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View Full Version : Cross-Country Trip to Off Beat Forge



Eli Gautreaux
11-03-2009, 07:18 AM
We've always wanted to do a cross-country road trip, family vacation style. So when Ray invited us to come to Oregon, it seemed like a good time to do it. We left east Texas on Friday and arrived at the Grand Canyon for a beautiful sunrise Sunday morning:


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/GrandCanyon.jpg


Funny, we woke up to 23 degrees in Williams AZ, then landed in Zuma AZ, where it was 91 yesterday!

We have to be in San Diego for a few days for a job-related event, then it's time to head north. I'll throw up a few pictures along the way Ray, so you can prepare for the invasion ---- here we come :D

Raymond Richard
11-03-2009, 09:16 AM
Eli, Don't get to used to San Diego. I've heard of people going there and never leaving. Great picture of the Grand Canyon and your family! Are those your 3 daughters?

stabber
11-03-2009, 09:49 AM
:haha:

Cool Pic!! Safe trip buddy!!
Are those your 3 daughters?

Eli Gautreaux
11-04-2009, 02:32 PM
A little hazy today in San Diego, but we're loving the beach:

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/SanDiego.jpg

Raymond Richard
11-04-2009, 05:19 PM
Eli, I don't remember any beaches in San Diego being sunny in November. I lived about 10 miles inland. I can remember leaving for the beach and get within a mile and its all foggy and pretty cool. It would be 80 degrees where I lived. Not real sure which beach your on but do think I recognize the pier. I'll guess your just south of Crystal Pier on the northern part of Mission Beach.

Stuart Willis
11-04-2009, 05:46 PM
Wow Eli that looks like fun. I have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon myself. Maybe one day me and my women folk can do a cross country.

Eli Gautreaux
11-06-2009, 08:14 PM
Wow Eli that looks like fun. I have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon myself. Maybe one day me and my women folk can do a cross country.


We're having a blast, I think you'd love it.


Made it through the hills of California today, over to the coast at Mendocino:


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/CaliforniaMountains.jpg


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/Mendocino2.jpg


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/Mendocino.jpg




State Highway 20 from I-5 at Williams, over to Fort Bragg / Mendocino was spectacular, honestly just overwhelmingly beautiful. We're having a ball!



Gonna sleep good tonight after an all-nighter last night

stabber
11-07-2009, 12:14 AM
Keep On Truckin Buddy!!!2thumbs

Eli Gautreaux
11-07-2009, 08:27 PM
Keep On Truckin Buddy!!!2thumbs


Boy we are... Crossed the 3k mileage mark today.

We made it just about to the tip of the California coastline. We're staying in a nice little RV park in Klamath with lots of things for the kids to do (me too). Saw the redwoods today and that was amazing. Unfortunately these pics jus don't do them justice:


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/KatieKoryRedwoods.jpg



Here's one of me and my wife, she looks pretty good after 3,000 miles :D This was immediately before the waves rushed from behind, swept up to our knees in the matter of seconds. The girls were playing behind us and ended up chest deep, and almost swept off their feet with the back surge. It was actually pretty alarming for about 5-10 seconds until everyone was accounted for, then we all got a good laugh. The only casualty was a digital camera that needed replacing anyway.


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/EliMaryNorthernCalifornia.jpg


Good times

ddavelarsen
11-08-2009, 06:49 AM
That's an exciting story Eli! Dang man, I'm glad everyone came through that okay. Kind of freaked me out. Whew.

Man those redwoods are awesome. I've only ever been near them once, and your photo brought it all back for me. Breathtaking. Two of my favorite authors appreciated them in words perfectly, enough to make me want to stand among them, and when I had the chance I did. Henry Miller and Richard Brautigan. That picture gave me all kinds of good memories. You're having a great trip and it's an honor to be included. ride safe

stabber
11-08-2009, 08:38 AM
Nice pics Eli2thumbs

The wife looks good after 3000 mi but you..........:D

"Are we there yet?" :running dog::bud:

Raymond Richard
11-08-2009, 10:29 AM
Eli, Did I tell you to keep an eye on your fingers and toes. They will tell you when you start getting close to Oregon. The skin starts to look like its growing together. Kinda like a frog or a duck. You'll probably start growing some moss and mold. Check behind the girls ears. That's the first place it will show up. I sure hope you brought rain gear.

Beware of sneaker waves and if there are old driftwood trees close to the water stay away from them. The sneaker waves can reach them and they will move pretty easy. My friend Bruce almost lost a daughter several years ago. She was standing on one of the old trees and before she knew it a wave had hit it and she found herself caught underneath. Pretty easy to drown with one of those trees on top of you if it don't crush you to death first.

I've got a job for you when you get here. You'll be helping me pick up the shop. It do need it.

Be safe!

stabber
11-10-2009, 07:40 PM
"Are we there yet?":bud:

Eli Gautreaux
11-10-2009, 09:19 PM
We're here :D



In Gresham OR, having fun with Ray ----- poor Ray lives in such a tough place:


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/IMG_0484.jpg




Mt Hood off in the distance:

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/IMG_0486-1.jpg




Ray giving me some instruction in the shop:


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/IMG_0490-1.jpg



Ray's absolutely incredible with a hammer, he's able to finish shape a blade using only forging, so much fun to watch. He's also a patient teacher as I'm not terribly good with the whole eye-hand coordination thing, but I'm coming along :D

stabber
11-10-2009, 09:33 PM
:eek: Wow!! What a beautiful view!!! I'll be right over:D

Right to the Forge Eli, That's what I'm talkin about!!!2thumbs

Em...Where's your Eye protection?

Eli Gautreaux
11-10-2009, 09:46 PM
:eek: Wow!! What a beautiful view!!! I'll be right over:D

Right to the Forge Eli, That's what I'm talkin about!!!2thumbs

Em...Where's your Eye protection?


Oops, I set them down for a moment, but will put them back on cool 1

JAWilliams
11-10-2009, 10:20 PM
Eli looks like you and the family had a great time. Miss Oregon really bad when I see pictures. Beautiful place. Now get back to pounding on the metal.

Peter Killgore
11-10-2009, 10:49 PM
Wow! Where was that shot of the Sandy taken from?(almost looks like the hole down at cedar creek there in the pic.)

Eli Gautreaux
11-10-2009, 11:03 PM
Peter, that was from John Rud bluff, I think? It was gorgeous this morning :)

stabber
11-11-2009, 05:35 AM
Are we there yet.......Er.....Em......Did you forge out a blade yet?:D

Eli Gautreaux
11-11-2009, 09:12 AM
Are we there yet.......Er.....Em......Did you forge out a blade yet?:D


Actually yes, but I'm not sure you're ever going to see a pic of it. You might call it more of a shank :D

stabber
11-11-2009, 12:35 PM
LOL:D It can't be that bad! But you were swinging from over your head:eek:So It just might be:p

We wanna see it Buddy!!2thumbs

Raymond Richard
11-11-2009, 11:26 PM
LOL:D It can't be that bad! But you were swinging from over your head:eek:So It just might be:p

We wanna see it Buddy!!2thumbs

Here's Eli's shank. Most of it was done by Eli. I gave Eli a piece of rebar and told him to make a knife out of it. Brother Eli now has the forging bug.

http://www.hawknknives.com/forums/IMG_1753.JPG

stabber
11-12-2009, 06:50 AM
Damm!!! I'm Jealous :p That looks great Eli!!!!! 2thumbs

I knew with Ray watching you'd Hammer out a good one!!

Raymond Richard
11-12-2009, 09:21 AM
Ricky, When Eli was out here for Blade West we may have gotten about an hour or less out in my shop. He got to try forging for a little while then but just long enough to find out a 6 pound hammer was heavier than it looked. I first showed Eli how to forge a stick tang Tuesday night out of Aldo's 1 1/2" 1084. I could see how timid he was with the hammer so I decided I needed to give him a piece of rebar. That was a good move. By the time he got the rebar flatted out I could already see a huge improvement in how natural the hammering had become after 10 or 15 minutes of doing it. The forging process slowed down some after that but he made good progress. He's not a natural but in time things will get better. At least now he's got most the toys he's going to need to do it at home. I've been enjoying the company!

Eli Gautreaux
11-14-2009, 08:02 AM
We're unfortunately on the way back home now....

Made it as far as Laramie late last night, woke up to 3 degrees!

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/Laramie3degrees.jpg

Eli Gautreaux
11-14-2009, 08:09 AM
I need to say this about Ray ---- he is one incredible guy. His kindness and generosity have "blown me out" (that's a Ray Richard saying) and I am forever grateful for his friendship / brotherhood.

Ray, you're the best man. This trip was everything I hoped it would be, and more!



The pic below was taken just before one of the best meals ever --- Salmon taken from the Columbia River. BBQ, Raymond style:

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/OregonBBQ.jpg

stabber
11-14-2009, 08:50 AM
Nice Review Ray;) Good to see Eli's doing good, And He's hooked!! Thanks for the great pics. You sure live in a beautifull place. Your Anvil rings must travel through the mountains2thumbs
I know I wouldn't be using a 6#er:eek:

3 degrees:eek: Did you make a wrong turn somewhere Eli?:D Safe home Buddy!!;)

ddavelarsen
11-14-2009, 09:21 AM
Oh man, I love Wyoming too. Not as pretty as Ray's place, but the open air is soul-stretching. 3 degrees would be a bit of a shock if you were sleeping outside though. Nice to look at from the warm cabin of ones auto. ;)

This has been a great thread. You have a fine family Eli, and you're taking a wonderful trip. I wish it were my family too! You're a pretty good proxy though. Drive carefully and get home safely. (And keep taking these fantastic pictures! Your travelogue is excellent. (I've run out of adjectives, so I'll sign off for now myself. ;)))

Raymond Richard
11-14-2009, 09:25 AM
We're unfortunately on the way back home now....

Made it as far as Laramie late last night, woke up to 3 degrees!

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/Laramie3degrees.jpg

What the heck time did you stop driving? This is one fine photo! There's a huge sky in Laramie. I bet it stretches all the way to Montana. :D You took this photo with your Blackberry?

Eli Gautreaux
11-14-2009, 09:52 AM
Ray, we drove until 4am, 18 hours yesterday! We just kept going because the road conditions were so good. Snow forcasted today, 6-12 inches, so we wanted to get here. We are in Cheyenne now, only 30 miles from Fort Collins, our next destination.

Of all luck, there's a gun show today at the RV park we just pulled in to!

Eli Gautreaux
11-14-2009, 10:23 AM
Dave, we are nice and cozy in here, the heAter is set at 65 and running off camp electricity instead of the noisy generator :D

Raymond Richard
11-14-2009, 10:38 AM
How many miles did you end up driving? The record I set 30 years ago was 1100 miles, San Diego to Portland, Oregon in 17 hours by myself. Only stops were to pee and for gas. That picture still blows me away!

ddavelarsen
11-14-2009, 11:40 AM
Phooey Ray, that's nothin! My record is 31 hrs with only pee and coffee breaks. Maybe some hamburgers. That was from Liberal KS to Seattle, nonstop. Those were the good ole days, driving my red 1975 Transam. I loved that car. And the road... :running dog:

Glad you're all comfy Eli. Enjoy the gun show! That's going to be interesting in Montana... Don't know why I thought Wyoming. Maybe because of all that sky. :)

Eli Gautreaux
11-14-2009, 12:32 PM
Ray, all I can tell you is that we filled up MANY times, lol, averaged about 6 mpg last night. It's slow going in the RV, but the passengers sure are comfortable...

And yeah, that picture, actually all of them on the trip, were taken with the phone --- I'm too lazy to carry a real camera :)

John Barker
11-17-2009, 11:56 AM
Great pics Eli. Looks like a good time. I hope you do start making some knives to go with that fine leather work of yours.
-John

Eli Gautreaux
11-18-2009, 10:17 AM
Kansas :D


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/Kansas.jpg

Raymond Richard
11-18-2009, 11:13 AM
Eli, Are you homeward bound now? Nice looking wheat!

Eli Gautreaux
11-18-2009, 04:07 PM
Ray, we are in Texas now :), about 3 hours from the house but will not make it until tomorrow. It been incredible, and Portland was the centerpiece!

stabber
11-18-2009, 04:42 PM
Wow! What a Journey Eli. How many miles you rack up?

I bet you can't wait to forge another piece of steel;) You can come to my Shop, Ghetto forge:D

ddavelarsen
11-18-2009, 05:48 PM
Kansas :D


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/Kansas.jpg

Wow man, that sure looks familiar. I grew up in Kansas. Can't say I miss it. ;) You've had a great trip! Thanks for sharing it.

Eli Gautreaux
11-20-2009, 12:33 PM
Okay, we made it back safe and sound. I knew I was home when I started sweating, lol.

3 weeks, 6000 miles (6 mpg, ouch!) and 11 states.

This really was a trip to remember, something we talked about forever, and very glad we finally made happen. Only 2 close calls --- one in California with the sleeper wave, and another in Buffalo Texas (1.5 hours from home.) After filling up with gas, we inadvertantly drove off and left the little one behind! She had gone in to buy some candy and we never knew she was gone until the older sister sounded the alarm. It wasn't too bad, only a few minutes, and she handled it well, lol.

Hopefully the girls will look back on these 3 weeks with very fond memories.


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/RVgirls.jpg


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/FortCollins.jpg



postscript:

One night while we were in Portland, while Ray was sleeping, we snooped around and found his stash of finished blades (WOW!) Kory was impressed with Jumbo:


http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/KoryJumbo.jpg


Thanks again Ray, you are a great brother and friend. :)

ddavelarsen
11-20-2009, 05:59 PM
You know Eli, this has really been a great trip for me too. I remember vacations like that when I was a kid, couple weeks in the camper in national parks and stuff. I even had some exciting moments, but most of mine I remember as having to do with new knives. :D Nothing really serious though. I'm glad everyone got home okay!

Really cool man, your trip has been nice for me. Thanks.

NickWheeler
11-29-2009, 01:56 PM
Eli, what the hell dude!?!? You were THAT close to Winlock??? huh1

I would have GLADLY had you over buddy! cool 1

It's clear I need to get around the interwebs more, as I hadn't even seen this thread till today. :o

The only one worse than this was finding out that Hans drove THROUGH my tiny little town while enjoying some back roads on his way west from the Josh Smith MT Hammer-in... and Hans is from Sweden! lol

Sorry I missed ya Eli... I'm sure you guys had a great time! Beautiful family you have there too :)

Raymond Richard
11-29-2009, 04:01 PM
Eli, Now I know what your were doing when I was asleep.

Isn't it funny how that 5" blade looks so big in Kory's hands.

http://i71.photobucket.com/albums/i138/xamaneli/KoryJumbo.jpg

Eli Gautreaux
11-29-2009, 04:16 PM
Eli, what the hell dude!?!? You were THAT close to Winlock??? huh1

I would have GLADLY had you over buddy! cool 1

It's clear I need to get around the interwebs more, as I hadn't even seen this thread till today. :o

The only one worse than this was finding out that Hans drove THROUGH my tiny little town while enjoying some back roads on his way west from the Josh Smith MT Hammer-in... and Hans is from Sweden! lol

Sorry I missed ya Eli... I'm sure you guys had a great time! Beautiful family you have there too :)




Well, we are definitely comng back :D. I'm going to need more lessons soon enough!


Ray, I had to show her Jumbo. We stumbled upn your stash while makng a coffee search one morning, lol. I bet there were 75 knves in there!!!

Raymond Richard
11-29-2009, 05:13 PM
Well, we are definitely comng back :D. I'm going to need more lessons soon enough!


Ray, I had to show her Jumbo. We stumbled upn your stash while makng a coffee search one morning, lol. I bet there were 75 knves in there!!!

Did you count Jumbo and Big Boy more than once? :D

Peter Killgore
11-29-2009, 06:32 PM
I'm pretty darn sure that Jumbo and Big Boy are big enough to count as a knife and a half each :D

JAWilliams
11-30-2009, 12:04 AM
Eli it is beautiful country up there. Didn't know Ray lived that close to me at the time. Glad you made it home safe and sound. Can't wait till your next trip. Thanks again for all the pics.