Lake Helen, FL, United States
Welcome to the imaginary world of "Cuckoopelli's Woods" where all things are possible!
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Skills and Techniques
Primitive uniquely hand made items using no metal in any of the contruction. All pieces begin from scratch which means I gather the materials from the swamps and river banks - mostly! I will use materials from other sources from time to time. I am open to any commision work offerings!
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Get to Know
In order for someone to fully understand who I am exactly they would have to read my entire autobiography, sit and talk to me for years, and take a walk with me on the trail I have blazed, and that ain't gonna happen. Therefore, I will only capsulate my life for your benefit. Perhaps you will acquire enough of an understanding of who I am so you may do what all folks do - judge me.
Born October 3, 1951 in Portsmouth, VA - That's not what I remember, but rather plain and simple fact.
Sent to Florida in 1958 - I was a hand full for a mother raisin' 4 children on her own, and so I was sent to live with my evil uncle in Bradenton, Florida where I truly learned the meanin' of "hell on earth" from a supposed Christian.
Mom , my sis and two younger brothers moved to Florida a year later, and childhood took on a normalcy again.
Manhood came early for me, and in 1969 I entered the US Army durin' the Vietnam Era.
By 1974 I had been wounded in Vietnam, gotten married and had 2 daughters.
My first divorce came in 1977, and between then and 1980 I loved and lived with a heartbreakin' woman. The trauma was too much to take and I broke away from the norm for the 1st time. I rode a single horse from Bradenton, Florida to The Ocala National Forest - Hog Valley (Note that this place will have further significance later on!). That was the end of that trail cause I got horns wangled in to goin' back.
A series of travels came about from 1980 until 1983 that took me all over the country. I hitched to North Dakota, surveyed pipelines in North Dakota and Montana, and eventually ended up back in Florida via Texas where I married my second wife.
In Arcadia I worked for the USDA Soil Conservation Service from '83 to '86, and eventually went into business for myself as a self professed Agricultural Engineer. That was a fiasco!
By 1986 I had had my fill of tryin' to become the rich "Irrigation Lord" of Arcadia. Not to say that the possibility wasn't presented, it was! I just couldn't make it work for me. It was time for a change; a drastic change; a change for life. The wife didn't agree, and a mutual divorce ensued.
On January 11th, 1987 the "Alaska Bound Adventure" began with 2 horses, a dog and a cat, $15 bucks in my pocket and a desire to be a writer.
By June 1987 I had made it to Alabama where I was robbed, and then got hemmed up by a lady for about a year. We parted ways because her 4 previous husbands sorta interfered and I was sent a packin'! Literally!
Just before Thanksgiving 1988 I rode into Broken Arrow, OK where I eventually got settled in to yet another relationship. This lasted for about 4 years. Durin' my 3rd year there I began buildin' the "Whinny-Bray-Go" covered wagon.
In 1992 I took a brief 500 mile shakedown cruise up into Missouri and returned. After a short rebuild of the wagon I was headin' west across the plains. Old route 66 and a portion of the Santa Fe Trail were some of the paths I took west.
The Sangre de Cristo mountains stopped me like a brick wall, and I spent the winter of 1993 on the east slope of the lower end of the Rockies near Las Vegas, NM in Mora County. While livin' in a cabin in the village of Chacon I was published for the 1st time in "The Western Horseman". I had become a writer!
The following spring '94 I hitched up and headed out around the bottom of the Sangre's along the Santa Fe Trail and up the Rio Grande River valley.
In my wagon I crossed the Rio Grand, the San Juan Mountains, the Hoover Dam and into Las Vegas and up the strip by 1996.
Following the "Old Mormon Trail" and "Padre Trail" I worked the team up into Utah. In the fall of 1997 I reached Panguitch, UT where I sold the wagon and went back to horseback. Into Evanston, WY I rode in the snow.
The weather was too rough and I got help from a friend in Taos, NM to return to regroup and prepare for another attempt for the "Alaska Bound" adventure, but it turned into only the "Rocky Mountain High" adventure.
It took about two years to get to Breckenridge, CO from Taos because of a couple of rather extensive stays near La Veta, CO - the area I plan to die in.
I put down my most beloved horse, Blue, in Breckenridge in 1999, and through the help of friends I retreated back into New Mexico where I took up residence in Monero Canyon. There I spent the winter carin' for a multitude of critters under the most primitive of conditions until I got word that my 1st grandson, Toby James, was born in Florida in 2000.
In April 2000 I began the "Journey Home" adventure walkin' and leadin' the remainder of my ramuda across New Mexico from Dulce to Logan (near the Texas border).
Just before I got to Logan, NM my mare Pee-Pee broke her leg and I was forced to shoot her to put her out of her misery. This put an end to my "Journey Home" adventure - at least with a pack string.
After spending a few months longer in Logan and in Cebolla, NM I headed east in my Dahatsu in 2001.
I began my stay in the Atlanta, GA area buildin' a website for a crazy woman, and ended up working for a land surveying company where I stayed for about 2 1/2 years before takin' a hiatus from the stress and goin' off on the "Flint River Run" adventure - a 350+/- mile float trip down the Flint River from Thomaston, Ga to Apalachicola, FL in 2003.
I returned to Atlanta once it was done - after a few months of wanderin' - to work for the same company until 2006 when, because of the improprieties of one of the owners, my contract was terminated. That was when I planed set out on the "Lookin' for Tom Sawyer" adventure.
I began work on my "Huckleberry Houseboat" in Toomsboro, Ga and finished it in Myakka, FL by the spring of 2007.
I had originally wanted to put in the water in Toomsboro on the Oconee River and take it all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, but that didn't work out and I ended up puttin' in on Lake Jessup near Sanford, FL in April 2007.
For 3 months I followed the St. Johns River to the Cross Florida Barge Canal where I crossed over to the Ocklawaha River.
From July 2007 until January 2008 I lived on my "Huckleberry Houseboat" on the Ocklawaha River and built - by hand and on site - the "3P's" cypress dugout canoe.
I pulled out of the river in January 2008 and began workin' on tryin' to get it together to head for the Oconee River once again, but things have a tendency to go awry for me from time to time forcin' me to take a different path.
On my 57th birthday on October 3, 2008 my life was changed forever! I struggled to stay alive and it's all because of thieves who have apparently - for now - gotten away with stealin' my very life from me, including my precious "3P's" canoe!
On October 9th, 2010 I set out on the Huckleberry Houseboat with my sights on a "New Horizon". I put in at Gores Landing on the Ocklawaha River near Eureka, FL.
The winter of 2010-2011 was a rough one, but with tenacity I trudged through it and survived. I left the Ocklawaha and went on to the St. Johns River in December 2010.
For a few months I explored the upper part of the St. Johns. When the weather began to improve I headed north stoppin' in at Highbanks Landin' where I met the owner (Dave Blackburn) of the Swamp House Riverfront Grill and Happy Snapper Tiki Bar. One thing led to another and I have taken off on yet another curve in the adventure.
In July 2011 I became the proud owner of a 26 1/2' sailboat. I have named the newest member of the fleet, the "SS Carryin' On" - a companion to the "AV Movin' On" a.k.a. "The Huckleberry Houseboat".