2nd Annual Legends and Legacies Knap-in Report
This was the first time my wife, Beverly, and I attended a PSK Knap-in in Canada and it won’t be the last! We hooked up with Jim Miller and left for Canada on July 13th, with Jim following us with his Jeep and Teardrop trailer. The first stop was at Blain Kuykendall’s place near Careywood, ID. We spent the night and got a real appreciation for the next major knap-in site that Blain is working on.
The following morning we set out for Barry and Karen Rogers home in Canmore, Alberta. Our route took us up along the eastern side of British Columbia along the west slope of the Canadian Rockies, across the Rockies, through historic and scenic Banff, and then to Canmore, just 6 miles (10 kilometer) east of Banff.
To say the trip to this point was ‘scenic’ would be a gross understatement – the Canadian Rockies are SPECTACULAR! Wildlife was abundant – we sat Bighorn sheep, elk, deer, turkeys, grouse, and various small game and birds.
The Rogers were terrific hosts and we set out in a caravan the next morning to Rocky Mountain House Historic Site for the Knap-in. More spectacular scenery and an equally spectacular rain storm!
The knap-in turned out to be blast – in spite of daily rain. The Rocky Mountain National Heritage Site was the furthest west and the last outpost of the Hudson’s Bay Company (1868 -1875). The fur traders called it Rocky Mountain House. The Heritage site is now a part and interpretive center and they help support events like the Legends and Legacies Knap-in. The knap-in in turn draws a fairly large number of visitors and wannabe knappers. They even provided a large open tent for the knappers.
During the three days of the knap-in there was an almost continual stream of visitors that came to see the knappers in action and try their hand at the ancient art.
There were three ‘formal’ instructional sessions where groups of young people spent a half day learning to flintknap. I was lucky enough to get to spend much of my time teaching these young people who were high motivated and very interested. One group of about a dozen ‘homeschoolers’ were particularly attentive and every one of them left with an arrowhead of their own making!
As with all PSK knap-in there was lots of time for socializing. Donn Paris entertained us in the evening with his guitar playing and singing. A very talented young lady named Jen played the violin – Irish jigs, polkas and such, much to the enjoyment of the campfire group. We even got host/singer/songwriter Russell Thornberry to play a couple of his songs – a remarkable talent to say the least! And lest I forget, George Bryce and Jim Keffer both made some noises with their didgeridoos (and both need more practice!).
We enjoyed a great potluck dinner with an entrée of Russell’s Texas chili (I assume it was Texas chili as Russell is originally from Texas and it tasted like Texas chili to me ;-).
We had another great 2” Goat competition - won by a noobie no less! And the auction was deemed as very successful – there were quite a few fine items offered that did very well.
The combination of a great location, great host and great people lead me believe that this knap-in will continue as a great knap-in as long as there is someone to host it. My wife and I certainly look forward to attending in the future! It was GREAT!