are also using the web site. You are welcome to view my own Goodreads “shelves”which can be accessed on this page under the Blogroll section to the right of this column.
; the dates for Snow Walker’s Rendezvous for next year- November 11-13, 2011. All at the Hulbert Outdoor center, Lake Morey, Fairlee, Vermont. I’ll be there..