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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Play Day @ Camp

We were all set to go camping after our staycation.

But then I had to work on Friday, and monkey princess #1 wanted to play her soccer game on Saturday, and missus monkey wanted to referee her soccer game on Saturday and the plan was to leave Sunday morning.  So we just went for the day on Saturday.  After watching the daughter's team is undefeated and she is playing the best she ever has...I blazed it home to prepare lunch (them meal I had signed up for when I thought we were going to camp) while the girls were left to play until the game my wife was scheduled to referee was finished.

So I made my moderately famous (at least among friends) sesame garlic chicken grilled and smoked with kiawe and dragon eye woods.  Delish!!  And a big hit at camp, if I do say so.  Since one of my tai chi students gave me some saffron...yes you heard that right...saffron, I decided to try and make saffron rice to go with the chicken and salad.  We just made it in time.  I finished up and drove over to pick up the family and away we go.

Missus monkey was the first to eat.  She said, smells good and I'm starving and she tore in.  Then the rest of us ate the remaining half of what I brought.  ;D  It was a busy morning.

So I didn't take too many pictures, but here are some scenery shots.

That fluorescent yellow soccer uniform blended pretty well in the foliage.  

The kids ran around and played from the time we got there until we left shortly after dusk.  I will try to get some pictures from the other folks who were there.  I really didn't take many.  I know there are fishing pictures (the kids caught a lot and some big ones too), fruit gathering pictures, camp fire and waterfall pictures.  I'll see what I can do.

I found this amazing.  Most of the kids were settled down by our lovely resident pied strummer.

One thing I did get to do was to test out the Gary Mills custom knife I won in the contest that Gary so generously offered.  As the kids were coming back, I didn't take many pictures, but I will tell you how it went.  When I received the knife, it came beautifully packaged and very sharp.  Not shaving sharp, but very sharp.  So I gave it a light touch up on my Japanese water stones.  And the knife is shaving sharp as well as beautiful.

I have another custom woodlore clone that I wanted to test too, but since we were only staying the day, I didn't pack a bag and just wore the knife on my belt.  I left my new neck knife and the other knife at home.

Here are my impressions on Gary's knife...

It is extremely well made with a carbon steel, full tang blade with teak handles and a very nice handmade leather sheath.

In used, I split some guava wood, which is a very hard wood, by batoning.  No problems.

Here, I stopped taking pictures since the kids were swarming back into the camp area.  I just wanted to focus on finishing my test and sheathing the blade.  The kids run everywhere!

Next, I split the wood some more.  The nice had no trouble making feather sticks that went on the embers which I fanned back into flame.

Shaving off bark was also no problem.  Then I chopped some seasoned hard wood across the grain with a baton.  I cut a clean wedge into it then snapped the wood to add to the fire.

I definitely broke it in.  I didn't use it for food prep at camp.  In fact, I still haven't cleaned it yet.  I will do so after I get around to taking a picture of what the knife looks like after use and an after shot when it is cleaned up.

Oh, one thing I noticed about the blade.  I originally thought it was a scandi grind, but then noticed it is more like a convexed scandi.  Maybe Gary can confirm what it is.

After all that, it is dirty, but is still shaving sharp.  And it does everything a bushcraft knife would need to do.  And do it well.  Mahalo Gary!

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