4 weeks ago
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
After exhausting the aerodynamic rocks within reach of my feet, I set my wrist rocket down to enjoy the unseasonably warm Saturday afternoon unfuddled by boyish temptation.
Two hours earlier, Dan and I had set off on a quest to carpe diem despite having celebrated my 22nd birthday the night before. After deliberating between a trip to the coast and a local gun show, we opted for a more feral outing and headed due west towards the Belgrade lakes region of central Maine. I threw two wrist rockets into the back of our car and we set off. After a thirty minute hike under the canopy of fir trees, the foliage opened up exposing an easterly view of central Maine's lakes and rivers. For the next few hours we shot at trees with our wrist rockets, captured the season's first cosmic rays and watched the occasional jet on the final leg of its transatlantic journey.
Building on my countless hours spent struggling to make fire with pieces of wood in my back yard as a seven year old, I started shaping the piece of fir in my left hand into a spindle as part of a bow drill. A bow drill uses a friction to create a small coal.
After finalizing the spindle, I set out in search of the board and hand piece. Scavenging through the underbrush, I narrowly avoided two branches to the face and eventually settled on a dead fir branch and spent five minutes banging it against a pointy rock like one of those dudes from a Geico commercial. Next, I pulled out my red lace from my Danner boot and was off to the races. A half an hour of swearing, bloodied knuckles and frantic blows into a small nest of dried grass later, we finally got a flame.
The fruits of our labor.
Dan letting one rip.
As the sun sank towards the mountains we shot our last rocks off towards the distant lakes and headed back towards town and the promise of warm food. It was a good day.