The other month I wrote a post about how Louis L’Amour would have been ashamed of me. Well, this month I think I can more than make up for that. I have been interested in walking sticks for some time but it has only been in the last 5 or 6 years that that interest has been anything but purely intellectual.
My first “staff” was actually just a stave of diamond wood. Diamond wood is an artificial substance that is wicked strong, won’t bend or break and can take a beating and keep on going. The stave was actually meant to be cut up for other purposes but I figured it was good enough. How wrong I was. This thing was almost an inch and a half in diameter and was heavy, heavy, heavy. While it might have been great if you needed to break someone’s skull, it was NOT good for walking around. It was quickly relegated to a corner by the coat rack and forgotten about.
My next attempt was a locally made walking stick that I bought at the Pumpkin Festival. An old gentleman made them himself and would then sell them at the festival each year. I am very thankful I picked this up because after that year we never saw him again. It is very light, has some nice crooks and turns to it and has been sealed so it won’t rot away. It also has one of those 99cent compasses in the top of the handle in case I ever get lost and need to find my way to the North Pole. My biggest issue with this staff is that there is a very small crook at the top where you hold it and that angles my wrist and makes it hurt if I use it for than 15minutes. I’ve tried hold it lower but my hand just naturally keeps sliding up to that crook.
For our X wedding anniversary Mrs B and I attended the Highland Games in New Hampshire a couple of years ago. It was blustery and cold and bordering on rainy so while Mrs B attended some tented cooking thingy, I took a walk around and looked at all the knickknacks to buy. One seller had a whole rack of staves on display and I ended up picking this one and it has served me well. It fits my hand well, is just the right height and weight for me and solid enough that I can give someone a good solid “thwack” without worrying that it’ll break on the first swing. If we ever go to the Highland Games again I’ll be sure to pick up another. Because you just can’t be too prepared.
Here’s a picture of all 3 next to each other for comparison..