This past winter, I decided to try something new!
Every year for the past couple decades, near the town of Maricopa, Az. Is a gathering of like minded souls who are interested in learning living skills that some would consider “Primitive” That gathering is called Wintercount.
After talking it over with a couple friends in prior years, I decided to bite the bullet and spend the cash to attend.. I am so very glad that I did! The people there were folks that I clicked with and in no time made some good friends that I think will last for years. And I had never been in a place where everyone was as weird as I am <grin>
Every day of the event, there were classes being presented that you could sign up for, some were quite limited in size, so those would fill up quickly, but you could learn anything from making fire, to making Mead and Wines. Basket weaving, to making Buckskin, Making bows to making bowls <grin> I believe I heard them say on the opening meeting that there were 80 classes a day going on, No way could you do it all in one years event.
I had always wanted to learn how to tan hides, so I took a 3 day class in making buckskin. the hide was provided, as were all the tools and equipment. It was a lot harder than I had thought, and I was very glad to have an instructor there rather than just attempting it myself, there is no way I would have done a good job without his insights and coaching. 8 of us were in the class and for 3 days we worked at least 7 hours a day at the hides (that long because we were all newbies), at the end of that time, I have a beautiful brain tanned hide, well worth the 40$.
I also took a class on making an Atlatl and learned how to use it.. it’s now become one of my regular toys when I take walks, to practice throwing as I go.
I made a leather knife sheath for one of my blades, and practiced my archery skills with the targets that were set up in the area..
By the end of the week, I was feeling the need for solitude again, so I didn’t stay as active with things going on toward the end, but I will be back! haven't yet signed up for 2014, but I intend to!