We had us a pretty decent little gullywhumper Friday night that left the woods soggy and sloppy. Nevertheless, Saturday dawned lovely and felt a very strong need to be out in it. My intention was to ramble about three miles or so, then retire to The Pit for my kettlebells-and-shooting bit. Perhaps I was inspired by watching the biathlon pursuit in Austria; it was one of those days when you feel like you just want to go forever, so I ended up doing a seven-miler.
For some of it I was in the tracks of a dogsled team. There’s a local woman who regularly takes her dogs out on this network of logging roads and trails for dryland (in this case bogland) training. I see her often, because we’re both out there often enough for it to qualify as obsessive behavior. I love to hear her dogs yowling while I’m shooting. It’s a stirring sound.
’Twas a lovely day, most of it… before another round of rain blew in. Which, of course, is lovely, too, in its way.
These rambles clear my head and soothe the inner beast. I try to stay in the moment, but I also allow my thoughts to wander along Frontier Partisan trails. I am at my most creative when I’m walking.
My ride with Kit Carson is coming to an end. Part III on his explorations with John C. Fremont will drop on Monday and the final full episode will run the week after that. I think Ceili wants to interview me for a supplemental wrap-up on my thoughts on the “black” and the “white” legend of Carson, and I’ll probably drop that just a couple of days after Part IV.
I initially thought I’d do a series on the Mexican Revolution, but I can’t add value to Mike Duncan’s superb series in his Revolutions podcast. If you haven’t delved into that, do it. All of ’em. It’s aces. I’ll probably still tell some tales from within the Mex Rev, but for now I leave the field to Duncan.
Series 2 of The Frontier Partisans Podcast will be on the Scottish Highlanders as a frontier people. We’ll explore Highland culture up to the destruction of the Clans after Culloden, with an episode dedicated to Calloway’s great book White People, Indians and Highlanders will inform a discussion of similarities in the experience of Highlanders as colonized people — regarded as savages, ethnically cleansed and removed, often acting as colonizers in turn. As part of that exploration we’ll examine the role of Highlanders on the North American frontier, as soldiers of empire and in the Fur Trade.
And I finalized my decision for Series 3 during the hike. That one will delve into the bloody and tragic history of Loyalist Frontier Partisans in the American Revolution. Defectors Simon Girty and Alexander McKee; British Rangers John and Walter Butler; Tory leader John Johnson; the Mohawk partisan Thayendanegea, aka Joseph Brant; the Seneca war leader Cornplanter…
These are stirring tales from America’s first civil war, about some of the most tactically proficient warriors in the annals of Frontier Partisan warfare.
That’ll keep me busy well into spring. It’s good to have the path laid out before me.