Golden Autumn Days Along the Canal

Some of my fondest memories: biking with Ty and Jonesy. IM001437IM000150

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“Explore Me”

Roads like this, no tracks, no utility poles, beg to be explored – preferably on foot.IMG_3295 IMG_3324

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Creating the Edge on a CRKT Tomahawk

When the CRKT tomahawk (Chogan model) arrived I never expected it to be sharp… it wasn’t.  Also as expected, the edge geometry was way off.  Far too abrupt.  Dull stuff works horribly and is downright dangerous.  I don’t think the companies think you’ll use the tools as is out of the box. Unless high-end crafted, most companies don’t handle and ship razor sharp axes.

When I get a new tool, I know I’ll have to do the edge myself.   Blunt abrupt angles are for splitting and if I’m going to split anything of consequence, I use a maul.  They don’t bite, it’s not what they’re made for.  Axes and smaller?  I want bite.

The shape of tomahawks make them terrible for splitting anything.  They’re like Estwing axes only worse, great for limbing, terrible splitters.

I’m pleased to say, I’ve reworked enough edges that I’m okay with the grinder now. Using smooth, even strokes I first thinned out the thick area behind the edge.IMG_3383cropTo keep heat minimal, I switched sides frequently while working sometimes pausing to also let the grinder disc cool. Once I’d thinned the blade, I gradually moved towards the edge. Where the metal is thin the risk of over-heating is much greater so I worked with quick strokes. Once at the edge itself, I only took one careful swipe. I’ll use a whet stone just briefly to remove the bur, though it’s sharp enough that with the naked eye looking straight on in strong light, it’s hard to see the edge. Grinder marks came out even and straight.  Nowhere did the metal blue or burn.  Both sides are fairly consistent:
IMG_3387By the way, you can see there’s a false edge below the main one. I did not sharpen it. While it would have a certain zombie butchering panache, in practical terms, a sharp edge there seemed a great way to end up with cuts while camping.

Now whether I’m limbing a tree laying across the truck’s path, dispatching zombies or just running noisy campers out of earshot, this is the edge they’ll face.  ;)IMG_3390

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Biking Memories of Spring & Ty

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Lure of Jeep Trails

Truck full o’ gear & dogs with a remote jeep trail ahead got me grinnin’ in October 2006.DSCN1948a

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Best Red Meat I’ve Had

January of 2013 a coworker gave me shrink-wrapped venison a friend of his had hunted.  As I mentioned in a previous post, it was extremely lean.  I had to add oil to the pan to cook it. I expected it to be tough as lean beef so often is but it practically melted in my mouth.  I could almost cut it with a fork.  Here are two shots of the different cuts I was fortunate enough to receive.  Check out how dry the pan is.  Nothing lives as free range as wild game.DSCN0014 DSCN0016

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The Uninvited “Guest”

On an evening in October of 2013 I heard heavy footsteps outside my front door then a pounding on the glass window.  I stepped out to look and there he was…IMG_1604crop

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Wind & Pounding Surf

The wind was a steady 20 mph..  Not all that amazing but when loaded with driven snow and sand it was definitely unpleasant to look into.  The very few stalwarts on the beach were all averting their faces.

Here’s a shot of sand pelting my pants.  The grains look like little comets bouncing this way and that; shutter speed caught them as streaks.IMG_3340
Though we agreed the photos didn’t do them justice, Lori caught this bit of the off-shore chaos.

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By they way, in hospitable as this looks, earlier this week I heard current conditions from the summit of Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the northeast.  Given its relatively modest height, it often catches hikers unawares and is therefore surprisingly lethal.  (In ’96 it was dethroned for highest wind speed ever recorded.  The record is now 253 mph. in Australia.)  Some of the most inhospitable conditions have been recorded on Washington’s peak.  Conditions this week were 22 below zero, wind at 80 mph.

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Joy & Love

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More on the Nighthawk

I always refer to the M-tech Nighthawk as the MX-8069 in case a reader would like to get her/his own, a Google search for MX-8069 will immediately turn up the knife, while there are so many versions of “Nighthawk” that it’d take forever to find it.

Away from camp I knocked over standing deadwood only to find a strip of hardwood twice as thick as my thumb still hanging on.  A couple of chopping whacks, and it was free.IMG_2600After chopping, splitting and shaving fuel wood, the blade was sharp enough to razor through steak. Wish my teeth had razored through. Cut in strips and roasted over the fire, it was tough. (I’d asked the meat guy in the store for a lean cut that was also tender. Unlike with venison, lean and tender are opposite ends of a spectrum for domestic meat.)IMG_2629Either it will end up in the crock pot or Mak may get it. Likely it will start in the crock pot and end up in his mouth. :)

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