The story behind the name
The name Three Toed Bear comes from a story my uncle used to tell us when we were at his camp in the mountain. My uncle, Uncle Stinky, would hunt every winter with my father. One season, while hunting, they shot at a bear and hit it . . . sort of. They shot the bear in the foot removing two of its toes. They used the story to scare us into behaving in the dark and going to bed when we were supposed to. It backfired when we were too scared to go to the outhouse by ourselves though. We would visit the mountain once or twice a year and every year the story would grow more real. Somehow, over time, the bear became Old Uncle Three Toes, though I don’t know why we thought the bear was related.
As people do, I got older and wasn’t going to the mountain much. My sister decided to go up one weekend and asked if I wanted to join. I couldn’t remember the last time I have been there and was pumped to go back. After reminiscing, we realized I hadn’t been there in 10 years, and man did the property bring back the best memories. They had a small cabin that I hadn’t been to in years, so seeing how much hadn’t changed was a breath of nostalgic air. There were new pictures on the fridge of course, some new house décor, and a small shadow box looking frame on the wall. I approached it and was amazed. Inside was a mold of something my uncle has found in the wood. A cast of a foot print. A bear print. A bear print with three toes . . . And just like that, after 10 years, all the stories of Old Uncle Three Toes came pouring back into memory. You never really remember campfire tales from when you were a kid. There’s no forgetting this one though.
A little more about the name
The name is meant to be a tribute to my Uncle, and a throwback to a simpler time. Before cell phones, before bills and responsibilities. When it was me and my family running around a mountain with nothing but a stick and an imagination. I used to love being in his shop. I remember being excited about the things I could make. I don’t know that I ever did more than pound a nail into a piece of wood. He did have an XY vice on his drill press that we used to carve our names into wood and that was incredible to me. He always had really creative and rustic furniture or projects he was building and the creativity and the essence you can bring to a rustic project is what got me started with woodworking, and woodworking lead me down a rabbit hole to everything-working.