WIP: A Thanksgiving Woodspirit Marathon (Part 2-conclusion)
Thanksgiving has afforded me with the addition of four new members to my woodspirit family. They are now finished and ready for duty in the hands of new owners as they will surely explore many new trails. Two of the sticks have some really nice swirls at the top near the handle on the woodspirit beards which make them quite unique and that also makes them feel good in the palm of the gripping hand.
The animal tracks also turned out nice and bold which compliments the woodspirits just right. Over the years I have developed several sets of animal tracks for placing on my walking sticks since most folks request them. I developed their designs from several sources including a large track collection that I have casted over many years in the field. I've also studied numerous tracking books where I've gleaned many other variations of how a particular animal leaves his print in the sand, mud, dirt, and sometimes the track is left wet as the animal steps from the edge of a stream to a rock surface. Animal tracking has been one of my fondest hobbies since I was a child so I am always learning more about what the trails of a wild animal can teach me.
Living in the mountains of North Carolina I have spent almost 30 very
rewarding years working with at-risk kids in a wilderness camping program as a counselor, outdoor educator, and woodshop teacher. To learn more about what my blog is all about, just scroll down this sidebar to "About my blog..."
1. Woodcarving/Woodwork: Working wood has been a lifetime obsession for me and I enjoy sharing what I know. It is my belief that hands-on and experiential learning has a direct and profound effect on the development of a child's intellect, confidence, and character. Projects of mine (and my students) will be posted as they progress and I will occasionally include a video tutorial. All of my videos can be found here .
2. Bushcraft/Primitive Living Skills: Finding ways to live closer to the land has always fascinated me. Whether it's building a shelter, fire starting, animal tracking, or just making rustic furniture... you'll eventually see some of it here.
3. Long Distance backpacking, canoeing, & bicycling: Some of my long distance adventures include thru-hiking the 2,600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada and I solo paddled the 1,800 mile Yukon river across northwest Canada and Alaska to the Bering sea. More detailed accounts of these and many other adventures can be found here
4. Sustainable Living: I'm always looking for better ways to do more by using less. It's not so much an "environmental" thing to me as it is a quest for personal independence from material things and finding a path to more substantive living .
5. Scouting Activity: As a scoutmaster of 6 years (and currently assistant scoutmaster) I'm actively involved with the troop and "Order of the Arrow" where it is a joy to volunteer hundreds of hours each year because investing in the next generation insures a better tomorrow for everyone. In an era when most schools don't value hands-on learning, outdoor education, and the arts... scouting soars in meeting these critical experiences for boys.
6. Profiles: Behind everyone's success you can usually find a trail of some very significant mentors and teachers along the way. And sometimes you don't completely understand how someone affected your life for the better until many years later. You'll find some of those stories here.