It’s Saturday, the wind wasn’t blowing too bad, and we’re having a meteor shower.
Does it work?
I think FMLA Frank would have approved.
Every odd month Charlie Richie and his crew put out the excellent magazine The Backwoodsman. Since every supermarket and gas station in Fremont County, Wyoming sells it, I stop by one of them when a new issue is out, and get it off the news rack.
The latest one has an article on whittling, which is something we used to do in Scouts during camping trips. We all used the standard 4-tool/blade Boy Scout/Swiss Army pocket knife. I got mine when I was 10 or so at the local Barker’s department store. I think it was a Colonial or some other now-defunct American brand.
None of us in scouts were ever particularly good at it, but there were a couple of granddads who were very skilled at making all sorts of stuff out of wood while in the field. None of them used scout/Swiss Army knives, but instead used two or three blade jackknives which I later learned were called Barlow, Trapper, or Stockman knives depending on the style.
As I read in the article, SAKs are not optimal for whittling, which was my observation 40 years ago. The article mentions Barlow and Stockman knives by name as being well-suited for the craft, which is what those old-timers used.
A couple weeks ago, I was in Kinnear, Wyoming which is this place on Rt. 26 between Riverton and Crowheart. I like to think of it as the “last chance” stop for gas and provisions heading west out of Riverton, although Crowheart is only 30 minutes or so further down the road and also has a gas station/convenience store.
Kinnear has a gas station/convenience store called The Kinnear Store, a Post Office, mechanic, gunsmith, and Gary’s Trading Post. Gary sells knives, antiques, tools, hardware, sporting goods, tack, collectibles, jewelry, knick-knacks, and other assorted items. It’s the first place I stop if I need something before going into town, and 9/10 times he has what I need. Especially hardware.
I was at Gary’s a couple weeks ago, and mentioned how I was looking for “a good jackknife for whittling”. Gary mentioned how he knew some fellows back in the day who were very good at it, and that he’d keep his eyes open.
This afternoon I took a drive to Gary’s Trading Post, and upon visiting he tells me he found something for me. He reaches into a box and pulls out a “whittlin’ knife.” It was a 1991 vintage Remington Bullet Knife, model R1178 “Mini Trapper.” It was in excellent condition, and pretty much exactly what I was looking for. I thanked him and purchased the knife.
Gary has a lot of knives, among other good stuff, in stock right now. If you’re looking for a good field knife he has a broad selection: old-school Old Hickory butcher knives, US-made Schrade and Buck locking folders, pocket knives, an Ontario RAT-3, and Cammulus Terrouza CUDA CQB1. He also has lots of American made tools for building up your repair kit. He’s open 9-3:30 or so Tuesday to Saturday. If you see a white pick-up truck parked in front, he’s open. If you’re driving through Kinnear, stop and visit. You can also get a MexiCoke and a post card from the Kinnear Store, and mail it out from the post office.
Places like Kinnear are what you want to look for when moving to a locale. Kinnear may only be a place on the road, but you can stop there for gas, snacks, basic provisions, a needed piece of hardware or tool, or just look for a neat knick-knack without having to drive into syphilization.
The fact that places like this are disappearing from America is one of things that’s wrong with this country.
The Expo is today until 3:00 at the Lander High School. Lots local vendors and artisans, good info from local Ag organizations, a petting zoo, and activities for kids. Thank you to Mama Bakes Bread who gave the younger daughter her own loaf of Ciabatta.
If you live within driving distance of Lander, you should visit. This is a very good family event.
There is a Home and Garden Expo today in Lander, Wyoming. I will be reporting on it later today or tomorrow.