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Thread: "Alone."

  1. #241
    Senior Member WalkingTree's Avatar
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    It's crazy ridiculous to do so, and it takes forever, but I've even split a foot-diameter tree with some little rocks and sticks. Can't tell you what kind of tree it was, lots of honey locust in that area (Kentucky) but I don't think that's what it was. Scored a line in the cut base with a palm sized sharp rock, and bit by bit hammered in little thin rocks with a branch made into a club. It was a millimeter by millimeter affair, wedging each little bit I got. A tiny crack running the diameter, put some rocks in, and wedge in further. Eventually had a finger sized stick up in it across the diameter, then you know the rest. In this particular case, at some point I heard a crack and yippee it gave several feet on it's own. Don't know if that part is unusual or not.

    It might be just a personal idiosyncrasy of mine, but I prefer a tree saw, not the bow kind, over an axe or even a chainsaw. I had my own full time yardscaping business once for 10 years, and I've felled foot-diameter trees with just a saw in not much more time than with a chainsaw. Never had a chainsaw - more weight, mechanical maintenance, cost, fuel...over a little saw with no moving parts. Easy choice for me. I just personally know how to work that thing and get an amount of work done in a short time that seems incredible to people, and not with that much sweat either.

    I might be proud to say that I don't think that I even know any white collar people, but I can relate. Never liked the idea of working a job then spending some of that money to pay to work out in a gym on my personal time because I got no physical activity at my job. I've always tried to combine the two - a job which is physical and outdoors to some extent. At my present job the rest are content to sit indoors in the air conditioning while I'm outside doing little things that need to be done even under the summer sun in the afternoon...because I can rarely sit still anyway.

    Used to LOVE canoeing down the Illinois river up around Tahlequah here in OK and camp overnight there, did it constantly. Haven't been there in a while And I'd take twice as long to get down the river than you're supposed to...just not in a hurry, I take it all in and explore. It's a relatively tame river, at least that stretch of it, but that allowed me to meander. That's what I liked...

    ...Anyway...one time I came across a place where a huge tree had fallen over across from bank to bank, where it was too deep to touch bottom, and close to maybe a dozen canoes were stuck and all mixed up in this thing, all the guys and their gals standing around on the bank wondering what to do. It was like a Chinese puzzle, canoes interlocked with the branches and each other every which way, the strength of the current locking it all into place. Well, I only wanted to help. Didn't think at the time that it was a big deal to do what I did. I beached my canoe, and began freeing the canoes. Barefoot out along the tree to a certain point, figure out how to get one lose with technique when the brute strength that would've been required was 3 times what I had, me having an average to light build. Wade into the current among the branches in just the right way and puzzle a couple more free. Then walk back, go up stream, then swim out and let the current carry me to just the right point, and get another couple free.

    At about this time it dawned on me how crazy it must've looked, what I was doing. The folks on the bank really staring. And 2 then a 3rd guys made their way out towards me, very reluctantly. The guys of the crowd were twice my size, and unselfconscious me eventually became aware that maybe I was showing them up. They were trying so hard to get towards me and do their part, now that they could see that No, it's not an impossible situation, but I could tell that they were scared to death. One who was working his butt off trying to free a canoe with his superior strength but couldn't get it to budge, asked me "How are you doing this?!" The best that I could do was give him some fancy jabber about working with the current, figuring out the technique like it was a puzzle, etc.

    This one guy was getting a little extra daring, inspired, such that I was starting to feel bad or guilty. While I was in the water dancing with the branches and current myself, I heard a "hey" and saw a head a few feet away just barely keeping it's face over the water rushing over it. I will definitely give it to him - he was calm as all-git-out. He explained to me very calmly and soberly how he could not get out and was a little tangled and couldn't touch bottom and the current was too strong etc...asking me what to do like I was suddenly the guru of the moment. It seems crazy to me now, but at the time I just "knew" what he could do and that it would work. I told him to just take a breath and relax, let go and ball his whole body up, and just let the current take him and suck him under...then after he could tell, while under water, that things were calm and he was clear, to just float and swim to the surface then make his way back to the river bank. Next thing I know he's on the bank a little ways downstream and is just fine, walking back up towards us...

    ...anywho, this is a case when I figure that all of those folks were the air conditioned gym types play-camping, the types who probably tip their own canoes out of panic, leaning the wrong way, when nothing is even happening.

    Spent a winter at another place in the sticks once, and it was up to me to keep up firewood for the iron wood stove (managing wood and using a stove properly is an art all it's own). But they didn't have much to start that winter with, and someone's elderly sister with down's syndrome was visiting for a while, so against all proper stove usage I was told "keep that thing blazing all of the time and keep her warm"...

    ...being conservation-minded, though I harvested standing dead trees, once I found one already fallen, dead and seasoned but fresh and intact wood otherwise, about 2 1/2 feet in diameter for about a hundred feet of it's height (length) at least. This thing was lying at around 150 feet down a slope, sloping down to the river (mountainous country), at a good 45 degrees and steeper consistently the whole way. No joke. But I couldn't resist. I did of course break out the chainsaw for this one. Fired that sucker up and got to work. Sliced it up into maybe 2 foot long lengths, turning them so they wouldn't roll away or resting them against a sapling. My plan was to use the saplings that covered the slope, and just move careful and one step at a time. I'd roll one uphill, a bit at a time, strategically, using a sapling or big rock (was rocky terrain also) for myself and the log for each step. Heh, this was actually fun for me. And don't laugh. After getting them to the top of the slope, then it was a dirt road which itself had a bit of a downgrade, about a quarter of a mile to the house. Rolled 'em right down in pairs with a guiding stick like herding little sheep. Eventually I had a good collection of them at the woodpile, then broke out the splitter (no darned little rocks and sticks for this one). Lots of splitting, swing after swing, and got a good little mountain of firewood out of it...

    ...anywho...again, others were content to chill, and think that firewood in a virtual blizzard was impossible (not much snow on the ground during this particular activity, arg!), but I was out there gettin'er done for 'bout 5 months of winter effectively. Sigh. Loved it. Good times.
    Last edited by WalkingTree; 08-24-2015 at 08:50 PM.
    The pessimist complains about the wind;
    The optimist expects it to change;
    The realist adjusts the sails.

    - William Arthur Ward


  2. #242
    Senior Member WalkingTree's Avatar
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    Correction (my story above):

    Somebody told me offline "dude they're gonna be wondering why you couldn't get that one guy out if you were getting the canoes loose..."

    Well, it wasn't 'just a few feet away', and he just happened to have gotten himself somewhere where I couldn't do that. Was trying to keep it short and not give a schematic, that post was long enough already.
    The pessimist complains about the wind;
    The optimist expects it to change;
    The realist adjusts the sails.

    - William Arthur Ward

  3. #243
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    Perhaps you could start another thread on rescuing people from rapids and entrapments.

    My friends and I helped one couple out once, collected their stuff (mostly junk not gear) unstuck their partially crushed rented canoe. Then I handed them their PFDs which had floated away and I had to paddle down river to retrieve. They just threw them in the bottom of the canoe. I asked if they were going to put them on. The drunks said no. Whatever! Should have left the canoe stuck there and let them walk several miles back to the rental place to their car and get sober. OMG inebriated people are STUPID!!

    But with the canoe out of the rocks the standing waves were better and we were able to surf and have more fun until some more drunken rental canoe folks came and messed it up again. We just paddled on collecting PFDs floating here and there along the way. Best time to paddle these popular places is very early in the morning, on workdays or in the winter, NOT summer weekends.

  4. #244
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    Most importantly about "Alone" what are the rumors about where the next season might be at? A desert or tropical rain forest? Further north?

  5. #245
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXyakr View Post
    Most importantly about "Alone" what are the rumors about where the next season might be at? A desert or tropical rain forest? Further north?
    The rumor right now is that it will be at the same location. But, that's the RUMOR. I hope they pick a different location.
    I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
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  6. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXyakr View Post
    We just paddled on collecting PFDs floating here and there along the way.
    I tried a couple of times to convince some of the "tube the Brazos" places that they'd be a lot more popular and get more of their gear back if they'd put a decent deposit on the PFDs and other equipment. I know a few times I could have paid the rent with just the stuff that was snagged in the trees near Big Rocks in Glen Rose.

  7. #247

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    Quote Originally Posted by finallyME View Post
    The rumor right now is that it will be at the same location. But, that's the RUMOR. I hope they pick a different location.
    I certainly hope they pick a different spot also. I wish they would have a show with a local expert showing what resources were over looked.

    I cringed when ever they showed Alan taking (ripping) fish and crabs out of his gill net.

  8. #248
    2%er Erratus Animus's Avatar
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    The application I was sent and filled out was focused on the boreal forest of North America, however season 2 peeps were already picked.
    Its the bits between birth and death that define a life well lived.

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