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Courtesy of Brad Baughman

The 2012 Illahee Flats Knap-in got off to a very rocky start due to the US Forest Service trying to deny the special use permit.  Their archeologist has declared that the knap-in was an inappropriate activity for Illahee Flats and that we might contaminate the archeological evidence.  After some heated phone calls, the permit officer, Jamie Pardo, finally did issue the permit but stated that it would be the last one issued.

When we got there on Friday the rain had just let up and the weather got better each day.  Bright sunshine, light breezes, warm nights and beautiful moons were the order of business.  The rain returned Sunday afternoon just as we were all leaving…. exactly as we had placed the order for!

The original load of Dacite delivered by Brad Baughman (from the annual dig while at the Glass Buttes knap-in), was almost gone by the end of the day Monday.  A trip to Dan Lusby’s rock pile in Sutherlin provided more rock, then an unexpected supply of obsidian came in two loads from Jeff Eggelston and Bill Caldwell, delivered on Wednesday and Thursday by Jeff.  Another load came from Ron Davis from his stash in Terrabonne.  Not counting all of the spalls that were hauled off by knappers and visitors, there were still four full garbage cans to be hauled off at the end!

Huge thanks to Dan Lusby and family for all the work done at the knap-in.  He provided the Porta-Potties and the garbage service as well.  His ‘tribe’ did the hands and knees policing of the knapping area for every tiny flake that could be picked up! If the USFS Archeologist can find any evidence that we were there she will have to work at it!

The order of business was community meals… some from unexpected sources. Christine Cottrell (Brad’s sister) came up from Glide and fixed Paella and Dennis black’s wife Mau brought up some of her special Thai dishes. Camp cooks served up salmon, spaghetti, chicken and rice jumbo, chicken and noodles and antelope stew.

Regulars were Stu Murdock, Emory Coons, Bob Popp, henry Payne, Bill Hart, Tim Goyogana, Bill Black, Jim Smith, Ron Davis, Dan Lusby, Dan Metz, Dan Bowden, Jim hopper and Brad Baughman.

The regulars were kept very busy teaching new knappers, many who left with their first points proudly in their hands. There were lots of young kids and at one point 25-30 were all playing in the meadow at once. Most of them spent considerable time on the tarps as well. It is great to see the progression of their skills from year to year. Some who made their first points at the first knap-in are now very skilled knappers.

Other skills demonstrated were Mariah Lusby with her fabulous cedar bark cordage and Glen Baughman bisque and pit firing pottery. Drumming from the Lusby clan and flute playing from Aaron Davis helped to set the mood for the evening campfires. The coyotes picked up where the people left off.

The local wildlife played a big role as usual. The elk paid nightly visits to the meadow. The deer and coyotes put in the occasional visits and the wild turkeys were always close by. Some of the group took the opportunity to spend time hunting the last few days of bear and turkey season. Two turkeys we were harvested and the feathers and bones went to use for whistles and fletching as well as furnishing campfire roasted meat. The bears were more elusive, with lots of sign but no sightings. Cougar tracks were also seen.

The 2012 Illahee Flats knap-in was a huge success and a great time was had by all. Here is hoping that we will be allowed to have it again next year!



Photos courtesy of Jim Smith


Host Brad Baughman (red pants) and Ron Davis (foreground)

                                                                           Bob Popp




Windsong making cedar bark cordage

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