23 Jan 2006 Monday

Again, the traps are empty.  It looks like I won’t be skinning an animal on this trip.  They suggested if we found a fresh road kill animal I could pick it up for practice, but that picking up road kill required a permit in some states.  I’d be able to salt it to dry the hide and tan it later.  I was looking real hard at several of the squirrels that were playing nearby…

Don has a degree in horticulture and was quite knowledgeable on many of the local plants.  He came in with a load of fresh oyster mushrooms which we battered in cornmeal and fried for breakfast.  Colbert and Don brought out some topo maps and showed us several places we should look into in Idaho, Arizona and New Mexico. 

I went down to the river to wash up for the drive back to Atlanta and Colbert came through and got the motorboat and headed up to the other cabin.  When he got back, he had a critter for me to skin… a river rat!  It had made a nest in Colbert’s other cabin and he had set a trap for it a few days ago.  It was much smaller than an beaver or raccoon, but the skinning principles were the same.  I skinned it in a few minutes and whittled a chunk of firewood as a hide stretcher.  So I got to skin a critter after all!

Before we left, Colbert gave me some cypress knees. He sold a bunch of them to a buyer a few years ago.  The guy came and picked up a couple of orders of them, but never picked up the last order.  I’ll clean them up and polish them after we settle down somewhere.  We’re heading back to Atlanta for a bit of computer maintenance and to get together with some friends.  We have some things we need to pick up to take to Colorado and a few things to drop off in Birmingham on the way.  We’ve had pretty good weather up until we head into Atlanta when we hit a cold winter rain.

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