Thanks for the welcome
I very much appreciate all the responses, invaluable information and especially the welcome from all who responded.
It seems I may have to wait a few weeks or months to "pull the trigger" on this black powder thing, though. The consensus seems to mostly be to "start with a good-un" instead of going cheap. Being on a small pension due to "forced" early retirement, it takes a little scraping to come up with the estimated amount of money I'd have to have to get outfitted.
The cheap one I figured about $500 would give me a good start-up outfit. The Lyman GPR looks to be closer to $750 for the whole deal. Few more months and maybe I can scrape that together. (gotta pay taxes soon plus Christmas) But I have to agree that quality is something that you have to pay for, and can make the experience much smoother and more enjoyable.
Just one question for Doc Hoy, though...that gas mask you recommended....is that for the powder smoke? ...or the result of all those folks at the rendezvous eating too much beans and biscuits and sitting too close around the campfire?
"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood.--John Adams