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January 1998





March 1998


July 1998

Joan and I are producing this issue of SPALLS to help Joe Greenwell with his busy schedule, and emergency.  Joe’s mother had a heart attack so Joe went to Indiana to help relief the situation.  At this time, Joe doesn’t know her condition but he will have some updates as soon as he knows what it is.   Hope your mother gets better soon.  Joe, our prayers are with you.

Billets to Bows, Spalls to Blades, Saturday / Sunday August 15 & 16

Come to the Flint Tipped Archers' range in Enumclaw. The Flint Tipped Archers are eager to meet us.  And I'm sure we want to meet them, I do anyway.  I think I heard Dave Rauschenberg say they have a wonderful range which we are invited to use and enjoy, or words to that effect.  Saturday evening the Flint Tipped Archers are roasting a pig, half a 400 pound feral critter shot by a 16 year old girl!  Guess the other half has already been tasted and judged to be gourmet quality.  We may be asked by Dave to pitch in $ for lots of charcoal to roast the pig.  One such roast took 20 bags!  It will be a "Pot Luck", bring anything to add to the table.  There is plenty of room, camping space for trailers and tents, a kitchen, power for tools like band saws, etc.  There are restroom facilities but guess there are no showers.  Oh well, guess we can put up with a little natural aroma, we survived the Buttes and Davis Creek okay.  Saturday will be open to the world, Dave had even thought maybe he'd put a notice in some of the local newspapers; but I think he has decided against that much publicity.

To get to the range, go through Enumclaw Washington on highway 410 toward the mountains.  Just out of town, maybe a half mile you'll see their sign on the left of the road.  I think Dave intends to add some knapping signs to the existing sign.  Bring your bowyer's tools, favorite staves, rock, knapping gear; archery equipment, etc.


Expect:  Archery shooting, bow making, knapping, arrow making, information sharing, story swapping, eating, etc.  

There is strong talk that Joe Higgins will bring his band saw to the event.  Call Dave for more information: (360) 825-3117.  Please let him know if you are going.

Medicine Creek Knap-In, September 5, 6 and  7

The next event after Dave's bow making session will be Eagle Beak Ken Calvert's Medicine Creek Knap-In in the forest north of Cle Elum, WA.  It will be over the three-day weekend at the beginning of September (5th, 6th, & 7th).  This year the location will be moved a mile or two.  To get there take Hwy 97 to Mineral Springs restaurant and resort; that's north of Cle Elum 10 or 20 miles.  A short distance north of Mineral Springs (1/4 to 1/2  mile?) turn left onto a forest service road.  If the gate is open, in a short distance turn left again into the campgrounds.  If that gate is still closed, go past the cabin and turn right onto the next road (the one that goes to the traditional Medicine Creek location).  Look for signs in a mile or two.  The campground will be on the left.  Call Eagle Beak 2 Chicken for more information, (509) 762-2454.

Coyote Hills Knap-In and Atlatl Competition, October 3 and 4

Weekend of knapping, fire making, string making, etc.  Atlatl competition on Saturday.   Camping available for demonstrators.  Sunday in conjunction with the Gathering of Ohlonean Peoples.  No Fee to knappers.  Call Norm Kidder for more information, (510) 862-2600.

Miller Sylvania Knap-In, November 7

Get ready for Thanksgiving by attending the November 7, Miller Sylvania Knap-In south of Olympia, WA.  Last year Holly Hill arranged a pre Thanksgiving pot-luck feast; I think Holly provided most of the feast.  Miller Sylvania is a Washington State Park and we can knap in a picnic shelter complete with fireplace and a kitchen.  Call Mick and Holly for directions. (360) 357-9506 or (360) 493-8439.  Please let them know if you are going.

Rabbitstick Primitive Skills Conference, September 13 through 19

Classes for all sorts of primitive skills.  Call or write for full catalog of events. (800)-335-7404.

Quartzite, Arizona Knap-In, January 1 through February 28

This is the longest Knap-In in the United States, maybe the world.  Hosted by Nine Fingers and Mary Webster.  For more information, call John Prutch at (520) 927-5937.

Need Inputs from the PSK Members

People are starting to talk about next year's events!  Hey how is that for being eager?  How are we going to schedule everything?  Some people haven't been able to go to Glass Buttes the last couple years due to family / graduation duties.  Suggestions have been made to have it a little earlier.

 What about Davis Creek?  Then there's the Richardsons' Ranch Independence day Knap-In and the Calverts' glass buttes get together over the 4th of July. 

Hmmmn.  Things get complicated to schedule.  Got any ideas?  Need your feedback!!!!  Joe Greenwell

Comments on the California Knap-In

Oh.  We had a small get together with maybe 15 knappers Saturday, July 13.  It was great!   People are really doing great work and we have a great group of people!  Anyway, the California Knap-In was mentioned several times.  Each time there was a pleasant smile and a relaxed voice extolling one of the area's virtues, including but not limited to:  "The rock is better than Mexican."; "You don't even have to dig!  You can go to the needles and ask, You want this BIG chunk of rock?";  "The camp ground alone was worth the trip!";  "It is a beautiful area.";  "It is more civilized than The Buttes";  etc.  

Thanks again Julie, Joan, Bruce and Rich, for making it happen.  Joe Greenwell 


There were a noticeable decline in participation this year.  Perhaps it was the threat of the unpredictable el nino weather, or perhaps family/graduating events took precedence.  Maybe this event schedule should be changed to an earlier, or, later date.  There were about 20 PSK members at this event.

Joan and I arrived at the front gate of Glass Buttes early Thursday morning.  The sun was shining and it was a beautiful morning, except the road was still muddy from several days of rain.  The road looked passable with a four-wheel drive so I started in.  After about 200 yards of pulling, (I had my new 20-ft travel trailer with me) the wheels were turning but the truck stopped moving.  The tires were built up with mud and there ain’t no traction with mud-on-mud.  I reversed a few feet, cleaned the tires on the truck and the trailer, shoveled a groove to try to get out of the ruts, and tried again.  We got about a 100 yards further and had to repeat the procedure.  After three tries, we go through and made it to the PSK wash.

Harvey Hughett and his family were already there and he had his truck bed half full with obsidian.  I left the travel trailer at the wide space at the entrance of the wash and went to start collecting midnight lace.  There is a new pit located about 100 feet below the existing midnight lace and lizard skin pits.  I dug in the new pit and collected about 600 pounds of midnight lace.  

By the time I returned to camp, several more PSK members arrived, including Jerry Swiney, Dave Rauschenberg and (two fish researchers in the red truck).  People were coming at all hours of the day and night.  Bruce Goulette and Julie Meadows arrived in the wee hours of the morning but were ready to go digging early Friday morning.  We decided to go to the Pumpkin site via the back side of Little Glass Buttes.  We were concerned that the road up Mahogany Hill might still be wet enough under the surface to start sliding.   We don’t want to start sliding on that Hill!!  

The deep 11 to 12 feet pit was filled to about a 2-foot depression.  Someone took a long time to fill that pit.  We started digging toward the western edge of the pit and after several hours, got enough material to satisfy the four diggers.  To divide the material, Jerry suggested that we first pull straws to see who has first pick.  Then start choosing the rocks in sequence and rotating until all of the material is accounted for.  This way it’s random and fair for everyone.  No hard feelings later.  Maybe we should all adopt this procedure when sharing a hole.  During all of the digging, Joan and Julie either were taking pictures or doing needlework or knitting, and of course talking.  It sounded like 5 people were there talking, all at once – but only two physical bodies.  After loading, we returned and BSed the rest of the afternoon.

More people showed up Friday night and Saturday morning.  I’m sorry people, I didn’t meet all of you.  There were several children/teenagers at this gathering and Joe Greenwell chauffeured them to different digging holes and generally showed them the sites of Glass Buttes all day Saturday.  I’m sure that everyone enjoyed and appreciated Joe’s efforts.  Thanks Joe.

On Saturday morning, Bruce Goulette, Julie Meadows, Scott Blackman, Dennis Burkholder, Jerry Swiney, Dave Raushenberg, Rich and Joan Urata went up to the midnight lace and lizard skin pits.  Julie showed the men up by digging a 90-pound lizard skin boulder.  The men dug up smaller 10 to 40 pound pieces.

After several hours Mike Pickett showed up and started digging the lower midnight lace pit.  At times Jerry and Dave was helping in supervising and sometimes digging.  Mike ended up with a bunch of larger 50 to 100 pound boulders for his effort. 

 We all returned and BSed after dinner while enjoying the fire.  BS was flying all over the place.  An example: Dave stated that he could, with an arrow, shoot an asprin, while in flight, at a distance of about 10 yards.  WOW!!!!  And, not only once, he said that he would bet that he can do it 5 times out of 10!!!  DOUBLE WOW!!!!  Now, we all believe that Dave can do this.  We just wanted to see him do it!!.  He said he would but he couldn’t at this time because he needed his arrows for an upcoming match at Recall, Idaho, the weekend after the California Knap-In.  I am sure that this subject will surface again at Dave’s Bow making event in August.

Web Hammond and Richard showed up Saturday afternoon and cooked some bobcat and beaver shih-ka-bob for Saturday night dinner.  He said he had some termites for desert.  We missed the termites.

People started packing up and were preparing to leave on Sunday.  The diehards went back to the midnight lace pit and dug for more material.  The lower pit is a good producer.  Boulders that would tax a 24-inch saw are in abundance.

  Everyone got their fill and the remaining members relaxed until Tuesday then went their separate ways to again meet in Davis Creek.  Joe Greenwell and Dennis went via Bend and Klamath Falls to go to the Favelle Museum.  Joan and I went to Lakeview and spent the night at an RV park to refresh our trailer.  Bruce and Julie went all the way home to Redway, Ca to unload their cache.  Jerry and Dave collected at the Riley site and camped at the dacite site.  Rich Urata


Nine PSK members (Scott Blackman, Dennis Burkholder, Joe Greenwell, Gerry Swiney, Dave Rauschenberg, Bruce Goulette, Julie Meadows, and Rich & Joan Urata) continued their flintknapping activities, instead of going back to #$@* (that four letter word that starts with ‘w’ and ends with ‘k’).  Ahh yes, life begins at retirement!!!  Bruce and Julie drove all the way home (Redway, Ca,), about an 11 hour drive one-way, to unload the Glass Buttes obsidian before going to Davis Creek.

We all met at the Plum Valley Camp Ground on Thursday.  This campground is situated among 100-foot pine trees and all of the sites are under 80 percent shade throughout the day.  A stream with 40.5 degree F (Joe Greenwell checked the temperature with his space-age thermometer) water runs adjacent to the campground.  This campground is perfect for family groups.

On Thursday afternoon we all went to the ‘Needles’ site after the usual visiting.  There were 5 to 10-inch size obsidian all over the place.  No digging was necessary.  Just pick them up, reduce them, and load them into the buckets.  The quality is excellent and the color and texture are unique.  The aggregate texture looks like sliced concrete.  But unlike the ‘lizard skin’ of Glass Buttes, the flakes are smooth as it crosses the ‘aggregate’ boundaries.  There were also pieces of mahogany with smoky-clear areas that had some rainbow colors in them.  You cannot find this type of material at Glass Buttes.  Everyone left the site satisfied.

  When we got back to camp, Joan Urata put on a shoyu chicken dinner with rice, potato salad, and vegetable salad.  Ice cream, Julie’s chocolate cake and an apricot pie were served for desert while sitting by the fire.  We all really enjoyed the pie due to the crying and whining that Dave said he went through in order to obtain this pie.  I think he stole it myself.  According to Dave and Gerry, this was the only pie in Lakeview, Oregon.  Julie’s cake was great but she made so much that we couldn’t eat all of it in one night.

On Friday, the nine of us plus Bill Wells, his grandson Justin, and Don Tompkins headed to the Royal Purple Mine.  On the way to this site, we stopped and collected some dacite.  Most of the dacite were surface finds but digging within one foot brought up some pieces up to 8-inches.  This dacite color is light gray with good quality.  We then drove to the Royal Purple Mine where the ‘electric blue’ obsidian is found.  As soon as we got there people selected different holes and started digging.  Everyone found good materials from 5-inch pieces to 2-foot boulders.  Julie Meadows found the two largest colored boulders of the group, one with green fluorescent sheen and the other with blue fluorescent sheen (electric blue).  That women puts all us men to shame!!  All materials in this site should be checked for color.  Boulders next to each other may be a different color, rainbow, or no color at all.  After digging for about 4 hours, the group was about to call it a day when Joe and Joe Jr. Higgins, and David Harry showed up.  Joe brought his son for some digging power.  They started in the large hole that Julie found the two large boulders.  Greenwell and I worked on one hole and pulled out an oblong boulder weighing about 100 to 150 pounds.  It looked like it had blue in it.

After several hours of digging, we noticed that Gerry and Dave didn’t come to the Royal Purple Mine.  We later found out that they went to the Rainbow site but by their description, they missed the site by about 300 yards.

We left the Higgins duo and Harry and returned to camp just in time to go to the Davis Creek Mercantile for their Friday evening BBQ.  For $7.50, we had a choice of beef ribs, pork ribs, chicken, or a combination of all three, baked beans, vegetable salad and garlic bread.  Everyone went away full and satisfied.  Only Gerry and Dave were annoyed because the chef missed their order and they had to wait for about an hour.  Come on guys, the volume of tall stories took all of that hour up.

Later that night, we had desert consisting of Julie’s remaining cake and ice cream while sitting by the fire.

Many members started showing up Friday evening and by Saturday, we had 26 people camping there with about 20 knappers.  Other knappers showed up during the day but stayed in hotels in either Lake View, OR or Alturas, CA.

On Saturday morning, the Higgins, Dave, Gerry, Joan and I wanted to return to the Royal Purple Mine and some new arrivals, Monty Boyd, Emilio Lanier and his son Maxwell, Dino Labiste, Mitch Kapellas, and Rex Watson were also interested so we all left for the mine.  Mitch and the Higgins started in the hole that produced the two large boulders for Julie.  The others dug in other holes that produced colorful boulders.  Joan took some pictures and we returned to camp early, leaving everyone else digging.

Later that evening, stories were floating around that Mitch found two colored boulders in the 200 to 300 pound range.  Are these ‘fish stories’ or are they real?  We didn’t see the boulders.  The boulders were not brought to the campground.  They left it with a person who had a 36-inch saw and planned to share the rock with him if he sawed the boulders.  The Higgins were involved in digging the boulders so the next time you see Joe (either one), ask them for the details.

Everyone had their separate dinners but not forgetting desert, we had ice cream and Joan’s cherry cheesecake for desert while enjoying the nightly fire.

We decided to go to the ‘Rainbow’ site on Sunday.  There were lots of smaller 3 to 6-inch pieces of brilliant colored obsidian.  Not being outdone, Julie again found the largest rainbow colored boulder.  I was about an 80 pounder.  Everyone there was happy with the colors of obsidian they were finding.  After Julie and Bruce got their limit of obsidian (vehicle capacity), I continued digging in the hole.  I found a large boulder that had a lot of layer marks in it indicating a good rainbow candidate.  Everyone left except Greenwell, Bruce, Julie and me. We dug until a thunderstorm approached with lighting and thunder, hail, and heavy rains.  We gave up digging when we were pelted with hail. Then 5 minutes later, it started pouring. Worried about the mud on the road, we left in a hurry.

By Sunday evening most of the people left the campground, although there were still some diehards that didn’t leave until Tuesday morning.  All of the people got their share of obsidian and I think were happy to be at this event.  Let’s plan on this event for next year, same time (the weekend following the Glass Buttes Gathering), same place.  Rich & Joan Urata


Joan and I arrived on Thursday morning after going to Glass Buttes for some Midnight Lace.  The temperature was in the low 80’s with the potential of thunderstorms.  

The regulars, Jim Hopper and Steve Behrnes, were there.  There were people from Texas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, lots from California, Washington and Oregon.  Among the better knappers were Jim Hopper, Steve Behrnes, Steve Allely, Dan Stueber and Larry Schumacher.

Jim Hopper made several bifaces from jasper and obsidian slabs with width to thickness ratios of about 9 to 1.  Behrnes and Hopper made some ‘bopper’ points which sold quickly.  Allely made some biface and some gunther points which also sold quickly.

PSK members who attended were Bruce Goulette and Julie Meadows, Rich and Joan Urata, Bob and Joe Wimberley, Scott Blackman and Mick and Holly Hill and family.  Holly and the family arrived on Thursday and Mick followed and finally arrived, by greyhound bus, Friday night.  Holly picked him up in Madras.  Some people will do anything to go to a Knap-In!!!  Apparently, Mick’s car stopped running on the way to the knap-in. so he dropped it off at a garage and continued the trip via greyhound bus.

None of the PSK members went rock digging for flintknapping materials.  The Hills went and dug some thunder eggs that they had cut and polished by the Ranch.  We went for the fun of getting together with old acquaintances and to learn from the better knappers.

There was plenty to learn as the better knappers were willing to answer questions and to demonstrate their skills.

The pot luck was a great success and the food, as always, was fantastic.  The roast beef that the ranch provided was super tender.  There were no excuses for not being full since there was plenty of left over food, including the roasts.

After the great meal, the knappers were entertained by Steve Allely and Dan Stueber as they played their celtic drums and flutes and by Suzie Allely doing some river dancing.  The entertainment was really good.  Do it again next year! I’ll be waiting.

There was talk that they will try to expose more material in the spring of next year in time for the knap-in.  Let’s hope this happens.  Then we can enjoy the knap-in and collect some prime materials.  Rich & Joan Urata

For Your Information – And Possible Action By You

From time to time there will be a write-up to inform us of what’s going on in the world that could greatly affect us.  This leans toward the political side, and I hate politics mixed with our fun-type stuff.  Again, this is only to inform us.  If we want to, we, as individuals, can pursue it.

Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project

There is a ‘conservation’ program in the process of being created to control the Columbia Basin.  It is called the ‘Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project’ (ICBEM).  This program will control all of the Columbia River Basin and all of its tributaries.  This is a large area which consists of parts of the Federal lands (Forestry, BLM, Dept of Agriculture, etc) in most of the Northwest states – Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.

The bottom line is that their agenda is to close as much of the land from public access.  They want to take the lands back to where they were in early times – before man.  The powers-to-be proposed a seven option plan.  Option 1 being the present existing management plan and option 6 being the most restrictive.  They proposed to implement option 4 which is the middle-of-the-road option.  This option proposes to close more than 50% of the present dirt-road system in the forest.  

Our interests of hunting, gathering rocks, just enjoying the forests will be greatly affected by this management policy.  Get Informed, call their office and request the information on this project.  The number is (509) 522-4030.  Ask them for the whole set of books.  There will be one summary book in the set.  Also ask them to put your name on the list for future updates.  All it costs you is the phone call.  The books are free.  The comment taking phase has passed but we should be aware of what they are doing.  Rich Urata

UNESCO (NATO) Control of about 47 of Our National Parks

Did you know that about 47 of our, yours and mine, National Parks are under management control of UNESCO, under the Biosphere Reserve Program?  UNESCO (NATO) now controls the policies of our national parks, er, I mean International Biospheres.  Some of the former National Parks close to us are: Big Bend National Park, California Coast Ranges Biosphere Reserve, Yellowstone National Park, Olympic National Park. Mojave and Colorado Deserts Biosphere Reserve, Glacier National Park, Cascade Head Expt. Forest and Scenic Research Area, etc.  Rich Urata

Miscellaneous Information

Harvey Hughett on Don Crabtree

Harvey is trying to obtain access to Don Crabtree’s work.  If he can get this access, would you be interested in looking at the points that Crabtree made?  Let Harvey know so he has an idea of the number of people interested in seeing the points. Call Harvey for more details: (208) 882-6897 Home, (208) 885-7880 Office, e-mail:  HYPERLINK mailto:hughett@uidaho.edu hughett@uidaho.edu.

Targets by Arrowman

Arrowman thinks he can get 100 lb plastic grain sacks complements of the Ferndale feed mill.  He is going to use them to make 3D animal archery targets.  His goal is to design them and make them up for PSK people at no cost.  Please bring a bunch of the targets to the Dave bow making event in August.

Missouri Burlington and Novaculite

Mike Pickett and Phil Hillerman are discussing getting a load of Missouri rock delivered out here.  Phil now lives in Missouri and is planning a visit to our area later this year.  Mike was speculating it would probably cost $2 or $2.50 a pound for selected Burlington chert and novaculite.  If you are interested to get some, call Phil at (417) 826-5101 or e-mail him at:  wbmaster@mo-net.com,  Mike Picket is at (360)659-2518.

Bowyer’s Benches/Shaving Horses

Gerry Swiney and his brother made some ‘bow maker’s benches’.  I don’t know whether they are interested in making a bunch to sell, but if you are interested, you could check with Gerry.  Oh, Dan Street made one from plans from a magazine, my memory says it was Primitive Archer, maybe last July,  If you are interested, give me a call and I’ll look it up.

Web Page for PSK??

Several people have suggested a ‘web site’ for PSK and Spalls.  I haven’t taken the time to learn how to do that.  What about anyone else?  Could one or more of you create and maintain a web site for us?  Phil Hillerman said they’d consider adding PSK to the Knapper’s Corner site.  How do you feel about that?  I am not sure I know the pros and cons.  I need some responses.  Call me with your comments.  Suggestions and or solutions will help.

SPALLS - Rich Urata

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