Our Early Group!

Click on a picture for a larger view.  Special Thanks to Rob Batchman and Mark Jones and Dan Brinson for sharing these pictures.  Zipfile of all These Pictures

October 20th and 21st, 2018 Lead Mine Conservation Area Jakes Creek Trail not far from the Niangua River Access. Weather was Sunny with a high of 60 and a low of 32. Almost no wind.

Saturday at 8:00 a.m. I picked up a young buck at Ozark AOG and we headed into Springfield to pick our SW Div. FCF VP Joshua Pennekamp who is the master mind of this event. Since Winter outing we have been preparing for this event. We started out making haversacks bags at that event and as we ventured a bit farther in our hands on crafting we picked up and purchased a few items that we felt was a must have. Being from a Backpacking lite as you can go background this "heavy - cotton, canvas, leather trekking system was going to be a learning experience". We have taught "Cotton Kills" when it gets wet and here we were out for a 1780's style backpacking trip called a Trek.

We arrived at the Jakes Creek Trail head right on time at 9:45 am. We met 3 other groups there and by 10:30 am we headed off for some FCF TREK adventure. Or trek took us along a trail that followed the Jakes Creek with in a few hundred feet you could see the creek. Sometimes we were right along it other times it was over that way. Passing through 2 meadows of green grass we came quickly to our first River Crossing. The call went out to find us a camping space. Remember the 5 W's. Widow Makers, Wind, Water, Wood and Water. Yup said water twice. Want water to drink but not so much it will wash us away.

We found a nice spot that had Creek on one side then woods where we camped and then a open field where the path brought 2 groups of horse riders as the day passed by.

Our shelters went up quickly and we worked on some camp craft items leaf rakes, pot lifters, Tripods and a few other cool items. Young bucks put the wooden bow saw to work cutting off some 12" pieces of some of the toughest wood to split I ever did see. Yet they got it battened down into good hardwood firewood. The new part to this Flint and Steel fire was to actually get a fire going with the birds nest. The 5 young bucks all did an excellent job. We showed them the proven methods of fire craft and explained why we did it this way. Tiny match sticks in a pile. Pencil thickness sticks in a pile and then sticks that were finger to two finger sized in a pile. The young bucks were shown to put 3 small logs the size of 3" or less around side by side and to build their fire upon that. Once they got their char cloth to go I had them walk around with it a bit to show them it would not go out and they came over to me and I gave them another piece. Then they put those 4 pieces of char cloth in the birds next and blew it into flames. They then put that birds next upside down to so flames would have more fuel and then placed their tiny sticks on it then their pencil size and then their finger to two finger size on it. Then blew a bit and each got a fire going no problem. They were all very pleased with themselves. The boys used some native materials like flint they picked up and some sisal rope as well as some local cedar bark and some grapevine root fibers. They did a good job.

4:30 p.m. Mike Harris from up around Rolla brought his kit over and explained it to us. Mike has been in FCF since 1975. FCF Daniel Boone Chapter Scribe and Chi- Omega Rho as national staff and more that can't recall. Mike being a History Teacher was very professional in his presentation and facts as he also talked about Missouri and some of the history of our state during this time period we were trying to live up to.

At 5pm I head a faint "hello" being yelled. I thought I was hearing things as my backpacking now FCF brother in Christ Rob was going to make this trek with us but was getting a late start and I thought in my mind it was too late for him to show. My radar went up? I asked did anyone hear someone yell "hello" no one did. A few minutes latter I heard that "hello" a bit louder. Then yelled back "Hello" and sent 2 of the young bucks that turned into 4 of them running down the trail to find Rob with hunters Orange on. Being Youth Archery season we covered this with hunter orange vests and that was pretty much the extent of our modern gear with only a few exceptions. (I did bring a few items that would only be used in an emergency. (headlamp, first aid kit, tape and emergency blanket), Soon the young bucks returned with the best liked man I have ever known Rob. He was in FCF Trek Style and explained his journey and was wondering if he would find us. (I had my doubts if he would find us) He did and proved to me I was not always right once again. GRIN!

Joshua Pennekamp brought forth the Council Fire songs and devotional. Handed out words to 4 songs and a encore. We enjoyed the service gather around prayed for the needs we had on our heart and it ended just before it got to dark to read the pages. So often in Rangers we wait to late to have council fires. This time at 6:30 p.m. we nailed it. Perfect timing and as we prayed together I felt the Spirit move in our midst. Honoring our Lord and King Jesus around that campfire in a old setting where self was being denied big time. These tough events make one appreciate the warmth and comforts of home.

The night was upon us and it wasn't long before I hit the sack at just before 8. I think the rest did the same with in the hour and soon camp was only lite by the flicker of the campfire. I got up at 3pm as the flicker was no longer there. I found 6 young bucks and one ole timer forming a circle around that big ole fire pit. I put on a few small trees out of our once 3' tall stack of trees it was down to about 4 trees left. I pulled out a piece of beef jerky and put a 3" piece in my stomach to add warmth as it was cold and a shiver was out away from the fire.

Sunday morning early the fire was kindled with a call for more firewood. 32 degrees has a bite to it. Soon it was blazing high and the spirits were good. We enjoyed the cooking around the fire and making coffee and hot tea and purifying water by boiling and pouring it through a cotton cloth before we used it for drinking or cooking.

Sunday morning Church around the fire brought forth the devotion of how heavy is this cup.

A short morning of laughter and fun and packing stuff back up and we were back at the Trail Head at 11:30 a.m. by 12:15 am we were leaving the Lead Mine Conservation area heading home. It took me 2 nights sleep to recoup from this event. Worth every minute of the time and preparation and funds it took to pull this TREK off. These young bucks and ole timers are some of the toughest around. If the call went out to leave Egypt at a moments notice this group would have been READY!

Mark Jones

Trail Head Trek Shake Down

Joshua, Mike, Mark

Camp

Did we say we need firewood?

Fall Trekking is pretty

Leaves are changing 32 degrees is just hours away.

Green Meadows