Trackrock Hammer-In #32
The 32nd Semiannual Trackrock Hammer-In was an absolute blast as usual. If you have never been then you should make plans to attend the 33rd event later this year, on the 29th and 30th of September.
The hammer-in is an event to promote the art of forging tools of iron and steel, the old fashioned way using hammers, tongs, and anvils. There are seven or eight forges and several anvils involved, so lots of hammers ringing at once sometimes. With all of the forges firing, hammers ringing, and sparks flying, it's a very sensory experience, which one sees, hears, feels, smells, and tastes all at the same time. It is a rather unique experience.
The primary focus of the hammer-in is to pass on the knowledge, art, and skill of forging metal to the next generations. It really is a wonderful sight to watch the patience, care, and guidance given by the artisans who teach these young people there. They teach them one of the most important skills learned in the entire history of man, and one that has been developed over thousands of years. They teach these skills absolutely free of charge to do their part in ensuring the art isn't lost.
There is no charge for the event, it is open to the public, so to help fund the event they do an “iron in the hat” event. This is where participants donate various pieces of plunder, from knife blanks and steel, to slabs of wood, or pieces of antler, and lots of other things in between. Then raffle tickets are sold, and drawn for the winners on Saturday afternoon. The tickets were less than one dollar each, and there were a lot of great items on the table, so there were some very happy winners at this past event.
Metalworking is not the only craft that is displayed or taught at the hammer-in. After all, the knives an axes being forged are going to nee sheaths aren't they? So of course there is a good bit of leather craft going on there as well. At this past event we were fortunate enough to have Rick Lowe and Sandy Morissey with us sharing their knowledge. Several guys got the chance to make their own sheaths by taking advantage of the decades of combined experience in leather working these two gentleman possess.
The Hammer-In is a two day event that takes place at the historic Trackrock Campground, so there are plenty of places to pitch a tent or park a camper. There are several cabins on site as well, but there is a lot of competition for those on the weekends of the Hammer-Ins. All of the cabins had been booked for the next event by Sunday afternoon of the last event. The campground is well appointed with restroom and shower facilities, playgrounds for the children, and there is even a small lake with a diving platform, great for cooling off on those warm afternoons.
Adjacent to the campground is the Trackrock Stables. Not only do they board horses at the stable, but they aslo offer guided horseback riding tours, and a week-long Horse Camps for youths interested riding and experiencing a full-on aquestrian experience. My daughter and I did a three mile trail ride and had a wonderful experience. Our guide, Lauren, was fantastic and does her job extremely well. Our horses (Spuds for Alayna and Copper for myself) were well trained and behaved very well. It was a very pleasant experience for both of us.
Along with the crafts being taught and displayed, and the ammenaties of the campground itself, the hammer-in is also a great way to make new friends and catch up with old ones. Some of us only see each other a few times a year because we live so far a part. So we always look forward to a few evenings of hanging out after the show ends for the day, catching up, seeing and hearing what's new, and just talking about life in general. For many of us the social events after hours are every bit as special as the show itself. Lots of good times happen, and there are always a lot of good memories made.
The Hammer-In truly is a wonderful and unique event. There is a lot to be seen and learned, and a lot of good clean fun for the whole family. So we look forward o seeing you at the autumn event in September.
For more information on the Trackrock Campground and Stables see their website at Trackrock.com