October 19th and 20th, 2019 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 48.
Almost no wind. Supposed to be 10 to 20 percent chance
of rain. Forecast said it would be stopping early
Left my house in Ozark at 7:45 a.m. Picked up our
FCF SW Division Vice President and at 8:45 we met
two young bucks Bare Feet and Fire Hawk was driving
just north of Springfield and they followed us to
Lead Mine Conservation area just NE of Buffalo, MO
20 miles or so. I was in good company. The four of
us had shared the Buckskin testing just a week or
two previously. I couldn't of been in better
company until we arrived at the trail head near
We met up with Dan Brinson and his two sons at the
trail head. Dan takes the time period seriously.
He and his sons work hard at doing FCF time frame
up right. They brought acorn/flour mix, Johnson
Grass bread, turnips picked wild onions and spices
along the way. So many other things. Dan even
brought a pumpkin that he cooked apple slices with
At the trail head we did a shake down and all
confessed what modern things we did bring. Most of
these things we all had. Yet I was inspired to see
this group of 8 had went the distance and left most
of the modern stuff at home. After we weighed in it
was carmel apples all around. Dan won the heaviest
pack with 67 pounds. I came in at 57 lb. and the
lightest haul was 21 pounds.
Joshua Pennekamp our Trek Coordinator brought out
the gift bag and we drew sticks out of his hand
flipped a coin and heads said the guy with the
longest stick was first to pick from the prize bag.
Wow! Joshua pulled 2 long axes he had restored, 2
smaller axes, 2 wool blankets, Steel skillets that
were once covered by rust that he worked over and
seasoned into grand frying pans. I was also given a
antique bow saw that had a tension twist to it.
Soon everyone was ready to go and off we went on our
TREK. Jakes Creek is a pretty hike. Its pretty flat
and it follows along the creek. After about a half
mile we came to our first creek crossings. Shedding
my shoes and leaving on a pair of cotton socks to
pad those sharp rocks was my best option carrying
the load bare footed going ouch, ouch, ouch for 20
feet. On the other side of the creek I gladly put
my mocss/shoes on and we walked another quarter mile
as we searched for trek camp 2019.
After some poking around we picked a spot just a bit
farther than last year but very similar in options.
Rob one of our trekkers was also coming in a few
hours later and we didn't want to loose him in the
Joshua picked a great spot. Wood, Water, Wind not
to bad, Widow Makers no, Water not going to wash us
away. So it passed the 5 w's test and in no time we
were busy making debris beds. Joshua taught us all
a great style of bed. Two 8' long 4" to 6" logs
spread out parallel about 3 feet. Then 2 end
pieces of the same size log about 3 feet long
crossed over log cabin style. Then 5 saplings 1"
around about 7' long and laid in between the two 8'
long logs. Then a bunch of green sticks 1/2" to 1"
about 4' long that crossed these logs. On top of
all this was tall grass we harvested. It worked
folks! I put a piece of canvas (oil skin -water
proof) over that grass and then 2 king size wool
blankets. ( I was cold last year and was not going
to do that again) Wool is amazing stuff. It took
us about a hour to make our beds. Then about 1:00
p.m. we started a fire with flint and steel and it
started to rain lightly off and on for the next 4
hours. Now when it's raining one has a tendency to
hunker in around the fire. When it pours we drew
closer to the fire protecting it with more sticks to
cover the fire so it wouldn't be put out.
Our goals of finding Fat Wood and doing some fishing
were washed out by the rain. We did enjoy the
fellowship and building a big fire that kept our
spirits hi and us dry.
Soon I head that sound of a Batchmanite. (One whom
comes in later than the rest) He sounded out a
HELLO... and we sounded back a HELLO as two of the
Brinson young bucks retrieved him from the trail.
The rain had diminished. Rob said something about
97 % humidity. While Rob was selecting his bedroll
location the young bucks were carving and notching
pot sticks and getting a cooking rack with 2 Y
sticks and we learned if we put it on a slope we
could vary the heat by moving the pot stick to a
higher location while others were trying to spear
fish with there locust thorns. Them fish get real
smart when you go to throwing something at them and
the young bucks they were complaining they saw no
So I boasted do you want to catch fish? Out came my
fishing kit. Some Sinu (artificial) for fishing
line. Then a brass hook and a lead weight and a
stick for a bobber. Hard tack is a fish's favorite
we found out. After a little coaching to toss into
the right spot one of the young bucks pulled in a
pan fish and it wasn't long before he cut the fishes
head off and tail and gutted it and we was cooking
it with our squirrel cookers. Just about lost it
that way and moved it to a skillet where it came out
perfect and with each of us got a sampling of FISH!
I was excited as we knocked off another step
towards the Trekker Merit Patch. The young bucks
noted those fish were not so eager to go after that
hook after they saw the last fish never come back.
Them fish go to school don't you know.
We started cooking supper around 4:20 p.m. and
enjoyed all kinds of treats. Dan cooked up some
turnip soup with wild onions and some things he knew
to be good to eat. Many of us cooked up steaks and
beans and rice and shared around the fire what each
of us had. The walnuts and berries and chocolate
were passed around just before council fire time.
Evening Council fire the question asked. Do you
know what a hitch pin is? Is it important. I then
preached from the Log of the Lords Plan has a hitch
pin in it. That pin is What Jesus did for us at the
Cross and how the Law of the Spirit over came the
Law of Sin and Death. Our faith in that is the
HITCH PIN of our Salvation. The boys are often
asked questions in my services. I want them to
think about things and express their opinions ...
not always right but you can tell they are thinking.
I had a brand new Boiling Pot, skillet and candle
lantern all got used and all don't look new anymore!
They performed perfectly and I did learn the tin
candle lantern needs to have the door left open or
it will melt the candle in a few hours. The wooden
ones don't do that but they can catch on
I looked out at the babbling creek just 40 feet from
me and started noticing the 97% humidity factor
starting to play it's part. Looking to the grassy
area where no trees were the cloud had settled in
and stayed there all night. As the water collected
on the tree leaves it made you think it was raining
as the drops sounded just like rain. Those that
camped under the canopy of the trees were in a light
rain all night and those that camped in the grass
just had the heavy dew. We all learned the value of
About 8:30 p.m. folks started getting tired of
sitting on a log and headed towards those debris
beds we made earlier. I was pleasantly surprised to
see on my blanket not one HUGE wolf spider that size
of my tin cup but TWO of them smiling at me and
another 4 or 5 smaller spiders seeking refuge from
the wet conditions. They just like me thought this
was a nicer place to be under this water soaked tarp
that had kept my small patch of the earth dry. Yet
I held the line. I used my tin drinking cup to
scoop them up and give them a toss back out into
their world. I was the mighty hunter as I tried
several times to get those two. The rest just got a
brush with my hand outta here wildlife friends HA!
My wife would have freaked out! I just wrapped up
in those layers of wool blankets and put on my wool
stocking hat and settled in for the night. (I never
sleep on these ranger events. Well almost never.
This time I heard every soul stir and fire kindled
and coyotes and geese and more! Every snap in the
woods was analyzed . . . . friend or foe . . . In
the hands of Jesus!
After what seemed like an eternal night. The sounds
of someone kindling fire was my good morning call.
Now mind you when 8 folk are going to be cooking
around a fire it's time to put on the wood! I put
the rest of the stack on that fire and pretty soon
the souls were stirring and the sun was trying to
get through that dense cloud of heavy wet fog. I
found my melted candle had dripped all over my
canteen and it was pretty cool looking. Two of the
young bucks the night next to the fire. One moved
his debris bed there and the other abandoned his
shelter due to spiders and found comfort at the foot
of the fire. I heard the two through the night
pile on another log and I would see the flames get
higher and it would quiet down a bit and a hour or
two later it would happen again. YOU HAVE TO LOVE
THIS CAMPING STYLE! It's tough but it will make you
solid! Each time I would roll over the sticks and
logs beneath me would quickly remind me not there...scouch
a bit over there. There is always a sweet spot
that will put a smile on your face . . . sometimes
hard to find!
Morning breakfast was awesome! Coffee, Tea, Boiled
water from the stream. We boiled and drank a good 4
gallons of water. Using a handkerchief to pour the
water through the first go around and then bringing
it to a rolling boil....those little things left
over just pitch it when it gets down to the last
pour. Awww the sweet life. My lower back was
killing me. Standing being the only relief. Next
year us ole timers said were bringing back support!
We had morning service. Joshua produced 4 old hymn
songs from that time period and we all made a joyful
sound. Rob poured his heart into a sermon and was
aggravated at me for keeping his theology correct.
Yet inspite of me and him and the rest of our group
we had a great Spiritual Meal and shared from our
hearts there. I love to discuss around the
campfire. Never be to proud to be interrupted
around a campfire service. God can move despite our
Soon it was time to pack up camp and trek back to
the trail head where we enjoyed a cold root beer
and what was left of the carmel and apple. GREAT
JOB Joshua Pennekamp who is now called Trail
Traveler! Blessings abound! Hope to see all of
you FCF Members on the next trek!
Mark Jones (FCF Name is GRIN)
Zip file of all these pictures.
Special thanks to Rob Batchman, Dan Brinson, Joshua
Pennekamp and Mark Jones for sharing these pictures