Labor Day Weekend at Sycamore Canyon

Friday afternoon we wound our way out to the head of Sycamore Canyon in Arizona. The plan was to meet a bunch of friends at the Powder Horn Clan rondesvouz and have a nice relaxing weekend. Luckily the plan paid out. The Sycamore Canyon area is just beautiful. The picture tothe right shows a portion of the canyon which has water in it most of the year. This year since we've had a good amount of rain, there was enough to even use a canoe in areas. One of the events for the rondesvouz was to shoot arrows at targets from a canoe. It was fun to watch.

The rondesvouz had two sites, a primitive encampment below in the canyon at its head, and a tin-teepee area above on the rim. A road cuts through the area so we could either walk down the road a few hundred yards to the primitive area or take a shortcut down a slope to the back of the camp. Unlike some areas of the canyon, there weren't many biting bugs. We were able to sit out in the evening without the bother.

The primitive encampment was very nice. A range of tents from wall tents to teepees were used. One person even had just a fly to sleep under. The picture to the right is from in front of our encampment on the rim looking down at the primitive encampment. The shooting area was off to the left of the picture against the backdrop of a hill. And the shooting sure was fun. We had a trailwalk that was challenging. You had to hit certain targets to make meat and to continue with the walk. At one station we even had a timed shoot. A lot of fun.



As noted earlier, our encampment was up on the rim with the tin teepees. One of our frirnds had surgery not long ago and was staying in a trailer. And since we were cooking together we felt it best to camp nearby. The tent that my family and I stay in is an officer's marquee. We have a rope bed for my wife and I and cots for our two boys. Our friend Eoghan is on the left in the picture, my wife on the right and two friends who were visiting are in the doorway. We really like the marquee because of the space it alots. We can cook inside on a woodstove if the weather is inclement. And there is lots of room for guests!

One thing that is always in abundance is food. Even though we plan out our meals, everyone always brings extra. We use a lot of dutch oven recipes and also grill meat directly over the fire. For this event for three families totalling 11 people we had three fires going to cook our main evening meals. You'll notice some modern chairs and Eoghan wearing modern clothing. This was OK up in the non-primitive area, although we still tried to stay as primitive as possible.


>As I noted earlier, the shooting was alot of fun. The pictures to the right are of my boys firing. Both boys have their own flintlocks and know how to completely take care of them from loading, to tuning their flints, to cleaning and breakdown. The first picture is of Rhys and the second is of Tieg. Our family does French and Indian War reenactment and so our gear is patterned after ranger or scout gear.


The costuming ranged from French and Indian war like my boys and I wear to classic mountain man garb. There were a few people visiting the rondesvouz wearing modern clothing but they did not detract from the ambiance.


All in all, the event was relaxing and a lot of fun. As usual it went way to quickly.