We would like to thank everyone who attended the '07 Texas Hoodlum Gathering. To our friends old and new who joined us at Pedernales Falls State Park for this wonderful event, your enthusiasm, support, and generosity made this year the best yet and we were honored to have you all with us.
The very first Hoodlum to set up
camp was our own wolfpup Hoodlum-in-training.
Let the festivities begin.
Eventually, Hoodlums began arriving and setting up camp.
We had all manner of setups going, from RVs to tents, to hammocks, to tarps.
Some brave souls put their sleeping bags in the clearing that first night and slept under the stars. The Temperature dipped below freezing that night. It was not as popular an idea after that.
I especially liked this setup with the poncho used as a tarp.
Good conversation was the theme of the whole weekend. Small groups were constantly found engaged in the exchange of ideas, humor, and stories.
"Am I gray enough?"
Mako Tree sports his blend-in grays on Friday.
By the end of the gathering, Mako Tree had discussed, tried, and done just about everything there was to discuss, try, and do, including wearing the hubcap of shame. His enthusiasm and creative thinking won him the Annual Achievement Award. In all humility he said, "I feel like I am being rewarded for being rewarded," referring to the rewarding opportunity of just attending. After pursuing fire making in all its forms over the course of the gathering, Mako chose only a small fire steel for his prize.
Here we see Mako working with a deer antler.
Someone suggested that the antler powder would take a spark and burn.
The next thing you know....
... Halcon and Mako are putting sparks to the antler powder...
... unfortunately, the powder charred but would not burn or make a coal.
The experiment was both educational and entertaining. Of course, most things that took place during the gathering were.
Toward the front is 90North and our own Ghostwolf exchanging stories and information. In the back we see BladeTX, Alan Halcon, and Boondocker, likely plotting and planning some mischief.
Meanwhile, the cubs of the Wolfs, swede, and the Verheys have carved us a Hoodlum Pumpkin.
Happy Halloween Hoodlum style.
The Hoodlum Pumpkin joins the festivities with swede.
Scrap Iron gets comfortable when we are called together for an announcement.
Everyone gather around.
Muddyboots and Halcon are outlining the rules of the HUBCAP OF SHAME.
Last year we had the tree of shame, where one went to stand after being caught at an act of unacceptable behavior. This year, offenders must wear the Hubcap of Shame around their necks.
When asked, Hubcap wearers must state their offense loud and clear.
The Hubcaps of Shame were provided by concentric. Thank you concentric.
Swede is the first to wear the Hubcap of Shame.
Muddyboots does the honors.
Swede tells us his offense: he has failed to recognize his own knife (a knife he made) while one Hoodlum was showing it to another.
I am not the only one taking pictures.
Old Salt caught me in the classic photo of a photo taker.
Muddyboots and Tap Code are exchanging a laugh as they observe the second offense take place before us.
Snarlslayer has banged the secondary Hubcap of Shame against his head in a demonstration. It is decided he will wear it...
Snarlslayer objects to the decision:
" It's a conspiracy! I'd like to see if anyone of them could hit themselves in the head that heard 4 times and be okay afterward."
You are right Snarlslayer, they are just jealous of your strength and prowess.
Activities have resumed. Mako is working with flint now.
Mako was subsequently ordered to wear the Hubcap of Shame for failure to wear eye protection.
In the words of Muddyboots:
Mako Tree is the Official Bearer of the Cap and carries it now, not in shame but in vigilance! Beware all you deserving Hoodlums west of Ole' Miss! the cap is niegh!
Boondocker also working with flint with Old Salt.
BladeTx and Tap Code.
Mako is working a piece of glass with copper:
"Glass is easy to work because it is already flat. If you keep working the edge, you can work it back however you want."
Mako gifted the point he made to our own wolfpup.
MAID MARION bestows attention upon the camp dog of swede and mrs. swede.
Muddyboots, Ghostwolf, Ouchie, and TapCode: a dangerous combination.
Our onsite cooks the Verheys have brought out Mango Salsa. Swede has had Eddie's mango salsa before and commandeers it for his own.
Saturday is here. The time is approaching for the much anticipated skills group with Alan Halcon, Muddyboots, and TapCode. Everyone begins to migrate to the clearing that our campsites back up to.
In the center we see a trio of new Hoodlums seated and ready. eagle357 and his sons came to us while looking to attend classes with Halcon. We are priviledged to count them as Hoodlums now.
Our friends almark and tepe have brought a new friend with them. We hope to see her on the forum soon.
Saturday they broke out some delicious cider that they had made just for the weekend. Sunday morning there was a price on their heads.
The velociraptor, the wolfpup, and the Halcon snake.
Hoodlum young joined the classes and festivities this year. Vec's youngest could always be found with the snake in attendance.
Let's all begin. Listen up now.
Introductions all around were the first order of business.
After putting faces to names, we moved onto some serious skills discussions, led by TapCode, Muddyboots, and Alan Halcon.
Alan Halcon joined us from
California. He is known for his prowess with and teaching of the
hand-drill method of fire-making and for the Halcon Stove. He is
a Field Editor for Wilderness Way Magazine and has been featured in one of
Ron Hood's Woodsmaster videos. He is also a great guy and a lot of
Muddyboots came in from New York to join us. He is a moderator on the Hoods Woods forum and has a background in Search and Rescue. His experience and skills in recognizing and dealing with emergency situations provided us all with invaluable information on how to avoid being a statistic as well as how to help others. Boots is an intelligent, fun, thoughtful man who we are honored to call friend.
Our special guest speaker was TapCode. Tap teaches the very bushcraft skills we were all here to learn. His extensive knowledge and concise speaking were a genuine pleasure to be a part of. Although tall and forbidding by appearance, he proved to be a nice guy up close; smart and funny. We thank him for taking the time to share his knowledge and let us get to know him.
The guys lead a discussion on hypothermia. Here we see Muddyboots playing the poor hypothermia victim.
Although we do not generally think much about hypothermia in this part of Texas, we learned that it can, in fact, be a danger to us during the cooler months, or even on a cool evening if one is in wet clothing. We learned how to watch for early signs, how to treat a person going into hypothermia, and got some suprising myth-buster information.
Here, Tap and boots show us how to watch for impaired speech and thought due to hypothermia by acting out scenarios.
Alan takes time out to tell us all the story of the Halcon Snake. This entertaining story teaches a valuable lesson in how to conduct oneself at a gathering, as well as who you can trust and how far.
The snake in the pictures is the actual snake from the story.
We break up for a special kind of fire-making class: make fire with only one hand; your weak hand. No lighters, no matches.
It turned out to be quite the challenging task.
Halcon oversees the attempts with suprise guest TR Zimmerman.
After a suitable amount of time, we gathered back in the clearing to discuss successes, failures, and techniques.
Clan Vec, Ouchie, and Concentric.
We don't need no stinkin chairs.
Muddyboots gave us tips on focus and purpose in a situation. In his example, "My rock, my spot" brings together the what, when, where, and why so one can focus on the how.
The group discussion has broken up and many people gather with Alan Halcon for fire making.
Others of us join Muddyboots for working on various scenarios... recognizing your situation for what it is and making good, informed decisions.
Vec's youngest appears to want to discuss snakebite.
Later, swede has set up the forge and set to work...
ddennis watches to make sure swede doesn't hurt himself.
stew22 has begun kydex work.
Some people migrate over to observe and discuss.
Others go on a hike.
Special surprise guest T.R. Zimmerman has joined us this weekend with friend and student Mr. Kevin Rambo. Mr. Zimmerman leads a plant identification hike.
Alan and TapCode stop for a refreshment break with our Grill Master Eddie.
Whatcha got in the Nalgene, Tap?
A meeting of the minds.
Ghostwolf prepares cactus leaf to treat some sunburns while ouchie watches closely.
What's in your gear bag?
Mrs. Vec models the Maxpedition Jumbo and Jumbo S-type worn in an efficient and smart H style.
Alan has opted for the Fatboy.
After dinner is the much anticipated Trade Blanket.
And then, the Second Annual Stove Cook Off.
And the winner is.....
I understand it is the same design he won with last year. Can anyone beat this camp stove genius? Find out next year when we do this all again!!
Sunday morning has arrived. Everyone gathers for final pictures and long good-byes.
Thank you everyone for coming! This was a great gathering because of you who attended. Hope to see you all next year!!
Very special thanks to the wonderful people who cooked for this mighty horde: our friends, Grill Master Eddie and Dutch Oven Mistress Elizabeth.
And special thanks to Hoodlum blacktapebandit and his dad who pulled KP duty every night and helped Eddie and Elizabeth with prep and clean up.
A personal thanks to everyone for the thoughtful gift. Your presence was gift enough, but I shall treasure this work of art always.