View Full Version : 2008 Northwest Summer Rendezvous Report

07-27-2008, 03:52 PM
I believe a good time was had by all. The easy 4.5 (or 2.5 depending on how you did it) mile closed road access route allowed me to bring my family, which was the highlight for me.

The camp was a most excellent spot that required some muscle locomotion to get there, but had plenty of luxury thanks to pack goats and bicycle trailers.

As always, it was good to see old friends and make new ones.

My wife took something like 1300 pictures... I'm only going to post a sampling /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Pia playing in the wash that closed the road:

Scot's rig staged on the other side of the wash:

Scot and Pia headed out. Pia's only been riding for about a month, so the the 7 miles she rode this weekend probably multiplied her experience by ten:

Lula and Ailsa ready to go:

Taking a break for redistribution of our load:

Scot and I getting it sorted out:

Superbadger rolling into camp:

Yours truly rolling into camp:

TwoRavens with a most enviable kit:


Ailsa eating her first venison jerky while Kam looks on:

In the background (L-R) Snakey, some Glock-carrying poof, Pia, Lula, Ziggy, Randy, and Gunner. In the foreground, Kevin uncharacteristically cooking meat for the camp and myself uncharacteristically reaching out for another venison sausage:

A full camp (L-R) Buck, Marion, Me (seated), Patrick, Chris (Snakey's boyfriend), Lula (facing camera), Caitlin, Tam, Kevin B, Allen, Snakey, DP, Tim in WA:

Another camp shot (L-R) Randy, Superbadger, Pia (seated), Snakey behind Caitlin, Kevin B (leaning over), Tim in WA, Buck, Lula (seated), and DP:

If it looks like it and smells like it, you must be standing in it (Allen, Scot, and myself):

baaah! baaah! BWAAAAHH! (translation: where is Allen?):

loading up to head to a shooting spot with several hundred rounds of ammo:

Welcome relief on a warm day:

Part of the Ernst Clan:

Ain't life grand?:

07-27-2008, 04:09 PM
Thanks for posting!

07-27-2008, 05:23 PM
Nuthin' like a handful of Nutter-Butters.......SWEET!

07-27-2008, 05:36 PM
You made my day! Thanks!

07-27-2008, 05:55 PM
Great pic's! Keep 'em coming. 1280 to go...lol...

07-27-2008, 08:34 PM
Here are the few snaps I took:

Lula, Siggy (sp?) and Gunner:

The road to camp, Tam's packs have rotated after she went for a little dip in the stream next to the road:

Tim, Caitlin, Snakey, Buck. Maybe Tim had been bitten by a "Barking Spider", but I'm not sure.

Master Chef Kevin, with 70#+ and his tools of the trade (and 18 bottles of beer):

Buck looking at Kevin's load:

We had a visit by some riders, and here is Pia trying out one of there rides while Tam keeps an alert watch on everything.

Many, many thanks to the Hill Cargo Hauling Company for bringing in the heavy stuff, Kevin for all the cooking and sharing of venison, sausage, biscuits and gravy, etc.... (I don't think I'll bother taking any Mountain House next time, I always have to pack it back out /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif ), and of course Patrick and Allen for making it all happen.

07-28-2008, 08:50 AM
Great pics Evan. When did you start paint your toenails? I'm sorry to have missed it this year, but looks like you all found a good spot. I'm waiting to see some fish pictures soon. Any? Did you all make it up to the spot from last year or stay at the lower spot the whole time?

07-28-2008, 11:47 AM
Great fun, Great food, and Great conversation...
Here are a few pics I took at the rondy:

A marshy area we spotted through the trees on the way to the camp.

Superbadger, Tim in WA, & DP

Snakey, TwoRavens, & Tam

Sig (as in "Sig Sauer") and Lula.

Gunner & Pia. The dogs loved having so much attention from the girls and would look for them when they weren't around.

Randy's & my home for the weekend. This was the first time we shared our backpacking home with two beagles.

Randy & Gunner in the ParaTipi.

Chef KevinB

When you are short of utensils, you improvise--the infamous "vegetable rake" whittled by Mike.

Ailsa, Kam, & BuckW deep in conversation, solving the world's problems.

Scothill, Patrick & IdahoLad searching for big game on the far hill.

A short hike over the saddle and Sig, Gunner, & Randy were enjoying the meadow view looking towards Apple Lake. Well, Sig & Randy were enjoying the view...Gunner was enjoying rolling in a fresh pile of elk dung. Fortunately for me, that's the dog that slept with Randy.

Yours truly...never leave home without your Sig P220.

Mike & Randy getting prepped to fish Pear Lake.

Randy slinging line.

Mike's first time fly fishing. He caught two that day, one of which is on video--I'll try to figure out how to post a link later.

Even goats need goretex.

Bushcraft, our fearless leader, BBQ'ing some ribs.

DP, Caitlin, Chris, & Dick

Great conversation and a warm fire.

07-28-2008, 11:56 AM
that is the real reason Evan always wears boots. He doesn't want anyone to know about his toenail fetish. Most of the folks headed up to the lakes for the day on saturday. Fish were reportedly caught, but none showed up in camp.

Kevin B
07-28-2008, 12:16 PM
Some great things:

Mechanical advantage, bikes are awesome.
Bob Trailers attached to above, also awesome.
Dogs & Kids
Any animal that carries your stuff.
Gravity feed water filters.
Family of 5, 4.5 miles back no kid older than 7 and one just toddling. Reflect on awesomeness of bike/trailer again.
Bug-less camp site.
Clear cold creek running through it.
20 or so outdoorsmen & women enjoying the setting and company.
18 year old whiskey.
Guns, all of them.

We camped at the low area so that there would not be a third pitching of camp in 3 days and then some made day trips to the lake. This yearís site was flat, offered lots of tent locations and was almost bug free! The creek is 40 yards from the camp fire and gathering point. Water, refrigeration and bathing right at hand. The weather was perfect with spotty clouds a nice breeze and temps in the upper 70ís. The Hills with two trailers made a lot of the camp luxury possible. They made a couple trips to re-load and redistribute the weight. Copious ammo, food and beverage made its way to the camp. Between Allenís goats and the bikes we really didnít want for anything. The great thing about so many people coming is if you forgot something, no worry, thereís likely 8 more of item ďxĒ handy for loan.

It cooled off in the eves but never was chilly right to the wee hours. The thing that Iím always amazed by at these gatherings is the experience and intelligence of the attendees. Practically any subject one can think of and someone has first hand experience or can cite you 3 good reads to get you started. The good nature of these people exceeds any of their other fine qualities. Iím not sure how building this type of outdoor gear has drawn such a consistently upper crust of individuals. Whatever it is, itís in the Kifaru water. Some pictures:

Friday eve, widning down from the trip in.

Bush/Snakey/Disillusioned/Patrick/Tim in WA. Rowland "Seriously, you just can't noramlize insulating R factor data that way" /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

Two Ravens and Tam chillin.

Scot Hill and Patrick winding down afte dinner.

Breakfast time at the 16 man.

Water, refidge and bath tub.

Meadow before the lake.

The lake.


Patrick, aka Super Badger with trout.

Randy, fish hunting.

Randy's Brother Mike, I think that's a roll cast.

Mikes first fly caught fish.

07-28-2008, 01:48 PM
What a fabulous weekend! Seeing old friends and making new ones. With the Indian Creek Trail being washed out, our alternate route made for some luxurious living in the backcountry and access a bit easier for the kids and everyone in general. The base camp was a great spot for visiting, cooking tremendous amounts of venison, elk, ribeye, pork ribs, chicken, stir-fry veggies, rice crispy treats and enjoying aged adult beverages.

As usual, the company was outstanding. Topics ranging from hunting to optics to goat-packing and dogs could be heard throughout the weekend. Like previous posts have noted, this group has a ton of varied experiences, gear and guidance for those wanting to learn more and expand their backcountry skills.

For us it was great to be able to go together for the second year. The less strenuous hike in allowed for a 5 pound bag of rice crispy treats to be hauled in as well as about 6 pounds of veggies for the Saturday night feed. This was also the first backpack overnight for the beagles that many of you have seen in previous posts. Special thanks to Scothill for encouraging Gunner to let his voice be heard in the Cascades /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

Now on to the photos:

A nice meadow on the hike to camp.

Part of the crew relaxing after the hike in. KevinB discussing the finer points of something.

Tracy having a little afternoon snack.

Gunner and Sig with new-found friends Lula and Pia.

KevinB, Bushcraft and Evanhill discussing the finer points of goatpacking while TwoRavens sets up camp in the background.

Mike's 'goretex burrito' bivy camp.

Kitty track about 50 yards from the 'goretex burrito'.

Enjoying the company of good friends around a backcountry campfire.

Still some snow on the way to the lakes.

Backcountry home.

Gunner and Sig sleeping in on Sunday morning. The paratipi is plenty big for 2 people and a couple of tired hounds /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif


Thanks to all for the gear transporting, the good food, the fellowship and the fun. I look forward to seeing you all and more at next year's gathering. Good luck to all this fall...bear season and the high-hunt are just a few weeks away!

07-28-2008, 02:14 PM
You are welcome. I wanted to do what I could to promote the general peace and tranquility of camp.

07-28-2008, 03:00 PM
I counted 28 persons in attendance, plus three dogs and five goats. Thanks to everyone for a well-supplied, safe and enjoyable get-together.

07-28-2008, 04:21 PM
What a great spot, thanks for the photos.

Buck W
07-28-2008, 05:16 PM
Wonderful location/weather; a most enjoyable and diverse mix of people; and a potlatch of abundant, tasty eats with Kevin B leading the charge. I especially enjoyed the presence of the family/tribal units of Hills, Bushcraft, Randy/Tracy/Mike, and Snakey.

Bushcraft is so good at getting this organized that he'll probably be "Leader for Life".

Special thanks to Patrick, Bushcraft, Evanhill and Scothill for allowing me the privilege of shooting their fine hand held art.

Kevin B is a shoo in for the NW Rondy Hall of Fame, and his number will be retired immediately whenever he hangs it up /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Special appreciation to Patrick for being the catalyst and guiding spirit which allows this amazing group to come together!

Speaking of kitty tracks, did anyone else notice the two very large scats filled with elk(?) hair on the way out?

07-28-2008, 05:29 PM
Saw the scat on the way in. Very interesting....looked more canine then cat to me.

Buck W
07-28-2008, 05:43 PM
Yes, could be. I hadn't been thinking canine..looked too large for coyote.

07-28-2008, 06:26 PM
Very cool pics. thanks for sharing.

Please upload more photos.

07-28-2008, 06:49 PM
Who's hammock? Bushwhack?

07-29-2008, 09:00 AM
Even my welcome back to work with broken sewage pumps couldn't dampen the fine feeling I got from the rondy. I rate it as the best yet with the fine weather, NO bugs and the great mix of old and new people. Kevin B deserves major accolades for his never ending zeal for fire and flesh and the skilled combining of both. My daughter and her beau both expressed their feelings that it was well worth the "arduous" walk etc. (that easy junket is what young out of shape folk view as arduous) and I'm sure will attend again. Thanks to all for the grand time and thanks to Patrick for his attendance and providing the foundation for all this camaraderie. I am already looking forward to next year and those gatherings that might come before that. Caitlin may have pictures which I will try to post as soon as I get them. Thanks again.

07-29-2008, 09:20 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Ken</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Who's hammock? Bushwhack? </div></div>
You mean the Bear PiŮata? Yes, it's Bushwhack's.

Tim in Washington
07-29-2008, 12:11 PM
Thanks for putting the rondy together Allen,it was great to meet everyone and match faces with names Tim

Caitlin M
07-29-2008, 10:03 PM
Those where very nice pictures. I had a blast seeing everyone again and also meeting new people. The Camping trip was very fun and also good exersice. I hope to see everyone next year and i will also drag my boyfriend with me next year.


07-30-2008, 11:26 AM
Lovely country, wonderful friends. What a Rendezvous!

Hats coming to all of you. First though, the "theme" for this year's Event needs to be pinned down. Here's what I have in my notebook from 'round the fire brainstorming:

---"Practically Perfect" (Snakey)

---"Boatwhack This" (Mike)

---"Not Quite Pear" (Rowland)

---"Up Deep Creek Without a Paddle" (Tracy)

I'm not sure we can get all of Tracy's on a hat, but if that's The One we'll try. Anyway, what do you colleagues think? Any more? Consensus needed, methinks.

07-30-2008, 11:38 AM
I like practically perfect.

07-30-2008, 11:51 AM
How about...

"Easy Livin'"

"The Road Less Travelled", or "The Trail Less Travelled" (might be more fitting for the Kifaru concept, and the fact that there wasn't really a trail involved)

I think Mike's suggestion (in jest) was "Goatwhack This"...which I think was summararily and unanimously rejected/dismissed after the laughter subsided.

Just tossing them out there...

Buck W
07-30-2008, 12:07 PM
+1 on Practically Perfect

07-30-2008, 01:03 PM
I could definitely live with "Practically Perfect". It gets the wheels turning for anyone reading it, which is part of the point I suppose. And, it was.

07-30-2008, 01:09 PM
Ah, GOATwhack...hit the wrong key there. Pretty funny submission, Mike, so I tossed it back out.

07-30-2008, 01:25 PM
Well, I'm not sure a hat that says "goatwhack this" on the back of a hat would be advisable, among other things, too close a cousin to "kick me".

Up Deep Creek without a paddle--not sure about letter limitations although I could live with it.

Practically Perfect--no objections but no strong preference for either.

Not Quite Pear--meant as play on "not quite there"

How about: "1 to 65 in 4.5 miles"--age range of attendees, literally in the woods that far.

Caitlin M
07-30-2008, 01:30 PM
I think the "Practically Perfect" (Snakey's) is good or "Up Deep Creek Without a Paddle" is the other good one(Tracy's).

07-30-2008, 01:49 PM
I'm kicking myself for not having taken more pictures (I only took five, three of which were of Kevin's preposterous load, two were of the kids catching a brookie on a fly during our quickie hike to Pear and Apple). Thanks to everyone for posting their photos. Most excellent!

I was blown away by the pure utility of the B.O.B. bicycle trailers. A must have piece of gear perfectly suited to such an outing.

As I mentioned to others on the side, it seemed a bit weird to be thrown back into the throes of work after such a perfectly relaxing long weekend spent with friends that are becoming even better friends. What a great bunch of people. Here's to looking forward to next year's backcountry gathering!

BTW - regarding the "leader" reference....I tip my hatbill in thanks to you, but think "organizer" a more apt description, since that's all I think I really did. Presuming to be the leader of such a group of independent-minded people would be foolish at best and more akin to herding cats. Really big cats. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

07-30-2008, 02:26 PM
practically perfect +1

07-30-2008, 03:32 PM
Those who were smart enough to ride mountain bikes really had the best of it. Speed (but still exercise), and extra capacity for extra goodies. A very efficient way to travel on a trip like that.

PS I will put the smoked salmon log recipe on the food forum.

07-30-2008, 03:32 PM
practically perfect gets my vote!

It was great to meet everyone, I'll get my photos up as soon as I have a free second.

Just rolled into town from Bend and I have to be in class in an hour and a half!

07-30-2008, 04:10 PM
I agree that "Up Deep Creek Without a Paddle" may not be suited to the available stitching area on the hat. I do like Snakey's suggestion of "Practically Perfect"--it certainly describes the food, weather, & bug conditions among other things! I'll vote for that...

07-30-2008, 04:16 PM
OK, "organizer" it is. Regardless, without your efforts to get this whole shebang put together, it would not have come off as well as it did /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif
Loved the location. I'm all for keeping this a hike-in rondy, although it is nice to have a few comforts hauled in by bike. Next year Randy & I are talking about using our game cart if the location is the same. If next year's location doesn't lend itself to wheeled transportation, I might have to hire a sherpa so I can bring a few more comforts and a lot more ammo.

07-30-2008, 09:09 PM
What a great event! This is my second NW Rondy & every bit as good as the '06 Bushwhack. Thanks to Bushcraft for organizing & Kevin B. for the terrific supply of meat. And thanks to Patrick for creating this online forum for folks who love the woods to come together. This rondy reminded me again that there are a lot of good folks quietly holding this country together.

I'll try to get a few of my pix posted in the next day or two; I sure enjoyed all that have been posted so far.


07-31-2008, 08:13 PM
Patrick and Allen, I thought of another potential slogan "shut up boy!".

07-31-2008, 11:55 PM
I wish I could have made it. Thanks for sharing the pics and stories...

08-01-2008, 07:37 AM

That's "Shut your mouth boy!" /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

08-01-2008, 09:07 AM
Right you are Allen.

To fill others in on the background -- Allen and I both had stories from our youth about our dads doing potentially illegal things that we didn't realize were illegal which we naively talked about which was promptly followed by a curt "shut your mouth boy". At some point, Patrick chimed in with a well-placed "shut your mouth boy" himself.

08-01-2008, 06:31 PM
I have one or two of those stories myself. Of course it was always only the "letter of the law" being violated. I always thought the old man should have explained the fact that "these things shouldn't be talked about" beforehand.

But that reminds me of a story. Go figure. A story about the time I took my sons fishing at a lake here in Colorado about 6 or 8 years ago when they were younger and naive. We fished the lake all afternoon and caught nothing. As we were walking across the dam on the way out, we looked down below and saw a fairly sizeable tailout pool that appeared to be fished lightly if at all. So we scrambled down and fished it. Caught about a dozen nice trout in 30 minutes, and headed back to camp very pleased with our fish-catching prowess. As we were walking back across the dam (which had a road) on the way out, a guy in a beat-up old jalopy (local yokel!!) drove by us and spied our stringer of trout, stopped in the middle of the road, and said to my 10 year-old son "you guys did pretty good, where'd you get 'em?" Before I could cover the ten yards between us and clamp my hand over his mouth, he pointed down to the plunge pool and said "down there, the fishing's great!!

Perfect application of the "shut your mouth boy" principle.

Of course, I explained to him later that night that when you find a good fishing hole, the last thing you want to do is tell strangers about it.

We've been back since then, and that pool has never been nearly as good as it was that day. Which is another reason that all boys, above all else, need to learn when to keep their mouths shut.

08-02-2008, 10:34 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Of course it was always only the "letter of the law" being violated.</div></div>

Rightly or wrongly, I inherited a strong streak of "live by your personal code, not the one that the state imposes on you" from my Dad. For the most part, my personal code is stricter than that of the state, but in some cases it goes the other way. Usually best just to keep your mouth shut either way!

08-02-2008, 04:44 PM
It just ain't the same, not having a pic of Miss Dolly after one of these shindigs.......

idaho lad
08-03-2008, 11:16 PM
Thanks to everyone at this rondy and esp Bushcraft for having us Idaho guys over.

Also a big thanks to Patrick for the set up lesson on the 16 man.

I'm trying to rid myself of some gear i'm not going to use in order to raise funds for either an 8 or 12 man.

08-04-2008, 09:51 AM
Hey Aaron, it was good to meet you in person. Hope to see you at the next one.

Buck W
08-04-2008, 01:08 PM
Aaron, same here.

08-13-2008, 11:09 PM
NW Rondy Attendees:

I'm jealous. Looked like a great time had by all. My kind of Rondy, lots of modes of getting essentials and non-essentials in to camp. Good ole back packs, bikes, goats and ? Looks like my pack llamas may have fit in here. I was seriously considering this years Rondy to meet some of you regulars but once date was announced I was sunk with family vacation commitment. Will keep on eye on next years date and location and hope it may once again accommodate some pack stock. Would love to come and make available some extra capacity of my string for some desirable extras such as varied libations, slabs of meat for the fire and any other luxuries desired. Will keep an eye on next years venue and time. Great job by all. Pics and stories are great carrots to entice newbies like me.

How many slabs of venison or racks of your favorite cold ones could we load on these guys? Hopefully we can find out next year.


08-14-2008, 08:04 AM
What an awesome vista in that photo!

Kevin B
08-14-2008, 08:06 PM
What kind of load does the average llama shoulder? I swear I have to find a 4H kid that is willing to raise a goat or llama and pay for the whole deal as long as a couple times a summer I can pick him/her up for a little bidness!

08-15-2008, 07:31 AM

Ave loads for llamas is about 65#. I've got some that do better with slightly less weight than that and some that can easily handle 80#. Variables come in to play. Age and ability of individual llamas, elevation, distance, weather etc.

Most experienced llamas are pretty patient and forgiving and will accept all kinds of load types secured to their backs. We put it all on there. Tables, chairs, float tubes, ice chests and whatever.

As you can imagine we have packed in some serious comforts into the back country that have raised more than a few eyebrows and jealous looks from weary hikers passing by.


08-21-2008, 08:53 PM
Here's the first of the images I have, I'll get more when I have a few seconds to upload them all to the web.

The 16 man at night, with the campfire


08-22-2008, 11:54 AM
I told you all it was Practically Perfect! Nice shot

08-22-2008, 01:54 PM
digging that shot Patrick -- it really captures the spirit and camraderie of rendezvous. would you be willing to part with a full res version?

08-23-2008, 07:44 PM
Definitely, I'll shoot it on over to you

09-28-2008, 09:08 AM
I just received my Kifaru rondy hat in the mail, so I thought I would post some photos of the rondy that have been kicking around on my camera for some time now!

Tracy enjoying the campfire at our first camp

Patrick enjoying the morning coffee/oatmeal in the 16 man

Buck and Patrick discussing

I'm no bug expert, but I thought this guy looked pretty cool...

One of Allen's goats

The setting for our second camp, which indeed was "Practically perfect"

Kevin whipping up yet another delicious meal! Thanks to Kevin and everyone else who cooked for supplying some great eats!

A perfect combo of veggies and sausage


Evan, reciting poetry?

Evan's girls Lula and Pia cooking up some sweets


A good sight

Beautiful weather

One of the goats getting friendly

Tim, Kevin and Rowland at the entrance to Pear Meadow

Kevin and Rowland checking photos

L-R: Tim, Rowland, Kevin and Myself at Pear Meadow

Pear Lake!

Another group dinner photo

Patrick getting in on some of the delicious veggies packed in by Randy and his wife Tracy

After the rondy, I headed down to Bend to help Evan with a move, and while I was there Scot and I got to enjoy a nice mountain bike ride

That's all I got! Sorry for the wait. I look forward to next year, and also this winter!

09-28-2008, 06:08 PM
Nice pic's Patrick...