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Outdoor Friends, Family and Mentors

general discussion sharing ideas outdoor lifestyle four-wheel drive

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#1 Moses Ludel

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 10:27 AM

Your father-in-law is a great model for your kids, biggman100!  Completing two Iditarod events works for me!  I like his canoeing and other interests, right up my alley, I grew up with an Old Town wood and canvas canoe.  Arctic Man sounds like my friend Cody Lundin (Discovery Dual Survival co-star).  I met Cody while conducting one of my Jeep/Mopar Tent workshops at Camp Jeep.  He was easy to spot, the only adult at Branson, MO with pigtail braids and bare feet.  We became fast friends when he shared that his total tool assortment for his 200K mile Jeep CJ7 would fit into a fishing tackle box.

 

Cody and I co-conducted a workshop at Nevada on four-wheel driving survival and on-the-ground aboriginal skills.  This was a few years before the "Dual Survival" opportunity came up for Cody.  He's done some very interesting work, including a Paleo-Ice Age winter living simulation at the Grand Tetons for National Geographic.  If you need someone to catch fish with his bare hands, Cody's the guy! 

 

I am bent on making the outdoors accessible and much a part of our youngest grandson's life, he's a "paleo guy", too, totally absorbed in Nature at the age of 17-months, tracking birds and anything else we point out.  A fellow said the other day, when I was describing how much our youngest grandson likes the natural world, "Your best legacy for that child is sharing the outdoors."  My sentiments, exactly!

 

We each have friends and mentors...July 15th, I lost my good friend from the Alaska trip days, he was the real deal cowboy:

 

Carson City lost a local legend this week, Bob "Bear" Stutsman.  As a construction worker, truck mechanic and heavy equipment operator in the early through mid-'seventies, I knew a lot of interesting people.  Bob was way up that list.  We did the Alaska Highway in 1975, 'wheeling a '66 4x4 I-H Travelall with an ancient camp trailer in tow.  Sharing humor and the untamed wild country from British Columbia and the Yukon down to the Kenai, that trip always stands out...

 

Attached File  Bob Bearclaws Stutsman.jpg   66.91KB   0 downloads

 

Whether point shooting tossed pine cones with a vintage lever action Winchester, cowboy fast drawing with .44 Ruger single action pistols and live ammunition, taming horses or quickly settling a dispute, Bob was the real deal—and most memorably, my friend.  Here's a glimpse of Bob in his later "career", part of a life led large: http://www.lasvegass...o-a-bygone-era/.

 

"Colorful friends" and relatives make a difference. 

 

Moses

 



#2 biggman100

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 10:40 AM

Well, depending on if you get to Alaska or not at all, meeting my father-in-law may not be that hard actually. He has done the Iditarod 4 times, and is now a consultant for a couple of the younger guys, and is usually at the start almost every year. This year we are also planning on a trip to Arctic man, which for those of you who don't know, 4 day long, middle of nowhere, huge party in Alaska, that this year will be in April 2014. At least, we have plans to go, but we were gonna go last year and the weather messed that up, so who knows.

 

As for the comparing on how many times we get out to do things this winter, even though i may not get to do them all, i have at least 15 winter activities already lined up, from dog sled races, to camping, to ice racing, and i am actually curious as to how many of those activities i could add in even a small snowshoe hike. The sled dog races, i already know, snowshoes are a must, and so are the 3 camp dates we have set up. The ice racing events are usually done on cleared and packed terrain, so that wouldn't work, but after looking over my winter calendar, i see a lot of open dates as well. Of course, that all depends on things like weather, school activities, and 100 other unknowns that usually come up every year. Where we live is actually about 2 hours southeast of where the snow belt starts, but we try to get up there as much as we can in the winter, since where we live we are lucky if we get 12 inches in a week.



#3 Moses Ludel

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 10:43 AM

Your father-in-law has impressive credentials, biggman100...You have a wonderful "teacher" and guide there!  The Iditarod is quite an accomplishment, just to compete and more so to complete it!  I drove the Alaska Highway and spent time at Alaska in 1975, traveled there with a good friend, made a lot of memories.

 

Arctic Man, wow, now that's a winter challenge!  As for our motivating each other this winter, sounds like you're setting the bar.  (You don't get cabin fever at your household, for sure!)  Could this be the year I get back in form?  Haven't taken training seriously since competing at the Land Rover Trek event. 

 

Was 47 at the time and knew I better train—or I'd make an ass of myself at best, expire at worst!  Wound up on the podium with the Tread Lightly USA/UK Team...Have a method that works pretty well: Use a heart rate monitor like a tachometer.  Instead of racing off like you're 18-years-old and it's the end of the football season, you pace yourself by your heart rate as you train.  Results come quicker without the fatigue...It sounds like I'm talking myself into something here...

 

Moses 



#4 biggman100

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 12:06 PM

My father in law isn't just a good teacher and guide, he is also a very good inspiration, as he is a very avid outdoor, non vehicle based enthusiast, and has found many activities, from the sled dogs, to hiking, to camping in a blizzard, in the winter, to hiking, camping, and kayaking and canoeing, in the summer, so that we are rarely home any weekend. He, as my mother in law puts it, is a restless soul, who can't stand to sit still for very long. I can honestly say, if it wasn't for him, i wouldn't be doing half the things i do. He is the contagious type, who can talk people into almost anything, as long as there isn't any real danger in it.

 

Before i met my wife, the extent of my outdoor activities were being at a dirt track race somewhere during the summer, and maybe a snowmobile event here and there in the winter. I would like to clarify one thing. Although he did compete in the Iditarod 4 times, he only completed it successfully twice. The first time he got lost, and was luckily found by Eskimos, and eventually the rescue crew, and the last time, he only made it 200 miles, due mainly to health issues with 3 of the dogs. Now, the only thing he does sled dog wise is the PDSC daytime events, and consults with a couple of newer teams who are active competitors in the Iditarod.

 

Although the Arctic Man is a challenge, in that there are quite a few snow based activities to compete in, we want to go more because it follows along with the things we do already, but in more of an extreme than we are used to, in the middle of nowhere, where you have to be self sufficient for 4 days. It definitely isn't for the faint of heart though. There are no motels, or even cities around for miles, from what he and i have read about it. My father in law is also a big fan of the survivor man series. he even sets up small survival challenges for my 9 and 10 year olds, which i help with, because although it teaches them things that they may never have to use, it also teaches them valuable real world skills as well, such as how to find their way if they are ever lost, and how to think about each action and situation ahead of time.



#5 biggman100

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 12:18 PM

Like your friend Cody, until work insisted, i was the guy with the long hair, no shoes, trying to help where i could with the barest minimum of gear. The only thing that has changed is my hair. I had to cut it short. Oh, and the amount of gear i carry has increased as well.

 

I am sorry to hear about your friend bob. I heard about him on the news, and looked into him a little bit, and thought that it is a shame when guys like that are gone. With the way the world is anymore, we need more guys like him as role models. My grandfather was pretty much the same way. He was raised on a cattle ranch in northern California, and i always likened him to the old west cowboys that you see in the movies and read about.

 

There was another guy i remember hearing about a couple years ago that was like that. He was the epitome of the old west cowboy, but the reason i remember hearing about him was that he had a ton of land, with a bunch of old Indian writings and drawings in caves, and he kept it a secret and didn't share it with anyone after he found the caves with the drawings, for more than 70 years, and right before he passed, he said that, if i remember right, six generation's of his family kept what they found a secret, so it wouldn't get ruined.



#6 Moses Ludel

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 02:45 PM

The family that protected the writings and drawings in the caves was intelligent.  At Nevada, artifacts have been disturbed, stolen and vandalized over the last century and a half.  First Americans lived for 11,000 years in the Great Basin, it took less than 150 years for very inconsiderate "modern people" to overrun and deface sites.  Many sites and sacred grounds are now protected to prevent further loss of archaeological insights, cultural artifacts from pre-"history" and antiquities of Paiute, Shoshone, Washoe and other peoples.

 

Moses



#7 biggman100

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 04:04 PM

This guy lived either in Arizona or Nevada, i don't remember which, but that was his thinking as well. He said after seeing how other places had been destroyed by, in his words, supposed experts and archeologists, early in the 1900s, his father and grandfather decided never to share what was on their land. The caves and historical artifacts on his property were only found because some people decided to trespass on his land, found the caves, and then told other people, and eventually the news, and even Readers Digest got involved. That was where i had read about him, was in a back issue of Readers Digest.

 

The subject of people overrunning and defacing a property, historical or otherwise, is a touchy one with me. I don't see why so many people feel the need to go somewhere and destroy the area, so that later generations can only read about it in books, magazines or online. We don't seem to have as much Native American, or as you say, First American, presence on this side of the country, as the west seems to have, but there is quite a bit of of Native American heritage here as well, but for us, most of it is in the names of towns, lakes and rivers that were named after displaced, or decimated, tribes that originally lived in the northeast.

 

Most of the Native American lands and artifacts and treasures were built over, to make way for all the immigrating Europeans that came here. And then, later generations decided it would be fun, i guess, to destroy some of the historical landmarks that the Europeans built around here, so even those are few and far between anymore. For perfect example, in the early 1800s, a man from somewhere in Europe built a Scottish castle, that he had brought here disassembled from Scotland. It was rebuilt deep in the NY woods, not that far from Canada. He abandoned the castle, for reasons unknown, in the mid 1800s, and surprisingly, no one in the later generations of local people, from what i can piece together, from the early 1900s until the late 1970s, even knew it was there.

 

In the late 1970s, a small group of hunters found the castle. Now it is pretty much destroyed, from all the people who went and took souvenirs and whatever else they wanted from the place. I have also read about the same thing happening elsewhere in the country.



#8 Moses Ludel

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 05:52 PM

This does repeat itself, even with historical artifacts. Bodie, California, was a highly successful mining venture in the high mountain range just east of the Sierra Nevada. The engineering for the mines and community reflected the huge profits drawn from the region. In response to the isolation and need for electricity, Bodie boasted the first hydroelectric power plant in the world, a stream powered generator on Green Creek.

 

As a kid, I first saw Bodie around 1959.  Model T Fords and other cars, plus late 19th through mid-20th Century artifacts, still abounded at a town that declined through the Depression Era and ended during the WWII period.  Between 1959 and 1963, many Southern California "collectors" and car buffs combed through the town and dragged off property.

 

The State of California had to make the site a State Park.  Today, many people visit Bodie, where buildings have been reconstructed and restored by the State Parks Department to an enjoyable state of "arrested decay".  I've covered Bodie, as have others, in magazine articles.  Time to do an HD video?  Any excused to revisit Bodie, just 120 miles away!

 

While some rail against "Big Government" and the intervention of land use agencies, an agency is often the only way to preserve natural wonders and historical artifacts.  If folks would behave themselves, we wouldn't have these issues.  Your neighbors, the Iroquois, inspired our country's Founding Principles.  They put it this way:

 

“The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations: The Great Binding Law.”

 

In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self-interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation.

—Seven Generations



#9 biggman100

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 08:23 PM

Now that brings back an old memory. About 20 years ago, when most 20 somethings were concerned with work and getting what they could for themselves, my grandfather belonged to a committee that was started in the 1950s, to try and preserve what 5 nations lands and artifacts were left. They weren't very successful, but i did enjoy going with my grandfather and my uncle to seek out places to be put on the list for consideration for preservation.

 

In one of our travels, we stopped at a museum in Syracuse, NY that was dedicated to Native American artifacts, and i remember they had the 5 nations constitution (the constitution of the Iroquois nation), and i spent several hours reading parts of it. After i moved to the area, i was a frequent visitor to the museum and learned a lot about the 5 nation tribes, and being that i am part Black Foot and part Lakota on my father's side, and part Seneca and Onondaga on my mother's side, anything Native American is of interest to me. Just don't ask me how i am part of so many different tribes, as even after listening to my grandparents explain about tribal inter-marriages and relationships, im still not sure i understand it myself, especially when you add in the part german,and part polish as well.

 

As a side note, for those who don't know, when i refer to the 5 nations, i mean the 5 original Native American tribes that make up the Iroquois nation, which consists of the Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk, and Cayuga tribes.



#10 Moses Ludel

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 03:59 PM

A great heritage and legacy...Teach your children, they're part of the Seven Generations!

 

Moses



#11 biggman100

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 06:28 PM

My girls know our heritage pretty well, as my wife and i have tons of Native American sayings, and memorabilia, as well as books, all over our house. Most of what we have is from the tribes we descend from.



#12 Moses Ludel

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Posted 11 August 2013 - 06:35 PM

Much to draw from...including your outdoor interests!

 

Moses





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