Before nightfall I decided to do some more project-work, this time by adding a precision ocular scope to the Mossberg .22
I had to remove the existing dove-tail mounts, then add weaver / picatinny one’s, otherwise the scope wouldn’t fit.
After 30 minutes I had it on there and took in the difference.
It added a bit of weight to the rifle but the design of the weapon allows both it or the iron sights to be used, as well as allow carriage by the
Then it was to bed, where, as I type, another drip had just dinked onto the laptop!
It rained through the night and the following morning the mountain was a different place in some ways.
The mosquito’s were subdued and docile along with the heat being way down.
Plenty of clouds and a few patches of sunlight here and there.
BnB, MMM and I tackled the rock once again in the morning.
After a few hours of that we separated onto separate projects.
An area of MMM’s collapsed shed complex was still intact and it looked a feasible area to repair and clear out for storage of gear.
After getting the nod from Mountain Mike I set about building a ramp assembly of logs and pallets to ascend up to the area.
It would need a door eventually but at least when the springs flowed in that area it would be above the waterline.
The Y2K Catche!
An old stash of Mike’s had been in storage for over a decade and it had some pinto beans MMM wished to gift to BnB and Britzen.
Getting it out of the shed complex was a nightmare, at one point I nearly slide off the roof! With Ryder luck and scrambling I managed to get into a
good position to film the antics of MMM accessing the 55 gallon steel drum.
It fell down next to my tent, fortunately it landed on it’s head and didn’t roll, otherwise my sleeping quarters would have been battered to
Opening it up was a revelation, it had been sealed up in 1999 and for nearly 13 years had been in storage. Even the collapse of the roof had not
Every item inside was in immaculate condition and I made sure to film the moment…
Later on Randy showed up and invited us all to his place.
His cabin has a shower and plumbed in toilet! He kept offering the use of it and I took him up on that offer.
Liberal Mark showed up making teenage noises and being bothersome in general.
I made moves to a distant valley cliff and took in the scenery. Even from there I could here LM’s voice criticising Idaho for an unknown reason
which echoed over to me.
Understandably Britzen and BnB did not take to LM much.
Randy’s relatives arrived and it was time to go soon after.
Once back at the Mountain Hold Britzen weaved her cookery wand and rustled up another dish of delight.
After an hour of sitting around the campfire chatting Britzen made a faux pas by criticising Mike’s food procurement plan’s in such a way to grind
Without going in to the machinery of it this is what I summarize it as:
MMM’s long-term survival plan in the event of a TEOTWAWKI seemed perfectly feasible to me, especially with the minimal people living in the area and
the hostile wilderness conditions Britzen reckoned the homesteading farm was key post collapse.
Formidable Britzen was respectful of course, if a little brusque, unswerving and untactful.
I wish I’d recorded Mike’s lyrical and impassioned response as it was pure gold and possibly YT Viral material.
It went up and down, left and right with striding moves and flourishes, plus a glare or too in her direction.
Mike even remarked, as an aside in a joking manner that, with all my camera doings, inquisitive ways and unknown element’s I could be a CIA
I never laughed as hard in week’s at that one, I made a mental note to needle him about that in the coming days.
Today Britzen and BnB left the Mountain Hold.
BnB had been having issue’s dealing with the high elevation also Britzen had pressing work engagements elsewhere in the US.
Before they departed though BnB lent a hand on the rock in the morning.
We’d managed to move the rock several more feet using a car-jack, come-alongs and shovelling. Only a few feet more and it would almost be in
They left some food supplies and even a solar cooker. In exchange Mike bartered some pinto beans from the big storage drum.
After wishing-well and farewells they were away on their long journey across the stateline…
Then I returned to the Shed complex for more tidying and preparing the area for storage.
While I was reinforcing the pallet’s with more wood and nails I struck my thumb nail with a clout from the ‘lump’ hammer.
I was using the wrong tool for the job, a lighter hammer would have been far more efficient.
I also wasn’t wearing my yellow ‘waldo’ gloves but the thinner ones I’d normally have for delicate work.
As I jumped about in agony I clouted a few dead trees and mother earth with the lumping thing.
After about two hours I realised the swelling from my thumb would be an issue, especially when it’s a nail injury. I’ve had these before on the
oil platforms, if you don’t ‘trefine’ or relieve the pressure, the thumbnail can drop off.
Grimly taking my storm lighter and safety pin I heated it up and carefully pierced a hole in the nail, just underneath the red area.
Compared to the specialist tool a surgeon uses (a thick, broad, blunted heat wire with wards to prevent it going too deep) I had to be careful.
If I applied too much pressure the needle would go halfway through my thumb, too little and it would go nowhere.
After about 3 minutes I’d gotten through the nail and pricked flesh.
That was the ‘pilot’ hole complete, I then widened it with a thicker safety pin.
Not a pleasant experience, but the swelling eased off greatly and the healing benefits outweighed the small pain.
A tiny speck of discolouration showed at the nail-bed and that was the end of the first-aid drama
MMM got his ATV out of storage today and it’s battery still had some charge.
We got the tires pumped up on it and the scrambler bike.
I cleared an area for a 100 yard firing range, paced out the distance, set up the swing target and looked for a decent firing position.
A lot of survivalists and preppers make noises about guns and so on, but don’t even zero them in or become proficient with them. I intended to zero
in the Mossberg in the coming days.
A pallet and a log at first will do for a makeshift bench-rest.
It rained on and off for part of the day.
Saw a pine-marten mooching about near Mike’s bunker. I caught the tail movement disappearing around a corner. Then about a minute later I noticed
it’s inquisitive face peering out from the shadows underneath the shed-complex. It had a nice grey and tan coat with a somewhat bush tail. Kind of
like a cross between a weasel and a fox I guess. Although it’s somewhat longer than a fox.
It was a curious little thing and came within about six feet of me, before moving away again.
I had my camera, but I felt it would of scurried away at any sudden movements like that. Maybe another day I’ll get it filmed…
Tomorrow is internet update day, along with binning some trash from the Mountain Hold. I wonder how all the videos I’ve uploaded are
We didn’t get back to the mountain hold until just before 2300 hrs.
The next morning I was making breakfast at Kitchen Canopy when I heard a strange accented voice calling up from the road.
I looked down and saw a man and a small boy standing there.
At first I thought it was Biathalon and his son but MMM said it was not him, but Alfred, the eccentric Dutch-American who’d finally returned to his
He’d found it in good condition save for the chimney pipe being damaged and requiring attention. Hence his visit to the Mountain Hold.
I shook hands with him, noting his grip was not that of a weak and frail geriatric.
He was in his late 70s, his eye’s were as blue as mine and they certainly gleamed with a friendly nature.
His grandson was as all-american as they get, blonde hair and like a child from the 1950s, all innocent yet happy-go-lucky with the life he had.
Definitely not a big-city-kid and MMM told me that he wanted for nothing, although Alfred did not let him couch potato it while staying at his
Alfred was born before the war in Arnhem, Holland. He’d witnessed some of the fighting and death in that place as a young child.
Perhaps understandably he has a complete aversion to firearms of any kind.
Something I found freakishly umanning and queer at first, yet having heard him speak briefly about his time in those terrible days of the 1940s my
initial thoughtflow was more understanding.
He was going to start on a long ramble of those times, yet, in a very diplomatic fashion, I steered the conversation away from such negativity with a
neutral response. For I have had WW2 machination’s from both sides buzz my brain for quite too long as it is!
He told me he was an enthusiastic visitor and raconteur of Israel and it’s folk.
Very interesting, I hadn’t met an American in the USA who had been among the Jews there.
On the way to his Cabin we spoke of some our experiences with Israel, mine while working and adventuring in Asia and he from his friendship with a
young lady from there who studied in the USA.
There was something of the adventurer about this man, he had an ocean-going boat moored off a port in either Oregon or Washington. MMM told me that
Alf could out-hike even him until recent years.
It took for quite a while but we’d made it to his cabin.
A nice cabin it was too. Even nice than Randy’s, for it had a 1000 gallon water tank with an auto-replenishment system from the spring.
Plumbing for a toilet, hot-water shower and even a basement level for a workshop and storage!
Including the basement it had three floors.
We didn’t have too much time to look it over as Alf went over his issue with the Chimney Stove.
During the winter the top had blown off and certain parts were missing. Not only was the rain and snow going to get in, but Alfred had a deceased
visitor greet him on opening his stove up!
That cap needed fixing but he was no roofer and asked if MMM and I could go up and fix it instead!
MMM wasn’t too keen on climbing the roof also, so WR had to step up to the plate as it were.
Fortunately I have worked on sloping roof’s before in the UK with my Uncle Garth so I was fairly confident.
Even so MMM asked me if I had insurance, to which I told him of course that I hadn’t any as it was against my self-reliant belief’s. With that
we got started.
We took out a step-ladder and ‘cat’ ladder first of all.
Putting the step ladder on the balcony under the roof Alf did a good job tying it off to his inside balcony.
It would be used to clamber up to the Cat-ladder we’d have going up the sloping roof.
When it was secure I took some rope, anchored it to the end of the cat-ladder and threw it over the roof to the other side of the house.
I made sure I wrapped it in gloves as the caribineer on the end might of ended up smashing a window or worse.
Getting the cat ladder up was ok once we’d extended it a bit. MMM was on the other side and he helped haul it up
Then I clambered on up.
Alf insisted I use a rope to tie myself onto something in case I fall. So I tied a rolling clove-hitch onto ridge-end of ladder rung and left enough
slack to get out to the work area.
(I must say that although at first I reckoned Alf’s safety-first mindset reminded me of work back in Europe it did pay off I think as my way would
have been more dangerous.)
Getting to the end-unit of the chimney was easy. Removing it from it’s tight grip with the lower end was not the cinch I thought it would be.
When these things are installed they are a very flush fit indeed.
I at first figured it was a screw-in, screw-out job. It was not.
It was instead a ridge-lock fit; About six or seven ‘ridges’ ringed the circumference and I had to wiggle them all out.
With the summer heat blasting down on me Alf shouted up word’s of friendly encouragement.
“Take your time”, “No rush now.” “Do you need any tools?” And other such words creep up from below.
I thought I might need a hammer but tried a long successive amount of jerks and pulls.
Finally with a shout and a ‘bing’ of metal on metal I had it off, nearly losing my balance a bit and wavering backwards.
I recovered though and Alf said to cast down the object, which resembled a strange flying saucer.
I did this and then took in the view of the mountains before clambering on down.
Alf made both MMM and I a tasty lunch then made arrangements to pick up the replacement part the following day.
I didn’t bring my camera for the removal part, but will do so for the installation.
This is the cap that went back on...
Once back at the Mountain Hold Mike and I remarked on the days doings.
Then I got back to some projects.
One of which is setting up a firing position on the range and zeroing the .22 carbine.
I set the range target at roughly 90-100 yards using the pacing method.
Then I tried zeroing it with some Remington CeeBee subsonic ammo. The first two shots I took were duds, the primers failed to fire the main
The remaining three rounds failed to cycle the working parts. The sound report was fairly muted though.
Making a mental note to return the ammo at a later resupply date I switched to the more reliable Winchester high-velocity rounds.
It took me a few go’s but after some adjustments I had the swing target registering constant hits.
Then it was time to finish as the raindrops began and soon turned into some heavy showers…
Today we made great progress on both the ATV and Dirt Bike.
After putting some fresh gasoline in the pair we had them both started up and ready to rol!.
MMM went for a spin on the ATV.
Grey coloured and over twenty-years old, it reminds me of the Pine-Marten creature I saw last week. Small but potent and deadly.
MMM went out and got the Marten put through it’s paces. Some tyre pressure is low on one side but it’s pretty handy nonetheless. After he’d
blown out the cobwebs I had a go and gave it a ride!!
The rugged terrain of dirt roads and rocky turn’s gave my Head Cam a real jolt too! Towards the end of the video it get’s thrown off!!
The Dirt Bike though was difficult to remove from it’s ‘hide’.
It’s front wheel was sunken-down somewhat and the front brake didn’t operate.
I hauled it out of there and into an area better for starting up.
After messing with the choke and about 20 kicks I had it spluttering to life.
Fairly light and minimalist it was just right for mountain moves. This bit of kit I named ‘The Harrier’.
It wasn’t quite a flying bird, but it came close if you did some ramp-work
When I told Mike ‘The Harrier’ was up and running he was both surprised and impressed.
It hadn’t been started for over 3 YEARS!
Here’s a quick overview of it. Apart from the bright red colour’s, it’s a pretty good survival bike.
Then Mike came along with some old ammo-boxes and refreshed his memory on what was in his armoury…
13th – 16th July
There’s been some strange mooching’s afoot outside my tent at night, this doesn’t bother me too much as I’m within It’s semi-secure
However, the night previous I had a strange experience having woken from a dream. I could here the unmistakable noise of a beast making a ‘hrrr,
hrrr’ noise a short distance away from my tent before making a charge at something. At least dog-sized, but probably a bit bigger.
The direction it was moving in was across the side of my tent, not at it, but not away from it either!
Nevertheless it came a bit close and I had my big Benelli boomstick to hand for a few minutes should it think to tangle with the Ryder. Highly
unlikely given it would have to tear through my tent first. But there area some dangerous and daft beasts around…
I really was a bit wired and buzzed for a few more minutes afterwards but returned to sleep fairly easily.
It was kinda exhilarating looking back, but fear can be a euphoric vehicle in some cases at the time.
The next morning I told Mike and he seemed to think it might be a passing predator. The night does bring them out and about.
This is a real Germanic style cabin zone, the Outhouse is pretty uber and MMM mentioned about it quite a lot, so here’s a video of the
On the way back MMM decided to show off his running prowess, running mountain man prowess no less! LOL
If I tried this stunt on the video I’d probably end up with some trauma issues!!
Fyording the Fyord…
The front brakes seemed to be jamming shut when the brake was operated. As in, the ‘ram’ that closed the brake pad would close but not open up
again when you released the brake.
The previous owner to MMM had made a ‘bodge’ fix by jamming an oversized pad in to stop the ‘ram’ from closing.
I could only guess at the cause, possibly a bad seal or damaged line?
It would need a complete new line and system unless an expert on here might know better?
As it was it could be rode about on with only the foot brake and I made the decision to ride it down the rugged mountain hold’s slopes and onto the
This wasn’t easy, but I managed it without dropping the bike or injuring myself. Fyording the spring was a challenge too but this I managed.
After I’d rode it about for a few minutes up and down the trails I returned to find MMM looking at where I’d crossed. At first I thought it was
concern over the trail I’d left but instead it was a set of animal tracks…
They looked like a dog or maybe even a wolf / coyote? Maybe it was the creature I heard trying to attack something the previous night? A mystery,
but an ongoing one at that…
If I had NVG and a sidearm I might do some night patrolling, but as it is I’ll probably just plan to stay up a tree or even the shed-complex. For
another time though, as things are a bit busy now at The Gulch.
Rainfall was constantly on and off from now on. You had to time it right so you could get stuff done between showers.
Thankfully the ‘rain-machine’ of the Great Divide only really got going from late afternoon until early morning.
Still I was thankful that the rain-canopy was up over the kitchen area otherwise cooking food would have been a miserable ordeal.
As a brighter interlude I noticed that a state of constant activity was ever-present where the sugared-water containers were a-buzz with
There are three factions of hummingbird at Mike’s Gulch, the graceful and friendly Greens, the ultra-individualistic Reds and the seldom seen
The Green’s had the advantage of numbers while the Red’s were few (perhaps only two or three?) but more aggressive and bold.
The Red’s dominated the hallowed sugared water supply, especially in the central area and were under a constant strain to keep the Green’s at bay.
I often wonder if all beings are hard-wired to be what they are as the Green’s and the Red’s were very alike in size etc aside from their plumage
but could not stand each other.
As in nature, so in society…
I hung another feeder about a hundred yards or so away, hopefully the peaceful Green’s will go to that one and there will be peace amid the
By the 16th July we gave the rock all we had with the chains, come-alongs, jack and even the tractor lever!
With some effort the rock turned how we wanted, although Mike’s enthusiastic efforts to pull the mountain side mis-aligned the come-along’s
ratchet-system! This wasn’t his fault, as the rock had jammed up against the mountain side unknowing to us both!
With a cresent-wrench and his multi-tool and a bit of brute force I was able to re-align it, replace the bolt and nut.
Then it was back in action!
A few more pulls and the last few inches of rock-moving were complete!
Only some more minor adjustments to it’s position and MMM’s rock will be where he wants it.
It’ll take a tank to blast through that thing, it must be thick enough to use as an anvil!
The fire-department drove past yesterday, heading up to one of the Cabineer’s near to us.
Mike reckon’s that they are having plenty of good tree’s cut back from their buildings to claim a $1500 bounty. Supposedly this is so there is
less fire-risk but I consider it a city-origin scheme to get more tree’s down (fire prevention is the stated reason). Some type’s out there
don’t like tree’s I guess and will dangle plenty of silver coins to get their way with folk who need the coin.
It’s a wonder such a scheme thing exists in MMM’s area which has plenty of moisture with the ‘rain-machine’ going on all the time.
A friendly chipmunk is making his presence known about the kitchen area.
I give him a few tit-bits like crackers and things to whet his appetite.
Then he goes up a tree to tell all of his good fortune…
Where my Cabin Tent is a scurrying little mouse chewed a small hole in the bottom, right where the trash bag was. Even though all that was in there
were empty wrappers the little spink still tried his luck and chewed a hole in that as well!
A day of many happenings both on and off the Mountain Hold.
Getting out to the town for a resupply saw us do the shopping and other usual chores.
After a databurst at the library we were leaving to return back to the mountain when, right across mainstreet ambled two buck deer as bold as
I stomped on the brakes and stopped the wolverine there in the middle of the road and had the camera out and rolling…
After following them around for a bit I got out and carried on filming on foot! They were incredibly calm and let me come within about fifteen feet
Then they both hopped over a five foot chain link fence and exited stage left!
While returning to the MH we were about five miles away when a deer nearly ran out in front of us!
Luckily for both the Wolverine and the Deer it turned back again
Further up we went and we noticed the first of the cattle beasts about to cross the road. Soon they’ll be in the Mountain Hold fringes.
Once back on Mike’s Land It was the usual chores then and nearly nightfall before I was about to turn in for the night.
Mike was already in his tent when a very ‘creepy’ incident occurred about two hundred yards west of my Cabin Tent.
I was about fifty yards away from my cabin tent brushing my teeth.
Basically when I was just done brushing my teeth I could hear the distinct sound of a ‘woman’ humming a tune. I heard it before I started
brushing my teeth but dismissed it as forest noise.
Then after I was done brushing and paused to listen it came again and I instinctively knew there was a fey being out and about.
It was getting a bit dark so I couldn’t see anything that was doing it. But I reckon the origin of the noise was in a glade by the spring further
up the mountain. I wasn’t about to go investigating either!
I’ve heard a similar ‘tune’ before when in Eire when alone in the wilderness so I reckon it to be a Sidhe. The tune was like a rising part of
four syllables (except hummed syllables not spoken) then a falling part of the same.
I knew it couldn’t be MMM as I’d seen him turn in for the night in his tent, and this noise was nowhere near there. Plus I doubted he could even
attempt to hum the tune the way it sounded, it was very other-worldly while at the same time being realistically audible. In fact when I walked back
to me tent I heard it again, this time much more faintly.
Later in the night, as if all that wasn’t enough food for thought, a deer mouse managed to wriggle it’s way the tent zipper and get inside!
It didn’t get very far though, as right underneath the zipper I’d placed some a sticky-tray trap and it was stuck fast! (I’d gone and bought
this in the nearby town’s dollar store!)
I heard it jerking and floundering about and took a picture to mark it’s bold enterprise on my cell phone.
I was going to leave it in the tent until daybreak BUT it was making such a racket it had to go outside. It had also managed to free it’s front two
Seeing this I made a testing vow that, should it manage to wriggle free or survive until daybreak I’d pull it off and set it free on waking up In
Morning came and at first the mouse and sticky trap were nowhere to be seen!
Well done little thing! The sticky trap is obviously no match for you.
Yet when I peered around the side of the cabin tent there it was, dead as a doornail still attached by it’s rear end and tail to the trap.
Something had smashed a fairly neat hole in it’s skull and flies were all on it.
Perhap’s it had expired through shear exhaustion ands the flies made the hole? But I think a predator of some kind did it. Yet in the following
weeks to come where mousetraps were used I never saw a mouse with any sign's of such a death...
I pulled it off the sticky trap and hurled it deep into the undergrowth, the sticky trap I binned.
I’ll be using the traditional traps from now on for the most part, they at least grant a swift end rather than a prolonged agony of being a sitting
I’ll set these at nightfall as that’s when the night creatures crawl about…
The next morning I told MMM, who of course had heard nothing, for his hearing isn’t that sensitive.
He was indifferent, saying it could have been singing coming from a neighbours cabin. Which of course is impossible as the direction of the sound was
nowhere near any cabin plus it was a human-sounding voice humming not singing.
The next night I heard nothing from that area when brushing my teeth, but I normally go to bed earlier when I’ve already settled in not when just
arriving back from a resupply trip.
Since that strange happening it’s not happened again, although my usual lucid dream’s have, gone off the charts!
For now the latest focus is on digging out the hole so the cabin can be built. I reckon a week and it’ll be ready.
Mike would be up and ready at 6 in the morning as he’d usually make a start. Then I’d join him by about 9 and do some digging.
Then by about 11 in the morning we’d take a break until late afternoon where we’d get a few more hours done.
During the day I’d try and get some other stuff done plus chores.
Mike’s garden is coming on a treat. I tried some of his radishes and lettuce, they tasted delicioso.
My garden peas are now sprouting too. I kept them watered as did MMM and after ten days or so are now showing signs of fruition.
Mountain Mike has said I can have a patch of land to build a cabin on!
High generousity indeed and I still am surprised by it!
Perhaps if more folks come up to MMM’s land to help out all summer they too could be a part of ‘Mike’s Gulch!’
After having a look around Mike advised me on the best location’s for cabin building.
I narrowed them down to one area.
It has a Snowy Range sunrise, plenty of sun in the morning, shady in the afternoon and evening.
It also has commanding views of the approaching road.
Of course I have to help him build his cabin first though, hopefully in the next week or so the hole will be dug!
As an experiment of curiousity I decided to see how ¼ inch thick plexi-glass would stand up to the ‘mighty’ .22LR
Well, a part of me kinda hoped it would be a shock to see the .22 be defeated by plastic.
Here’s the result:
The harsh laws of explosive velocity put paid to a single sheet of plexiglass having bullet resistant property’s.
MMM noted that an array of plexi-glass with wood sandwiched between them would be a credible option though, something I might try proof-testing, but
that is for another time....
Completed work on the first of hopefully many barrier fences for MMM.
Here’s the story by video and pictures…
Sawn to length
Hammering in the Spikes
You can make two of these on both sides for extra support but I just did one.
Taking Shape Now
It’s a bit rough-and-ready looking; hewn from the local dead tree population but it’s rugged and sturdy.
Some ‘no hunting or trespassing’ signs I put up near the ‘Gulch’ entranceway have been torn down by person’s unknown!
That make’s it clear someone is snooping around on his land. Strangely MMM is hardly bothered by it, the cabin-build is his priority, saying that
sign’s weren’t going to stop an intruder anyway.
I responded that a perimeter fence and multiple gateways would and Mike didn’t disagree on that.
I moved the motion camera to a better, more concealed vantage spot and got it running again.
It’s time for WR to learn the ways of gate-building!
Great Thread, sounds like fun. wish i had the land to set something like this up, but as of yet no luck. Although it would be close to home here in
This is a great read, i was going to go to bed a long time ago, but opened your post and am still reading. lol
For the pesky mosquito's eat more garlic, or stop by wallyworld and buy garlic pills. It causes your blood to have a odor that they dont like.
Although this is something i dont have to worry about, my morphine i take seems to do the trick, we were out camping in the sawtooth mountians a week
ago, and everyone got ate up by them, but i came home without as much as a single bug bite.
For your gun, instead of gun oil, in colder temps its wise to use graphite ?sp? works just as well and wont freeze up when temps drop, although doubt
you will encounter temps that cold, but still something to keep in mind, graphite is not effected by the cold like oil's are.
well, i had better get to bed, early day tomarrow, but i will check for updates. thanks again for the great read!
edit on 1-8-2012 by severdsoul because: (no reason given)
This is such a great thread your adventure has kept me captivated for hours..Wonderful photos and videos please keep us updated..This thread deserves
a mod applause! S&F i wish i could give you more then one of each..peace,sugarcookie1
Woke up a bit later this morning, the nightly mouse-traps I’ve set up are working, I’ve had great sleep since most of the little rodents have been
culled. Otherwise I’d always be disturbed by their scurry-scurry underneath my tent!
I make sure to trigger any one’s that haven’t gone off first thing in the morning, as MMM doesn’t wish any of the squirrels, chipmunks etc being
harmed. Which I agree on as they don’t chew holes through tents etc and are friendlier in general.
After a brief spell of hole-work I went into the national forest. Once up their I set up my tripod and got filming some action footage for the later
film we are hoping to make.
After an hour or so of that I set about getting a mighty ‘A Frame’ built for one of the gateways!
I don’t mess around with the small diameter stuff either. I find a six-foot long, seven inch diameter log that’s near bone-dry.
Then I find the nearest match which proved difficult, MMM said I could use some of his excess firewood logs, one of which I grab.
After making my notch I hammer a spike through the pair.
Then I put in the cross-piece bracer, which is also strong but a bit thinner. I notched both of the main legs for this to go into place. Then two
spikes into both and the A Frame is complete.
This will serve as both a fence support and for a gate-upright to be put in place.
Later in the day I returned to the hole and did a bit more digging and carrying for Mike.
After we were done on that Mike was showing me some areas for potential cabin-spots when we noticed a load of dead-branches were strewn across the
deer trail. They weren’t there when I was up their two days ago, so this just confirmed that an intruder had been skulking about on Mike’s Gulch.
I’d need to get hole-digging for that upright tomorrow…
The Next Day
I had to fetch a suitable upright from the firing range, the lead I’d slung into it helped me saw through it a bit
Then I got some rope around it, made a clove hitch and a half hitch and dragged it down the mountain to the hole I was digging.
Well, the upright is in place now, but it took a bit of work on the hole to get the stones out.
Then after it was about 2 ft deep I put the upright in and wedged it.
Making progress on the rock, but it’s the Mountain Man Rendez-vouz in a few days time so that’ll be a nice break from the work /projects.
One of the liberal Cabineer’s made it known that he doesn’t approve of me building a gateway for Mike!
This idiot reckon’s that all the cabin’s in the area ought to be open to all and sundry!
I told Mike that as long as he want’s it making I’d carry on regardless, in fact even more so!
As I was sawing some wooden horizontal pieces MMM stated he was concerned that someone might try and pull it down with chains and a 4x4.
‘They do that, and I’ll get even, as it’s property damage and trespassing’ I said.
I did wonder why on earth, in the middle of wilderness anyone would have an issue with gateways and fences, unless it would mean they wouldn’t be
able to snoop about on Mike’s land as easily…
Well, it’s the big Mountain Man RV tomorrow, so that should be make and interesting day-out…
A buxom blonde girl in period dress ‘greeted’ us both with something bordering on a scowl. At first I kind of reckoned this was a person not
happy, but then again maybe some of the mountain women could be like that also.
Moving into the area….
Tomahawk throwing was being practised in several areas. It doesn’t look that easy…
The first stand / tent we reached was that of ‘Roadkill’, a trapper who still ply’s his trade of fur-trading.
He described to me how to preserve furs, even telling me the secret ratio’s and methods you have to use for the process. I took out my notebook and
jotted it down, he didn’t mind this as I guess as the knowledge must be passed on, one way or another.
Several item’s were for sale.
Feathers, furs, item’s bags (called ‘possibles’) and telescopes!
After asking the price for one that was about 15 power I snapped it up for $20.
The next mountain trader tent I enquired at was a somewhat Shylockian character called ‘Toad’.
He indeed had some impressive wares but you had to pay through the nose for them.
His telescopes were $50 for the same type and power as Roadkills! He had a big naval type for about $200, but the power wasn’t much beyond that of
the smaller, pocket type.
Powder-horns were on sale too, from $12 up to $30.
He was also selling old-school percussion rifles and flintlocks!
I looked at several, the prices started around $399 and went up to $800+
The calibre’s began at .36 and went up to a mighty .50 cal. There was a Hawkin’s model one too. For those that have seen the Jeremiah Johnson
film you’ll know the one I mean.
I knew to shop around for blackpowder weapons.
I arrived at a red-headed mountain-woman’s stall / tent. As old as they come but with a keen merchant way about her.
I noticed two percussion rifles that caught my eye.
A Thompson .50 (made in New Hampshire no less!), complete with 27 inch octagonal barrel. The other was an Italian Zuali (I’m typing that name as I
heard it) .58 calibre. This beast had a rounded barrel but was quite short in comparison!
However the Thompson had a set-trigger while the Zuali did not.
Both were only $250 each.
As I walked away to get some food a mountain man-type came over and took a look at the Thompson.
Thinking that was that I returned later to find the Thompson was still there.
I took another look at it and started the bargaining off.
A strange thing happened when I did this. A young lad heard me haggling with merchant-woman and chirped up that the rifle used to be his fathers
who’d sold it to the merchant.
He said it fired well and that he’d see if he could get a powder measure thrown in for nothing.
Off he went to the blackpowder range and soon skipped back with it!
A brass little thing with a sliding scale grain measure instrument on it! Paying for the weapon I then obtained some black-powder FFF grade from a
When I asked him the price he asked me if I was a member of the associated black-powder rifle club.
I said I wasn’t.
Then a voice from the corner said.
‘Say yes you are.’ Looking to the corner I saw a slenderish figure.
It was the blacksmith’s ageing wife.
A true Wyomingite, she’d just finished a cigarette off and regarded me with a neutrally wary eye.
Piercing cobalt-blue Germanic eyes that seemed to belie the somewhat weathered face.
Not someone I’d want to tangle with.
‘Say yes you are.’
‘Yes I am.’ I part-parroted turning back to the smith.
‘Ok that’ll be $17.50’ Said the blacksmith as if a game had been played in which I’d won a discount. Perhap’s if they’d not liked the cut
of me I’d not of had the discount? It certainly seemed the case from the bargain-maker in the corner.
I got talking to the pair though, as they seemed maverick’s amid independents. From Casper, a place reputed for it’s wary way’s to
After some palaver I enquired about shot, powder-horn.
‘You’ll have to speak to Toad about that, but he’s pricey.’ Said the Cobalt woman.
With that I exited from the interesting tent and returned to do business with Shylock’s Toad!
I bough powder horn, patches and .50 lead shot from him.
On an impulse I also bought a fetching Fox-Fur Hat that keeps my head warm like an oven!
After watching the prowess at Black Powder Shooting MMM and I headed out of the area somewhat to eat some free food. It was being laid on
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