I'll add my gathering pictures to the pile. There aren't very many as I have bad camera discipline and often put it down and wander away from it. And of course, I am not as skilled a photographer as some others who were present.
I arrived Thursday evening after a 12 hour drive. I made it just after dark, met those who had already arrived, and set up my hammock and tarp.
On Friday, we ventured down to the shop.
Many blade of various types can be found in Ehan's shop.
Some are rare models that are no longer in production.
Some are prototypes that never made it to production.
And some show the history behind the knives we know well.
Ethan was gracious and trusting enough to let us run free through his shop, handle his knives, and use with his equipment.
Some traps were set outside, presumably for those who were hogging the belt sander.
Ethan issued choppers to several of us, and invited us to try them out on some willow that needed cutting. Ethan is no fool. BeckerHeads are cheap labor.
I was issued a machax, and it performed admirably.
Ark got to try a patrol machete.
Ethan cooked a great dinner for us...
Pork loin stew, which I promptly ate without taking pictures.
I did get to try out the new kitchen knives.
While I was helping Ethan with the cooking, Vic and Pointy had the forge going.
Saturday morning came.
Again we went down to the shop. A few of us went down ahead of the others, and I used that time to check out this blade from the Average Iowa Forge.
Ethan liked it too.
When everyone was congregated in the shop, AverageIowaGuy spoke to us about his adventures and gave a fascinating talk about outdoors medicine. He is very knowledgeable in the medical field and an experienced outdoorsman with a practical, no nonsense philosophy on wound care, though he seems to have a strange obsession with Vaseline.
We also had a discussion about EDC, in which Ethan revealed that his secret survival tool was Jeff Randall's phone number.
Ethan demonstrated the chopping ability of an interesting Japanese blade.
And some more chopping and rope cutting took place until it was time to go back up to camp and prepare the chilli for supper.
Sunday morning came with cool temperatures and plenty of rain. Wanting to get a good start on my 12 hour drive, I packed up in the rain, said my goodbyes, and got on the road.
As has already been said, the gathering was a great time. Ethan is a fine host and took very good care of us all. I am glad to have met everyone that was there, and I hope to get back to Half Moon Ridge any time I am able.