Vacation 2009 - Part 1

April 26-27, 2009


This is part 1 of my 2009 vacation. I left home early Sunday morning and traveled to Missouri (no pictures enroute). I had made arrangements to stay with David, a Hoodlum who leaves near Springfield, MO. His family was so warm and welcoming to me. They are pretty amazing: I don't personally know anyone who lives so close to "off the grid". If and when everything collapses, they will be just fine! On Monday I continued my travels to Amarillo, TX. I am making this post from my hotel room in Amarillo.


David and his daughter Rachel at the fire pit. [01]

A pond on the property. [02]

Becka at the pond. [04]

The poke has been freshly picked ... it's what's for dinner! [03]

Becka shows me one of the kittens. [05]

Rachel shows me another kitten. [06]

David's wife, Tam, made acorn loaves for dinner. This woman is amazing, and would put most male "survivalists" to shame. While the men might sit around their fire and discuss the merits of various knives, or debate hand drill vs. fire bow, Tam would actually keep them fed. The men talk the talk, Tam silently walks the walk. [07]

Hi girls! [08]

Me and David. [09]

While Tam and Donna finish dinner, we do the man thing.... [10]

I thought Dew had a funny style for the hand drill. No matter, this guy is so sinewy that form is almost irrelevent! Dew is a very hard working young man, and among other chores, tends to the family's goats. [11]

Requisite knife picture ... David likes Schrade knives. [12]

I showed everyone how to do the Eqyptian method, and how to get a coal as a team. This is a great teaching technique, because you get the "feel" for how much speed and downward pressure are necessary. [13]

Me helping Rachel with the bow drill fire. [14]

Chris tries the bow drill with a very large spindle. It worked. Chris is also a very hard worker, and spends a lot of time gardening. [15]

That's enough play ... let's get down to the business of eating. Acorn bread (two different recipes), sour dock, poke, red beans, and mashed potatos. All delicious, though I have to agree with Tam, I prefer the dock to the poke. [16]

The bread is beautiful, and so are you. [17]

Becka and Rachel wanted to show me how well they can swing. [18]

Some of the animals. [19]

One of the girls has a certificate in pet rehab and has nursed this possum to health. [20]

Monday morning I was on the road at about 5:30. The weather was quite threatening all the way to Springfield. [21]

After Springfield, things became less threatening. It was cloudy all through Oklahoma, but it didn't rain. [22]

Tam sent me off with a loaf of acorn bread and a jar of jalapeno jelly. So when the weather cleared I stopped at a rest area and enjoyed some for breakfast. [23]

...and it was so good that I enjoyed it for lunch as well. Sadly, as I write this, there is only about 1.5 inches of bread and less than half a jar of jelly remaining. [24]

Welcome to Texas. I called my friend Scrap Iron to let him know I was in Texas, but Texas is a big place...we figured I was probably 10-12 hours north of him! [25]

This is a rest stop on I-44 in Texas. It was the nicest rest area I had seen yet. [30]

I-44 is on a plateau. The area surrounding the rest stop (Texas panhandle) is as flat as flat can be. [28]

This is also at the rest stop. I love these canyons. I wish I had the time (and permission) to explore them. [29]

This is one of the displays in the visitor center. My favorite book and favorite movie is "Lonesome Dove", and Charles Goodnight is a character in that book (as well as "Streets of Laredo".) I once read an interview with author Larry McMurtry and he said that Goodnight was one of the characters in his books that intrigued him most. Anyway, I'm sure there were many liberties taken with the character in the books, but I enjoyed seeing some historical information about the real Charles Goodnight. [26]

Tomorrow I will be going to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. Here is some background information on the canyon. [27]

Copyright © 2009 by Bill Qualls. Last updated April 27, 2009.
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