Sunday, October 30, 2011

Trip to the Stirling Camp

Mary's brother George lives in North Carolina and every November he comes home to go deer hunting.

Mary's Dad's property is near Camp Chicken so we volunteered to take the 4-wheelers and load up some apples and sugar beets to take up to the Stirling hunting camp to put out for the deer. George doesn't get here until a day or two before the season starts so he doesn't get a chance to put out any bait for the deer.

We put the apples and beets in Arlene's little trailer and loaded up for our adventure.

When we take the 4-wheelers, Mary always had to hold Tiny, but Arlene came up with this idea for a "Tiny Carrier". She took an old camo back pack and turned it around so the backpack part was in the front. Then she took a bungee cord and attached it to the shoulder straps in the back to hold it in place. We put Tiny inside the bag so she was able to ride without Mary having to hold her.

Tiny actually really likes it. She is comfortable and warm and she can look around and see where we are going.

We headed out to make the trip to the Stirling camp. It is quite a ways away from Camp Chicken, probably at least two miles on two track roads. Part of the road goes through poplar swamp and it gets pretty muddy. The last mile is pretty rough. It was slow going with a fully loaded trailer and both Arlene and Mary on the 4-wheeler.

But we made it and didn't get lost once.

Mary spread out the apples and beets and we put the rest of the bags in the old horse barn for next weekend. Years ago, men would come up in this area and cut pulpwood. My grandfather, Elmer Rutledge, his brother Len, and his cousin, Hughie Leach and their families would live up in these woods and cut pulpwood for a penny a "stick". I think a "stick" was actually a poplar tree. They used horses to drag the "sticks" out of the woods and they kept them in small barns.

We spent some time looking around the hunting camp at the new deck and outhouse that had been added since our last trip up here.

I really liked this old thermometer that was hanging on the front of the cabin.

This sign hangs on the old horse barn welcoming guests to the Stirling camp.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Beautiful Weekend at Camp

Last weekend the forecast was for 75 degree temperatures and sunny weather so Arlene, Mary and I had a brainstorm. We would take off work at noon on Friday and go play golf and then go spend the weekend at camp.

It was quite a trick to get our clubs and everything else into the car but we managed it. We couldn't leave Tiny in the car as it was too hot so we took her golfing. Thank goodness Munoscong Golf Club is a very tolerant place and Tiny is a very good little dog.

We had a great time and then headed to camp.

Saturday was so beautiful and we were up early and went to town to get more corn for the deer and then back to camp to cut wood for Mom and Dad. There was a huge ironwood tree down near camp and since it makes great firewood we wanted to get it cut up.

It didn't really take too long to get the tree marked and cut up. Arlene marks the tree we are going to cut up so that the logs are uniform and stack easily and also so that they fit in Mom and Dad's stove.

We got the tree marked, cut up into lengths and loaded in the trailer. Then we took the big trailer down to Mom and Dad's and put the wood away in their woodshed.

After we got back, I took a few photos of the beautiful leaves around the camp clearing.

It was so nice out that we decided to take the 4-wheelers for a ride. When we got back to camp we had a nice surprise; Arlene's daughter Judi and grandson Anthony had come for a visit. We had a really nice dinner of grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.

Afterward, we built a nice fire and had coffee while we visited. We had another nice surprise when Mom came up for a visit also. It was a really beautiful evening with a full moon rising right at sunset. I took these photos around the campfire but they didn't turn out so well for some reason.

It was a perfect weekend at Camp Chicken.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Busy August.....

It has been a long time since I've written anything from the old Camp Chicken.

We have had a busy summer. Arlene is doing well with her knee replacement and my ribs have finally healed enough after four years to play golf again.

My brother Chris, his wife Judy and my nephew Ross were here for a visit in August for my parent's 60th Wedding Anniversary Party. Unfortunately, Chris had a flu bug for most of the time we were at camp. I didn't get a chance to even take any pictures.

Shortly after that, Arlene's grandson, Clifton, his wife Robin, and his children Savannah and Jack came for a visit and spent a couple of days at camp. Most of the rest of Arlene's family dropped in for the day also.

Chayse and his "GG" return from a walk.

Clif, Rob, Jack, Savannah and Madison enjoy breakfast at camp.

Jack, Madison, and Savannah eating S'mores around the campfire.

Little Courtney in her lawn chair.

Arlene had all of her great-grandchildren at camp at one time; Chayse, Madison, Courtney, Savannah and Jack.

Since that time, Arlene, Mary and I have been busy getting ready for deer season and cutting wood for Mom and Dad.

We put up the corn feeders at Arlene's hunting spot and at camp so that we can watch the deer. I wasn't gettin that much action at camp but they are eating Arlene out of "house and home" as my Gram used to say.

After a careful investigation of the deer cam photos, we finally figured out why.

If you look at the photo you can see that the deer have figured out how to turn their heads sideways and stick their noses in between the "varmint" cage and turn the spinner and dispense their own corn.

We laughed pretty hard when we saw these photos. No wonder she was going through 100 pounds of corn a week. The big ones knock the corn out of the feeder for themselves and the little ones.

I have been entertaining myself hunting those darn turkeys. I thought I was all set this year. Arlene's son-in-law, Dan lent me his turkey gun. He has it all tricked out with camo and a red dot sight. All I had to do, he said, was lay my cheek on the pad and put the red dot right on the turkey's head.

So, I am all ready when the turkeys come in. I put the red dot right on the big gobbler's head and pull the trigger...BANG and the turkey runs away. What the heck? Apparently, I either didn't know how to use the sight or something went wrong.

So I went and got the turkey target he gave me and tried to pattern the shotgun and I was way off. So I decided to go borrow a gun from my Dad. He has a nice 12-gauge, full choke. So I put a light load in it and shot at the turkey target and it patterned pretty nicely. Then I put in the 3-inch, turkey loads (#4) and pulled the trigger and almost blew my shoulder off. WOW!!! Did it kick.

Anyway, Sunday, I got another chance at those dastardly turkeys and somehow I missed again. I have no idea how or why. But, I'll keep trying.

I think this must be the turkey doing his "Victory Dance":