Archive for October, 2013

Rabbitstick

October 13, 2013

When I was looking into taking time off from work and figuring out my path it was important to me to have at least one thing to look forward to each month, be it a farm to visit, a camping trip, a trip out of the country, or a chance for learning.  During the time I was planning everything out I came across a notebook where I had written ideas for things to do in the future.  In that book was written ‘Rabbitstick’.

Living in a place where the importance of DIY, sustainability, survival, and knowledge play out in conversation daily, I knew Rabbitstick, a primitive learning gathering in Idaho would be a good option to pursue.

I left for Rabbitstick in September with all my camping gear, sunscreen, and an eagerness to do it all.  A week of learning and community, and me an open book.

I arrived on a Friday with the actual even beginning Monday after every one else (for the most part) arrives on Sunday.  I set up camp near the shadow of trees alongside a huge open meadow, next to the snake river, which would be my bath for the next 9 days.

The path to the meadow.

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When Sunday arrived and the place filled with over 300 more people, the teachers and schedules came out, allowing me to ponder over and sign up for classes.  Knowing that I didn’t want to spend my whole time on one thing, like 3+ days of braintanning, I signed up for smaller time contraining classes, like knife making, duck processing, duck scalping, and fire making.

I spend the next week being immersed in a very kind open community, much like the cycling one I am lucky enough to have in the Bay Area.  For these people at Rabbitstick, THIS was their community. And I was happy to see that it did exist outside of the one I know and love at home.

My favorite part aside from meeting such wonderful people all of which are so eager to share their knowledge was duck processing.  Taught by Tom, who every year holds a huge lunch feast for all of camp, I learned how to take a duck (already dead this time), and make it into a meal.

In process while plucking feathers.

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The finished meal, alongside the damascus steel and horn knife I assembled.

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Another class Tom taught was scalping the duck, which enabled you to use the feathery scalp of the duck to decorate- I chose my knife sheath.

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Rabbitstick is an event that taught me a lot, opened up new ideas for me to pursue (hunting, fishing), gave me a chance to camp for days on end, meet incredibly kind people doing cool things with their lives, and will be a yearly opportunity that I take advantage of to reconnect with myself and others.

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