Yesterday was the first full day of adventures with my grandfather here in Idaho. I woke up bright and early in hopes of going hunting and possibly shooting a doe or an elk, as it would be the last day of the hunting season for either in this area.
When I first came downstairs, I noticed a giant flock of wild turkeys running in the front yard. For the last couple of years, I had listened to my grandfather telling me that he sometimes shot turkeys from his front porch, and he definitely wasn’t kidding.
Before long, my grandfather whipped up an enormous breakfast consisting of turkey bacon (store bought, not front yard shot), eggs, and toast. For not being a breakfast guy, he sure makes one heck of a morning meal. It was still sprinkling rain outside, but we were determined to at least go look for things to shoot. Since I have never been hunting before, this is as close as I’d get. My undergraduate degree was in animal sciences, so I am well versed in the growth and harvest of animals for human consumption and am not at all sensitive about the subject; I apologize in advance if I offend any vegetarians out there, but it’s just the way things have to be if you want to try to live off the land and feed your body the nourishment it requires.
We wandered around the local forest area for almost two hours, I think, but without any luck. The only animal I saw was a tiny (well, normal-sized) chipmunk and some birds. We came back to the house to warm up a bit before moving on to other things.
After warming up a bit, the sun decided to come out and I thought I’d go outside and attempt to rinse off my bike. Poor Annie was covered in gunk, but it was fortunately easy to wash off. I took a few before and after pictures.
After cleaning my bike, Grandpa wanted to show me some of the toys in his garage. The main toy was a big tool to facilitate the homemaking of ammunition. He has all the supplies and just reuses the casings constantly. The tool in the following picture removes the primer from old casing, inserts a new primer into the casing, reshapes the casing to make sure it isn’t warped, prepares the casing for the lead projectile, the person then adds the appropriately measured gunpowder, and the tool securely installs the projectile into the top of the casing. The entire process can take less than a minute if you have already weighed out the gunpowder.
After seeing how the bullets were made, I had the idea of creating a necklace using a casing and projectile. Of course I didn’t add gunpowder and left the primer out to have a hold for the necklace chord. The necklace turned out to be very cool and it took us less than ten minutes to figure it all out. I have a picture of it at the end of this post.
After getting crafty, we decided it was time for a late lunch. We went down to a little restaurant in Idaho City called Donna’s placed and gorged ourselves on chili hamburgers and chili dogs. I picked up a few Idaho postcards and we ordered two heavenly milkshakes to take outside. Since the sun was finally out, it was nice to get to soak in it for a bit.
Our next stop was to the Idaho City Trading Post across the street. My grandpa says he buys quite a few great things at this shop and figured I’d enjoy it. I did. The store had many handmade crafts such as earrings, necklaces, hats, scarves, bracelets, woodcarvings, and more. I attempted to talk the shop owner into selling her beautiful earrings and necklaces on Etsy, like I do my dog collars; she said she’d look into it. I left there only buying a cute pair of silver owl earrings and a cool leather bracelet with a metal hibiscus flower pendant tied onto it.
Shortly after, we headed to the post office to pick up some more stamps, then it was back home for the evening. Well, almost. On our way back, grandpa thought it would be cool to take me up to the town’s pioneer cemetery. Supposedly, 3,000 people are buried there, though only about 300 graves are marked. Creepy!
It was amazing how old some of the graves were, yet they were in decent condition. After wandering around the cemetery for a bit, we decided to call it a day. Back at the house, grandpa was trying to figure out his muzzle-loader after having shot it this morning with one misfire and one successful shot. Apparently, these guns can be loaded and stored that way, but if they sit too long, the shot doesn’t work. It certainly is a laborious task to load one of these bad boys, a whole lot different than just throwing in a bullet or snapping in a magazine. I would explain the process, but I’m sure I would give you incorrect information. Just think about guns around the time of the civil war and how they had to reload and shoot them. That’s how this bad boy works.
I’m off to bed for the night, but I’ll add today’s adventures tomorrow with another round of photos. Tomorrow I’ll be heading home. I’m sure I’ll hit rain, but I’m positive it’s worth the effort. I’m very excited to have dinner with my parent’s and to get to see all the fuzzy animals again. I miss my kitty that lives with them and I’m sure their golden retriever puppy has tripled in size since he was twelve weeks old when I left and is now around eighteen weeks old.