Friday, August 29, 2014

Post Falls, Idaho

(Chuck) In Post Falls, Idaho we again found our traveling friends Betty and Duane. We had arranged to meet up at Cabela’s, which has been a good overnight stop for us. They seem to dedicate room for RV’s to spend the night and they no doubt are aware of the fact that we seem to spend money when we are there. It may be similar to some who P1230068P1230069regularly stay at Wal-Mart, however Cabela’s do not seem to have the cramped parking lots and they just more welcoming.

(Jan) Tubbs Hill is a popular hike in near-by Couer d’Alene. The four of us headed over there to do the 1 hour hike around the forested hill with pretty water views of Couer d’Alene Lake. It was a hot day and a hilly hike so we were happy to accomplish it and then go for a drive along the lake in the air-conditioned car! Next stop; Best Sandwich Shack.  This street stand had good reviews and the Philly Steak Sandwiches & fries were excellent. Several games of Pegs & Jokers finished off a fun day!

(Chuck)  We scheduled two events on the last day in Post Falls. First was a factory tour of the Buck Knife factory. I have owned Buck knives for nearly 45 years. The 110 Folding Hunter was on my belt for many decades. The 110 incorporated a simple lock back system which saved many a finger from certain stitches. It was durable for all uses and it was heavy enough for a hammer when needed. I found that I wore out several belt cases, but I could always find a new one to replace it. I have a 121 which I have considered to be one of the best all-around hunting knife made. My 119 is mostly for fun, but it has been used as the second blade for butchering pork. While in Alaska last summer I purchased a Buck Silver Creek Fillet knife. It is a very durable 6 ½ inch titanium coated blade with excellent flexibility; very useful while processing salmon.

The company is principally owned by the Buck family. Hoyt Buck made his first knives by hand in 1902. His son Al Buck provided the business with stability and growth. His son Chuck Buck is the Chairman. Chuck’s son CJ Buck is the President and CEO. This is a four generation business which is a very uncommon feat.P1230073

On our tour we learned about the special steel which each knife was constructed. We watched as the blanks are cut from the steel with a laser cutter. Each step of the manufacturing process is carefully taken by the 307 employees of the business. It is with great pride that the company produces in this plant every metal blade, screw, rivet and fixture of every Buck knife. Last year the plant produced over a million knives, this year they are on track for 1.4 million. The factory has been located in El Cajon, CA for many years. In 2005 the company moved to Post Falls, ID.

P1230078We took some photos after the tour and we were in our Jeep and prepared to leave as an assistant to Chuck Buck approached our car. She said that she had observed that we seemed to enjoy our tour and that Chuck Buck was in the lobby and would we like to meet him? Of course we had time for this and we went back in for photos and lively conversation. Chuck said that he makes a practice if signing the blade of knives when available and did we have anything for his signature? I had just bought two folding lock backs and Duane had a new folding fillet knife from the retail room. We were escorted to Chuck’s corner office and watched him sign our knives with a rotary pen. He entertained us with stories of sending complementary knives to Africa and receiving many letters of gratitude through missionaries. It was a remarkable time.

Each of my Buck knives and all Buck for generations have included a small sheet of paper which mentions the fact that the knife was made with great pride by the company, at the bottom of each sheet is this script. "For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son; that whoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John: 3:16.

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Farragut State Park   For our second event of the day we toured Farragut State Park which is about 30 miles North East of Post Falls, ID. Duane’s father took his boot camp here about 1942 when it was called Farragut Naval Training Station. It became the second largest Naval training center in the world with a population of 55,000. It was open for 30 months and 293,000 sailors trained here. At the Visitors Center photos are kept for each graduating class. We think we found the correct class photo with Duane’s father standing in the back row. We also journeyed to the particular camp site which he trained. It was nice to be a part of the event.

(Jan) That afternoon we drove through the the center of Washington state to The Elks Club at Yakima.  This lovely spot on the edge of the golf course will be our home for a couple of days. Betty & Duane did some touring as we stayed in to clean, do bookwork and get ready for our family time in Seattle area.  We did take time for Pegs & Jokers and Bocci Ball in the evenings.

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