I’ve been deer hunting for 37 years and this year, 2023, I have had the best opening day ever! My daughter, Jayden, had the day off work and had some free time from school and we planned to do something together. She had opening day off and we planned a one day hunt, it was going to be cool in the morning and sunny all day, at least according to the weather app. We have some great friends who own some land in Blue Ridge, Georgia and earlier in the year asked me if I wanted to hunt bear on their property, of course I said yes! Blue Ridge is situated halfway between my house and Jayden’s. Prior to season I went and checked out the property, became familiar with the layout of their land and surrounding area. I had asked if Jayden could hunt deer with me while I hunted for bear, and of course the answer was yes.……
Opening morning, October 21, came and Jayden and I met for breakfast and to talk about the day. After breakfast we loaded her gear into The Jeep and leaving her truck at the restaurant we headed for the woods. It was a brisk morning in The Blue Ridge Mountains as the leaves were already quite colorful and there was frost on the grass as we walked out to the blind (sitting on the southern edge of Hayfield #1) I could feel the cool breeze going down the back of my orange flannel but, according to the weather app it was going to be sunny and warm later in the day. We got to the blind, later than most people think they should be in the blind, but that was ok, because neither of us were worried about the time and it was more about spending time together than anything else. We opened the blind, got our chairs situated with our rifles, I had brought my Henry Long Ranger in .308 lever action and Jayden had her Stevens .243 I had given her when she was 12, we were ready for the day. The blind was one of those portable blinds and it fit us both pretty good even in chairs. After a while sitting in the blind I realized I had left my bi-pod in The Jeep, we sat for a while before I decided to go back to The Jeep and get it. This forgetfulness turned out to be the key to the success of the day.
The sun was just beginning to peak over the mountain to our east (even though it had been light enough to shoot for quite some time) melting the frost on the ground in the hay field I was trekking across on my way back to the blind. I was being cautious, as I like to imagine myself as some great hunter, I noticed some movement in the hayfield behind the blind (Hayfield #2). I dropped quickly to the ground and brought my Henry Rifle to position and looked into the field. There were 3 does crossing the hay field behind our blind moving east into the woods behind the blind, which all was out of sight from where Jayden was sitting. After they passed out of sight I resumed my journey across the hayfield ever so cautiously. Again I saw movement and again I dropped to the ground so I wouldn’t be seen. As I lay on the ground in the middle of the hayfield I could feel the moisture from the frost melt on my legs but I never paid this no mind, there were deer a movin’! I looked carefully through the Vortex scope to get a look, more does crossing the hayfield behind Jayden. After moving through the hayfield in stealth mode I finally made it to the blind and handed Jayden the stuff and moved along the wood line, moving west to look into the hayfield behind us, BUSTED, 3 deer standing there saw me and I dropped down onto the ground, laying there and playing dead like opossum as motionless as possible. They were watching me, interested but not too nervous, just curious. They starting moving toward me and the blind was behind me and Jayden was in the blind. I started talking to Jayden trying to let her know, I started softly, “Jayden!” A little louder, “Jayden!” Even louder, “Jayden!” “What?” “I think one of them is a spike!” The deer only spent a little more time wondering what in the world was laying in the grass shouting and they slowly moved east into the woods behind the blind.
I could see no more deer in hayfield #2 so I worked back to the blind. “I’m going to head up the hill behind us into these woods (woods #2) ,” I told Jayden, “to see if I can chase them back around in front of you.” So, I headed into the woods moving south up the hill behind the blind hoping to get the deer to move back in front of Jayden to give her a shot. I was moving around not making too much noise but enough to be heard. I never saw any deer so I started moving back to the blind when my ever so keen eye caught a glaring, very bright object, I had to look close but it was Jayden! She had moved out of the blind and was sitting on the edge of the woods west of the blind overlooking the Hayfield #1. Still in the woods about 20 feet from the edge of the woods looking into the Hayfield #2 which was to the southwest of the blind I saw a deer walking down the hill right toward me! I raised my Henry Rifle and put the Vortex Scope on him, a buck! So I started moving around a little bit, he stopped and looked around he went on high alert. He looked around cautiously and was not prepared to keep moving east. He decided to turn around (Hairpin Turn #1 on 4 Pointer Trail) and moved back up the hill and entered the woods where he had entered Hayfield #2. I followed his trail up the hill moving West and sat at the edge of field to enjoy the incredible view of field, woods and sunshine. Then as if the wind was silently speaking to me letting me know to enter the woods and follow 4 Pointer Trail I got up and listening to that primeval call I entered the woods and tried to follow 4 Pointer Trail. I found a really nice place to sit and take in the wonder of the woods as I was feeling really fulfilled, it had already been a great day - cool morning, blue sky, colorful woods and the deer were moving. I began to text my brothers who were probably hunting in Michigan at the same time, as we always do. I was explaining to them what was going on and what I was hoping to accomplish and I ended the text with, I haven’t heard a boom yet.
Ten minutes later, the boom came ( Hairpin Turn #2)! It was close enough it had to be Jayden. Text my brothers that I heard a boom and waited. “Dad!” “Yeah!” “I got one!” I started to move east toward Hayfield #1, I hit the edge of the field to meet Jayden with a big ole’ grin on her face! I was looking around for the buck, “he’s right there” laying in Hayfield #1 about ten feet from the woods was the finest buck I did see! Jayden’s first deer! Was I ever so happy, proud and thankful that I was with her when she got her first deer. Together we got that buck and together we were ever so thankful to our friends who let us hunt on their property for us to share this wonderful day!
As a child so intrigued by the lore
Of the local Army Surplus Store
I would visit every chance I got
Not knowing then that Surplus would be my lot
As I grew older I loved to visit them still
The gas masks the boots, when I had time to kill
The camo jackets, pants and shirts
I loved to look, its one way I got my kicks
I can remember the musty smell when walking in
They still smell the same as I’m taken back agin’ an agin’
Its a constant reminder of gone by days
Alive in my memories which are at times a haze
Mickey Mouse boots and Jackets telling tales of distant lands
In the Army Surplus stores, there they sat - on shelves and stands
That musty smell, oh so grand
A nostalgic trip, you understand.
Growing older I still love to go
To the surplus store rain sleet or snow
Oh, those Surplus stores of yore
Where memories linger evermore
Never knowing that someday I would have my own
A store with my daughter at that time unknown
When she was little I would take her to enjoy
The camo, jackets gas masks tents and more
It must have stuck in her mind
All that camo and gear
To make such an impact
To want her own store - named for a Bear
BearTrax was her idea not at all mine
It came to her one day and I came along for the ride
- Bill Kregel
Amidst untamed wilds, where shadows do dance
The Wilderness calls with its silent trance
A world unchained, where freedom is sung
Its echoing voice, by nature's tongue
I hear it call, that primeval plea
A summons so fierce, a call to be Free
Despite the hardships, the rugged path
I heed its call, dispelling its wrath
For in its heart, a solace reigns
A peace untouched by mortal pains
A sanctuary where my soul takes flight
In the realm where the day meets the night
The Wilderness, a stern domain
Its brutal rules, its rugged terrain
Yet I press forth, with spirit ablaze
Seeking wisdom in its untamed maze
For midst the struggle, a truth unfolds
My own mortality, stark and bold
The fleeting years, like stars they fade
Yet in The Wilderness, no fear pervades
Embracing death with a steady grace
I find a refuge in its embrace
For life and death, like rivers, flow
In The Wilderness, their secrets show
A whisper in the rustling leaves
A sacred hush, my spirit receives
I see and hear, in every sound
The presence of God - profound
In every howl of wind and beast
In every sunset's fiery feast
The Wilderness, a temple grand
Where God's Creation takes its stand
So though The Wilderness may bear its strife
And test the limits of mortal life
I journey on, with heart unswayed
In its wild embrace, I find God's shade
In the heart of nature's grandeur lies a realm untouched by the hustle and bustle of urban life – the rugged mountains. These towering giants, crowned with misty peaks and cloaked in lush greenery, beckon the intrepid traveler to step beyond their comfort zone and embrace the allure of the wilderness. Join me on a journey through time and terrain as we prepare for a hiking escapade into the majestic mountains. My intent is to stir within you the love of the wilderness and what it has to offer your soul. To share with you the solace I find in the wilderness.
The Call of the Heights
The distant rumble of the mountains calls to the wanderer's soul with a siren's song. The heart stirs at the thought of conquering their heights, traversing untamed landscapes, and immersing oneself in the secrets whispered by the wind through the ancient pines. The journey ahead is a pilgrimage to the core of one's being, where nature's splendor and the human spirit merge as one.
The Path Less Taken
With the spirit of exploration burning within, the selection of the right trail becomes a choice of paramount significance. Maps spread before the firelight, the fingers tracing the lines of potential routes, each a thread woven into the tapestry of the land. Trails vary in difficulty, terrain, and sights to behold. The seasoned hiker understands that every step forward leads to a choice – an affirmation of the path less taken, promising untold treasures and challenges alike.
Gathering the Provisions
As dawn breaks over the horizon, the hiker dons the mantle of preparedness. Provisions are chosen with care, for the mountain demands tribute in the form of sustenance. The satchel is filled with hardy rations – dried fruits, hearty bread, and jerky cured to perfection. A canteen of fresh water is primed to quench the thirst that accompanies the ascent. Maps and compass, like loyal companions, are tucked close to the heart, ready to guide the way through nature's labyrinth.
The Dance of Elements
In the mountains, one becomes attuned to the symphony of the elements. The sun's embrace and the cool caress of the mountain breeze shape the rhythm of the day. The trek unfolds amidst the ceaseless ebb and flow of nature, each moment an encounter with the untamed beauty that has remained unchanged for eons. Rain may descend, a reminder of nature's dominion, yet the traveler presses on, their spirit unyielding.
Campfires and Celestial Canopies
As the sun dips below the craggy peaks, the adventurer's thoughts turn to campfires and camaraderie. The flickering flames dance with shadows, casting stories upon the walls of the wild. Beneath the celestial canopy, stars twinkle like gems set in the vast expanse of the night sky. The conversations that transpire around the campfire are a tapestry of tales, woven with threads of awe, laughter, and the bonds formed in the crucible of nature.
The Summit's Embrace
The summit looms above, the culmination of toil and aspiration. Each footfall becomes a testament to the indomitable spirit that carried the traveler this far. The peak's embrace is bittersweet – a moment of triumph and reflection, where the world lies spread before the gaze like an open book. The mountains, silent witnesses to the passage of time, whisper their secrets to those who dare to listen.
The Legacy of the Mountains
A journey through the mountains is more than a mere physical escapade; it is an odyssey of the heart and soul. The legacy of the mountains lingers, woven into the very fabric of the traveler's being. The lessons learned, the challenges faced, and the bonds forged are a testament to the human spirit's resilience and capacity for wonder. As we bid adieu to the heights and descend back to the realm of the everyday, we carry with us the echoes of the mountains, forever etched in our memories.
And so, dear reader, I beseech you – answer the call of the mountains. Embark on a pilgrimage to their grandeur, for within their heights, you shall discover not only the mysteries of the natural world but also the depths of your own character. In short you will see and hear God.
It was November 11th, a Thursday morning. I woke up at 4:30, checked the weather for the third time. The forecast was promising. It was going to be 31 degrees and clear with no wind. I didn't want to waste a day like that at work. I sent my boss, Danny, a text message telling him I'd been up all night, sick, and didn't feel like coming in. Danny understood me and deer season.
I stayed up and got ready. My springer spaniel, Lucy, stayed in bed and just before daylight I was sneaking toward my tree stand called "The Super Dome". I named it that in memory of a tree stand my dad had built down in South Georgia. He built his stand using four trees for corners and it was about 25 feet high. It had a square floor and a seat that could face in any direction. My Super Dome is a 20 feet tall ladder stand. It has a really comfortable seat at the top with a roof with a blind built around it. It's tucked back into the woods just enough to hide it and over looks a food plot planted in buck oats and peas. There are a few persimmon and apple trees, too.
I was crossing the creek when I heard a crashing in the brush that sounded like a D6 Dozer coming towards me through the trees. It was two does and a spike, running. Behind them was a really big buck. Man, he was skint back. Because of his speed his rack was a blur. It all happened in half a second and they were gone. They didn't even see me. The four of them turned to their right and went toward the food plot. I turned to my right and hoped to intercept the buck on the trail that goes behind the Super Dome leaving the food plot. I was standing at the end of that trail and here he came walking and bobbing his head. I pulled up on him and he saw me and turned and ran back toward the Super Dome. I kept walking, hoping he'd take the next trail that was parallel with Interstate 75 South...and he did. He stepped into the open and after several tries I got a dry whistle out and he stopped and looked at me. I already had the cross hairs on him. Time stood still as I pulled the trigger of the Winchester 270 rifle my dad had gave me 30 years before. I knew I'd hit him but had my doubts when he took off and was running South up a hill. Then I saw his white belly as he piled up and rolled down the embankment. I walked up to him and it was then that I realized what a good buck he was. I sent Danny a picture and a message telling him I was feeling much better now. After gutting him, I loaded him in the truck and took a slow drive to the deer cooler...the long way. It was one of the best days of my life, so if you ever get the hankerin' to go hunting on a work day, do it.
I have owned 2 different Jeep Cherokees in my life, the first one I paid $800 for it, it had a solid body and ran really good, the front end however was wobbly. When I bought it the driver's window was gone and it had a piece of plexiglass in it. I bought it because prior to it we had a Ford Windstar that was wrecked, which my oldest son drove, and I told him I would replace the Windstar but it was gonna be with a 4x4 Jeep. So I found it on Facebook Market Place for $800, I drove it home! It always ran really good and I did not have to put any money into it in order to drive and use it, the tires were good on it and I tolerated the steering. Oh, and the power brakes did not work so the brake pedal was hard to push, my son was not impressed with it and chose to buy his own car, but it was exactly what I was looking for, something I didn't have to worry about scratching or denting in the woods and it never left me stranded!
After selling Jeep#1 (which I regretted by the way) I used my F-150 for daily driving and hunting, unfortunately it is a 2 wheel drive and there were places in the woods I could not go. Along with the 2 wheel drive limitation it has a long wheel base and could not make some of the sharp turns required in the woods. I considered many options on different kinds of vehicles and had decided on a Jeep Cherokee. Once I decided I wanted a Cherokee it then became - what year? What motor? Automatic? Manual? How much do I want to spend? How much work do I want to do?
I decided it needed to run and of course try to get it as cheap as possible. I searched Facebook MarketPlace and found lots of Jeeps. Some were in really rough shape or the 4 wheel drive didn't work and some just were too much for what they were. I was looking for a Cherokee that was not all jacked up and abused in the woods and mud pits, it turned out to be quite a search as a lot of them are used for driving in the woods and are heavily modified. I settled in on a 1993 Jeep Cherokee Country. It had the 4.0 Liter inline 6 cylinder that I wanted, it was 4 wheel drive, it ran and the 4 wheel drive worked. It looked like it had been sitting for a while so I had it towed home and the fun began.
I drove it off the flatbed and to its resting place for the next few months. My goal was to have it ready for, you guessed it, deer season! Once it was resting in the back I decided the first thing I needed to do was get the title squared away since the owner had lost the title and I only had a bill of sale. Off to the tag office with my bill of sale, which was scribbled onto and old envelope I found on the floor of it. Needless to say the lady at the tag office was not impressed at what I thought was pretty adaptive on my part, hey at least I got it on paper with his signature! As she looked down here nose at me she offered me an “official” bill of sale of the State that she told me I had to have filled out and taken to an insurance company that “bonded” titles. I never heard of a bonded title, she made it sound like I had took a shot at the pope or something by even buying a car without a title. Anyway, she gave me a list of insurance companies that bonded titles and off I went.
For those of you that don’t know what a bonded title is, I will attempt to explain in laymen terms - I essentially had to purchase, for $100, an insurance policy that protected the interests of the state in case they issued 2 titles for the same vehicle. I was required to buy a $5000 insurance policy to protect the state, what that meant was if Drove the Jeep around town and somebody produced a title for the same Jeep and we went to court over it, one of us would receive the $5000. The coverage is based on what the state determines is the value of your car, they valued the Jeep at $250. The minimum value, for them, had to be $2500, even though in their mind it’s only worth $250, and the pay off is double the value, hence $5000. All in all it wasn’t a big deal, just red tape, even though the the snooty lady at the tag office tried to make it sound like I was a criminal. Oh, I had to have a policeman come and look at the Jeep to make sure it wasn’t stolen and even he had to fill out a form for the state.
Once I got the title squared away I started disassembling, first taking lots of pictures before removing anything, pictures which turned out to be very valuable during reassembly. I should have had somebody filming the disassembly, that would have helped as well. The exhaust manifold had a big crack in it so that was first on my list, I went online and ordered it off Amazon. I found lots of the parts I needed on Amazon. I removed everything down to the block, the cylinder head I had cleaned, checked and all valves redone. New gaskets, new alternator, water pump, radiator, rackers, push rods, lifters, fuel injectors, sensors, coil, fuel pump, front fog lights and a hitch on the front. All of which was put together by deer season.
There are some photos below where the driver's side front fender is damaged on the white Jeep, that happened the day I let my youngest son drive it to his friends house on a rainy day, ironically the same child did the exact same thing, on a rainy day, and the exact same fender with the red Jeep.
There were a few hiccups and bugs to work out once it was on the road but so far, at the time of this writing The Jeep is running and driving good.
I have listed below the parts I used, all of which were good parts and worked great for my 1993 Jeep Cherokee.
Jeep Front Spot Lights
Jeep Front Hitch
Jeep Marker Light
Jeep CrankShaft Sensor
Jeep Rocker Arms
Jeep Shocks For HatchBack
Jeep Number 1
Jeep Number 2
The first time I remember hearing this term is when I was 35 years old, I purchased a DVD of Fess Parker playing Daniel Boone Season 1 Episode 1. I had watched all the Daniel Boone episodes when I was a child but I do not remember this term, anyway, it has intrigued me ever since and I love referring to Kentucky as The Dark and Bloody Ground. There are a lot of people, even my mom, who do not know to what it is I am referring, which of course, is why I use the term, besides it fun to say! My little way of teaching people a little something about history.
Since learning the term, the land and its history has intrigued me and I try to visit every year for some new learning of history. I did find a book written by John Filson called: The Discovery, Settlement and Present State of Kentucky written in 1784 that I enjoyed thoroughly you can get it on Amazon here. A great read if you are interested in some of the history of Kentucky. It is not a lot of pages, it is photo copied of the original book so the English is the old English where the "f" has the "s" sound so it makes it an even more interesting read.
Mr. Filson talks about sepulchers full of human skeletons buried in a manner that is not in the manner of the American Indian. There was also found hundreds of dinosaur bones, bones of large humans. The belief was that there were ancient Welsh civilizations in America long before Columbus and before the Indians. Very interesting as to why this is not taught today.
I will quote him, " There are several ancient remains in Kentucky which seem to prove, that this country was formerly inhabited by a nation farther advanced in the arts of life than the Indians. These are there usually attributed to the Welsh, who are supposed to have formerly inhabited here; but having been expelled by the natives, were forced to take refuge near the sources of the Missouri. It is well known, that no Indian nation has ever practiced the method of defending themselves by entrenchments; and such a work would even be no easy one, while these nations were unacquainted with the use of iron. In the neighborhood of Lexington, the remains of two ancient fortifications are to be seen, furnished with ditches and bastions." He tells us that these remains appear to be at least 150 years old.
On one of our trips to The Dark and Bloody Ground we visited The Blue Licks State Park and as we were driving through The Dark and Bloody Ground in our modern car we thought and talked of what would Daniel Boone think of our modern trails through the woods? We thought of how we just zip over the rivers without giving it a moment's thought when not that long ago crossing these rivers was a major undertaking! It might take weeks to get everybody across the river. The planning of the trip would take the crossing of these rivers into account but we do not give the crossing of these rivers any kind of thought, which in a certain way, we miss out on the the wonder of the trip and the beauty of the wilderness.
Back to the story of The Battle of Blue Licks, the British and Indians had sacked a couple forts and the Americans were chasing them through the woods. Daniel Boone and others warned the other leaders that the trail was too easy to follow and warned of an ambush. The Americans crossed at the ford and were ambushed as they made their way up the ridges after crossing The Licking River. There is a book written from the British Point of View that tells of the battle that is available and my absolute favorite book about Daniel Boone Master of The Wilderness written in 1939 tells us about Daniel Boone from his earliest days and does cover the Battle of Blue Licks. Some say it was the last battle of the Revolutionary War. Great books and great history!
Another great book on Kentucky is by Allen Eckert called The Frontiersmen. I was going to provide a link to it on Amazon but the prices were outrageous! So here is a link to Thrift Books for The Frontiersmen. He also has other good books about early American history. Early on in The Frontiersmen he tells of an interesting story and since I have already mentioned Chief Blackfish I will mention this as well, Eckert tells us that Chief Black Fish and a man named Bullit, representing the King of England, had a conversation about the land of Kentucky and that Bullit wanted to negotiate a purchase but Blackfish said that the land was not the Shawnees’ to give because it did not belong to them. Eckert quotes Blackfish saying, “The Shawnees cannot tell you that you are allowed to settle in the Can-tuc-kee lands. We have never owned that land. It belongs to the murdered ghosts of the murdered Azgens —a white people from the eastern sea. Their bones and their ghosts own and occupy every hill and valley of the country. Long ago our fathers and our grandfathers killed off the Azgens, but we now fear the spirits of these people more than our fathers and grandfathers feared them when they were flesh.”
At the Blue Licks State Park we hiked the trails and found the Lick, the Lick is where the salt used to pour out of the ground and the animals would come to the Lick the salt. The Lick, as of this writing, is on private property and we could not get close to it or close to the ford where the crossing of The Licking River took place. We were disappointed about the Lick and the Ford and made a polite complaint to the park manager, he explained to us that they were in the middle of litigation to purchase the land. They are sure there are still more dinosaur bones to be unearthed at this lick. There is also another Lick in Kentucky called Big Bone Lick. At this lick there were, at one time, hundreds of dinosaur bones just sitting on top of the ground. We did visit this park as well, not a lot to see anymore but at one time in America's history this was a hot spot!
Ever since I was a child and first saw Fess Parker as Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett I have been intrigued with the wilderness, adventure, hunting and all things outdoors.
As I grew older and had children of my own I introduced them to Fess Parker’s Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett in hopes to pass on to them my love for the great outdoors and wilderness adventure. If you haven’t watched any of the Daniel Boone TV episodes from the 1960’s you really are missing out on some great shows. I have included some links below for you to get each season. Enjoy!
(There was also the Davy Crockett movies of the 1950s.) The shows, of course, take great liberty with the adventures and characters, but we didn't really care we enjoyed them all. They talked of the Cumberland Gap, Fort Boonesborough and adventures in the Kentucky wilderness.
Fess Parker as Daniel Boone: Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6
Fess Parker as Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier River Pirates
We loved to imagine our adventures in the wilderness as, at the time, we had access to a lot of woods for discovering. When my oldest two children were 8 and 9 we built a “fort” that we named Boonesborough in the woods at our home in Pinconning, MI a long way from the Dark and Bloody Ground for sure but it was our fort.
There is a series of books by Joseph Altsheler called The Young Trailers. These were written as historical fiction books about adventures on the American Frontier. The hero of the books is Henry Ware, he has four friends who are from Kentucky and they travel the frontier meeting historical characters and taking part in historical events. These are great adventure books and you will also learn history! The author took great pains to make sure the accounts were as accurate as possible (with the exception of his fictional characters of course). I found these books to be very fascinating and enjoyable. If you are interested in these books they have been resurrected and republished and you can get your copies by clicking the links below.
Volume 1 Contains 3 books: The Young Trailers, The Forest Runners & The Keepers of The Trail
Volume 2 Contains 3 Books: The Eyes of The Woods, The Free Rangers & The Riflemen of The Ohio
Volume 3 Contains 2 Books: The Scouts of The Valley & The Border Watch
If you enjoy a good book I would highly recommend these, they planted the seeds of adventure in my soul and the love of The Wilderness grew in me and I hope to pass this love of adventure on to the next generation.
In 2005 we planned a vacation to Kentucky (The Dark and Bloody Ground). Joshua was 3 and Jayden was 5. You can see in the pictures below of the differences in the years and age of our children. In 2009 we planned another trip and this time we coordinated it with an event at Fort Boonesborough. They were having a reenactment of the siege of Boonesborough that took place in 1778. The fort would be filled with blacksmiths, soap makers, candle makers, trappers and animals. Months before we went we bought all the Daniel Boone episodes on DVD and, with our children, had a Daniel Boone marathon. When we finally set out for The Dark and Bloody Ground the children were as excited as we were! We went to Fort Boonesborough, which is near modern Lexington, Kentucky. What a great time we had! The children we very familiar with Daniel Boone, Rebecca Boone, Jemima and Israel.
Fess Parker played a larger than life role in these shows and surely impressed me as a child.
Since these trips when our children were little Jayden and I have made several trips back to The Dark and Bloody Ground visiting different areas but always making time to hike the Cumberland Gap. If you have never hiked The Cumberland Gap I would recommend it, it is moderate hiking and does not take very long. As you are walking through The Gap think of all the people who used it as a passage to get beyond the mountains for thousands of years! Incredible to think about!
Spring of 2023 Jayden and I set out for The Dark and Bloody Ground once more, we headed first to The Cumberland Gap for another hike of our favorite spot. We spent the afternoon hiking and exploring our favorite spots. The cave, the river and the Daniel Boone Trail marker. After the hike we followed the Wilderness Road making our way to Fort Boonesborough! We arrived late in the afternoon and set up our tent in the campground within walking distance of the original site of the fort. Our camp was primitive as we slept in a tent and cooked our dinner over the fire, just like when Jayden was little. One item that we took with us proved to be very helpful, we did some research about an LED Light and found one that we really liked, very bright, dimmable and rechargeable. It worked great for the campsite and to have in the tent.
I walked to the original site of the fort to sit in the dark and think of all the things that happened there and all the people who must have trod that ground. I pictured in my minds eye Chief Blackfish standing outside the fort wanting to talk to Daniel Boone. I pictured the fort and could see the Indians besieging the fort. I could see Jemima Boone floating down the river in the boat with her friends and getting grabbed by the Indians and all the settlers running after them to rescue the girls. I saw all the trading that went on, the trappers coming and going, the herds of buffalo! What a wonderful thing to behold!!
I have put a slideshow of all the pics we took with captions. Enjoy!
Great family fun!!
Imagine finding yourself lost deep in the woods, far away from any sign of civilization. Panic may ensue, but it is crucial to keep calm and focus on survival. The ability to navigate and endure the challenges of the wilderness is essential in such a situation. Here are some key tips to help you survive in the woods.
Have a pack that is ready to take when you take any hiking trip with some essentials - fire starters, compass, tablets to purify water, a whistle and a Buck knife. Get my favorite Buck knife Here.
First and foremost, it is essential to maintain a positive mindset. Staying calm and collected will allow you to think clearly and make informed decisions. Panic can cloud your judgment, leading to potentially dangerous mistakes. Remember, survival is all about adapting and utilizing the resources available to you.
One of the most critical aspects of wilderness survival is understanding navigation. Without proper direction, you may find yourself going in circles, wasting valuable energy and resources. If you have a compass or map, use them to identify your location and head towards a known landmark, like a river or a mountain ridge. Additionally, observing the position of the sun or stars can help you determine direction during the day or night.
While navigating, it is crucial to keep track of your surroundings. Familiarize yourself with natural landmarks, such as distinctive trees, large boulders, or unique rock formations. These can serve as reliable points of reference, aiding in your journey and helping you avoid backtracking.
One of the most basic needs in any survival situation is access to clean water. The importance of staying hydrated cannot be overstated. Look for natural water sources such as rivers, streams, or springs. Consume water only after filtering it through clothing or a makeshift filter to remove impurities and minimize the risk of waterborne illnesses. Hopefully you have your filter with you in your pack, here is one Water Filter if you want one for your pack. If necessary, you can also collect rainwater using improvised containers like leaves or bark.
Food is another crucial aspect of wilderness survival. While it is best to have an understanding of edible plants and hunting techniques in advance, do not consume anything unless you can identify it with certainty. In the absence of such knowledge, focus on foraging for nuts, berries, or fruits that are visibly safe for consumption.
Shelter is paramount to keep you protected from the elements and predators. Look for natural features such as caves or sturdy trees. If necessary, construct a simple lean-to using fallen branches and foliage as insulation. It will provide temporary protection from the rain, wind, or harsh sunlight.
Lastly, signaling for help is vital if you find yourself lost for an extended period. Use three loud whistle blasts, shouts, or a brightly colored cloth to attract attention. Building a fire will not only keep you warm, a visual indicator to potential rescuers and a fire has a calming nature about it.
Remember, survival in the woods is all about preparedness and maintaining a calm demeanor. By practicing these essential skills, understanding navigation techniques, finding clean water, foraging for food, building shelter, and signaling for help, you increase your chances of making it through the ordeal and returning home safely.
One final thought - Believe your compass! You don't need an expensive one Get Your Compass Here
As humans, we spend most of our time indoors, sitting at the desk, watching TV, or doing other activities that confine us within walls. With the daily hustle and bustle of life, we tend to neglect the importance of spending time outdoors. Whether it is gardening, going for a hike or merely taking a walk in the park, spending time outdoors benefits both our physical and mental health.
Here are some of the benefits of spending time outdoors:
1. Boosts Mood and Reduces Stress
Spending time outdoors can have a positive impact on our mood and reduce stress levels. Trees, sunlight, and fresh air are all-natural mood boosters that can help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Exposure to nature increases our feelings of happiness, positivity, and improves our sense of well-being.
2. Improves Physical Health
Spending time outdoors can also help improve our physical health. Walking, running, or cycling outdoors can help promote cardiovascular health. Studies have shown that people who walk outdoors have lower levels of stress hormones and a reduced risk of heart disease.
3. Increases Creativity and Concentration
Spending time in nature has been linked to increased creativity and concentration. Researchers found that spending time in nature, even for a few hours, improves cognitive performance, increases concentration, and enhances creative thinking.
4. Enhances Immune System
Exposure to sunlight can help boost Vitamin D levels, which can enhance our immune system and help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Spending time outdoors can also help reduce inflammation and boost our immune system's overall health.
5. Increases Social Interaction
Spending time outdoors can lead to more social interaction with family, friends, and strangers. Activities like hiking, picnicking, and camping can provide a platform to meet new people and create new connections.
In conclusion, spending time outdoors can have a vast range of benefits for our physical and mental health. It's essential to take a break from the confinement of our daily routine and allocate some time outdoors to reap the benefits of nature. Whether it's going for a walk in the park, hiking in the mountains, or merely basking in the sunlight during lunchtime, spending time outdoors is always rejuvenating.
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