Next Tuesday, I will be leaving Grand Rapids with two of my friends to participate in a great adventure: following the corridor of America’s early, westward expansion. Here is the link to video that we made after a five-mile ride: <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/JyFL_s-5Gwo” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>
More training today. John Hayes, one of the core members of the group and longtime friend got in the saddle and we went for about three miles, maybe more. I added saddle bags, a martingale, halter and hemp lead rope to my outfit–also a sheepskin pad for the seat of my saddle. The weather was cool and the animals a bit on the get up and go side, but it was an enjoyable ride. We got off the main trails and went right through the woods at times, over logs and under limbs. Mike Brown provided the horses and rode along. There is still much to learn, but there is something special about being seeing nature in a saddle. So looking forward to taking what we are learning and applying those skills on the Boone Trace and Wilderness Road corridor.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear, nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life..
-Henry David Thoreau-
“Nature is the canvas on which God paints His color, creativity, character, design, majesty, beauty and love for us to see, if we will only take time to look and listen.”
-something I wrote–and believe-
Sadly, I think so many Americans are disconnected from their history. Simon Kenton, (contemporay of Daniel Boone) said, “We are our past, we cannot cling to the past, but the past clings to us. Sometime I feel our country is like a ship that has taken sail with no specifc destination in mind and halfway there, no one remembers where the ship sailed from in the first place. We enjoy freedoms today that were puchased with the blood our our ancestors. Our history, although not pretty at times is worth learning and passing on to generations to come.
This is just a bit of an update. Things are progressing on some levels very fast and others not so. We still do not have a firm bid for the horses, but all the core riders have been selected and others, that we will be contacting soon will be able to participate on more of a part-time basis.
Saddles and horse tack are being purchased, built or existing one being refurbished and modified to meet the period correct criteria. Next week we will be working on the educational side of things and that is a big responsibility. Much has been done, but there is more to do, but it is coming together. I know that it will be worth it.
There is so much of our history that is neglected in schools especially, but it needs to be broadcast–and to the public also. That is what I am about, getting the message out. I car about the past and the people who made it happen–black, white, Indian, slave, indentured servant, Mexican and other. All played a role in the story of us–that is, our nation. And the fact of the matter is that our history is fascinating and inspiring and even motivating. Coming to know it, and even in some instances to live it, has impacted my life in a very meaningful way.
I recently finished the last edit on my latest article submission to Muzzleloader magazine. Over a year ago, friend Larry Spisak and I had an opportunity to personally examine a very fine English fowler on display at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Did it belong to our first president? The answer is in the next edition of Muzzleloader, which has already gone to print. It was a privilege to examine this unique piece of history and the staff at Mount Vernon was wonderful to work with. Mount Vernon has always been a place of inspiration to me. I wish more people could visit it.
I have written about an incident where a flintlock firearm I own suffered a severe break in the wrist area. I have chronicled the repair of this in another part of this web site titled “Daily Woods Journal.” Here is the gun with the repair accomplished and a certain amount of patina added.