View Full Version : MT Rendezvous Report

08-11-2010, 03:31 PM
The thing that really struck me about the MT folks is that they have all taken seriously the question "what is best in life" and set their own internal compasses by the answers they found. It seems somehow characteristic that none of them have yet posted a report.

On to my narrative --

We took this trip as an opportunity to see some country as a family that the kids haven't been to yet. We traveled across eastern WA, northern ID, and then dropped into Missoula for Fuddruckers and the RMEF visitor's center. The next stretch of the trip eastward through Ovando and Lincoln was a simple reminder that heaven does exist on earth in a few places and Montana has at least one of them. We passed through a good hearty afternoon thunder shower which cleared some as we turned north and worked our way up into the valley of the Rondy spot. A cardboard sign that said "Kifaru - rugged" heralded the turn off.

Idaho Lad brought three camp items with him -- a premium latrine digger, a yamaha 125, and a prehistoric behemoth of a fire grate that only he could lift. We may not all have been rugged, but that fire grate had enough rugged to go around! Ed T and Levi chose a good spot for the camp and supplied it with bucked firewood and warm hospitality. Everyone brought game meat and other goods to share. A new wave of folks was introduced to what DP dubbed the "crap trapeze". All in all, a well appointed camp.

Here is a picture of the premium latrine digger, who is also a good hand with watermellon:

As always, there were many kindred spirits in camp and the day quickly turned into night, which just as quickly turned into 3:30 am as the conversation flowed. The next day started around 6:30 and slowly eased into mid morning. A couple of families headed up to the end of the valley to hike up into the basin and for the most part folks settled down to some serious shooting. First up was the kids' .22 shoot (recognize the rifle in the foreground Snakey?):


After the kids tired of shooting, there was a long afternoon of "adult" shooting with various firearms. Somewhere in there (it all flowed together thanks to the 3 hours of sleep), I ran into 112papa and his two boys in camp and they followed me directly to the range without setting up camp, priorities being what they are and all.

There was a second round of penetration testing against a firewood round. I forgot to take pictures, but the results were:

.45 acp golden sabre - 3.5", almost total retention, good expansion
.45 acp ball - 4.5", total retention
.41 magnum 250 grain federal cast core - 9", total retention
38 1/2 - complete pass through, 15"?
The kids played all day like longtime friends, including a creek dunking when things got a little rough. No hard feelings though, and they played UNO in the big tipi until around 11 and then again Sunday morning.



There were still those in the tipi talking when I called it a day shortly before midnight. The next morning, RD brought out his indian bow, which had a very nice light neutral feel to it. That was a treat:


Thankfully, my wife Kameron was along, so we ended up with a group shot. It unfortunately didn't include a couple of folks who had to leave early (Kyle and his boy), but is a pretty good summation to the Rondy:

Back row L-R: Ed T's kin and friend, 112papa and his boys, Idaho Lad and his nephew.

Middle row L-R: Levi and family, Ed T, Scot and I

Front row L-R: two of my little gals, SLG, RD in MT and family, my other little gal


Shortly afterwards, a thunderstorm sent us all scurrying to quickly pack up camp. The sun broke again for goodbyes and we were on our way.

In our case, we headed down to Yellowstone's west gate where we spent two nights punctuated by a tour through the park. But that is another chapter...

Thanks everyone for the great times!

photo hosting courtesy of flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/evanhill).

08-11-2010, 03:51 PM
Wow! That's a great crowd! Perhaps the Colorado Contingent can someday have a backcountry rondy with that many participants. Thanks for the post and pics. If not for the retrieval of my wife and girls from the soggy midwest, I would have probably been there. Maybe next year...

08-11-2010, 06:45 PM
Really nice pic's and report - Thanks!
Looks like a great group of folks and great spot too.

Hey RD.... is that gray hair I see on your head? Glad I am not alone. ;)

08-11-2010, 06:53 PM
I had a blast meeting such a great group of people! Evan and I were just saying that we tried to check out gear while we were there, but we were too busy making new friends to spend much time on the gear. Nonetheless, OPC, RDinMT, the Hill Brothers and EdT certainly brought enough goodies for show and tell. Not to mention great sausage.

The only real downside was having to listen to Scot whine about how much his gear weighs and how nothing is ever light enough:-)

I really appreciate EdT squaring our location and directions away, and everyone else for making the time to come out. We'll definitely have to do a winter rondy sometime early next year, and anyone who wants to check out eastern MT is welcome out my way anytime.

BTW, what was the name of that root/vegetable thing that Jay brought? It was awesome, and I need to introduce my wife to it.

08-11-2010, 07:53 PM
Rats! I missed the penetration testing! My son and I had a great time. We enjoyed meeting all of you fine folks. Neither of us wanted to leave early but I had another commitment that I could not let slide. When we made it home, my wife asked how it was. I told her it felt like a gathering of like minds in terms of the outdoors, family, hunting, shelters, stoves, knives, etc. Unlike other gatherings I've been to, no one had problems with dogs being in camp, kids shooting guns (under careful supervision), and guns in camp....lots of them.;)

I want to thank Ed T who took the reigns on this effort, Evan for taking pics and posting the report, and Scot for his outstanding instruction, safety, and patience with the kids' shooting.

08-11-2010, 08:04 PM
Kyle, just to give credit where credit is due, any good pictures you see of people were likely taken by my wife. I'm usually not good about pulling out the camera for anything but landscapes. On the penetration testing, I was thinking we were missing a 10mm. A long barreled 10mm would have been particularly interesting. Hypothetically speaking of course.

Dan, having seen both you and Rod within two weeks of each other, I've gotta say that you're winning the "race to grey" :D

Jicama is the root you're looking for SLG.

Ed T
08-12-2010, 09:01 AM
Thanks to everyone that showed up. It was great to finally meet some of you and to see others that I haven't seen for a long time.

We were blessed with some great story tellers and some of the stories like "Yummy,"
and Scott running through the brush after loosing his bike on the switchback above Evan brought tears to my eyes, I was laughing so hard.

It is hard to imagine getting together a group that has as much experience and knowledge of firearms, hunting and the outdoors in general as this group did. And maybe even more impressive is something RD said about how a group of people could meet through the internet and come together in a gathering where everyone gets along and you don't have to worry about firearm safety, and you feel safe in letting your children and dogs roam around at will. But then I have met my closest friends through the Kifaru message board and have added several to that list after this Rondy.

Many thanks go out; first of all to Patrick, without whom, there would be no Kifaru Rendezvous to attend. And also a big thanks to Patrick for loaning the 16 man and Arctic stove. It was much appreciated, especially in the evenings and during the storms. Hope you can make the next MT Rondy, my friend!

A big thanks to OP (Idaho Lad) for bringing his portable cooking pit (portable being used loosely, since it must have weighed 500 lbs) It made cooking the vast amounts of sausage and steaks a real pleasure.

Also a big thanks goes out to my brother in law Bill for big stack of firewood. Bill has been cutting wood for the cabin all summer, so we just grabbed a stack of that for the Rondy.

A big thanks to the Hill's for bringing the "crap trapeze."

Thanks to everyone for briging gear for show & tell and for all the delicious food brought by all.

Perhaps the highlite was how well behaved the group of youngsters were. It is wonderful to see kids at home in the outdoors.

Anyone looking for an excellent knife should get their order on the waiting list with RD.

The new Sawtooth was greatly admired by all. It will get its maiden voyage backpacking starting tomorrow. Awesome design, with amazing space for weight.

I'm sure more thoughts will come as I look forward to the next time.

Ed T

08-12-2010, 09:56 AM
As usual it looks like a grand time was had by all. Yes, Evan, I recognize the rifle. I am glad it is getting the use it deserves (I hope the kids are enjoying).

Wonder Mutt
08-12-2010, 11:42 AM
Very cool! It definitely looks like you all had a great time!

08-12-2010, 01:54 PM
From an single fella's perspective I'll side with Ed T and say that the kids from infant to teen were the highlight of this trip for me. They were all very well behaved and that is an testament to good parents. From Levi's little treasure to the teens, they were all superb young folks.

Uncle Jake
08-12-2010, 06:44 PM
Looks fun! Wish I was still living in MT so I could have attended!

08-13-2010, 05:01 PM
Thanks, everyone, for sharing. Great photos Evan.

Looks and sounds like a grand outdoors time! Hard to beat Big Sky country and people.

08-14-2010, 09:41 PM
Finally got this dang 'puter working..sort of. Anyways, what a wonderful weekend. Between the lively conversation, shooting some new hardware, looking at neat gear, Evans' daughter giving my boy a well deserved swimming lesson :D not to mention the UNO tourney going full bore into the wee hours of the night by the youngsters and ...and.... just a great time!

As far as grey locks go...well...Evan, I knew I'd like you! (sorry Bitt, just the way it goes. Guess we'll have to get together sometime to compare notes.)

As was mentioned earlier, Scott did an outstanding job with the youngin's at the firing range. Thank you sir! I can refer to uncle Scott now when I take'm out and remind them of the proper safety rules and who taught them.

I was glad to finally meet Oldpinecricker, looks like there will be some trips to the Idaho panhandle in the future. Thanks for all the food and the hard rock tested cook pit., as Evan said we all stood and watched in awe as the man plopped it up onto the trailer! Impressive indeed.

The spot that EdT and Levi picked out is a real treat. As beautiful a spot as can be had by car without the typical car camp ground crowds.

And a final thank you to all who brought all the food and game meat. Mounds of meat. My family and I met our quota of protein for the next month. What was it you said EdT about the Louis and Clark exp.? 8 lbs. a day? Well, we were close!

As SLG said, a winter rondy needs to be scheduled. I can't think of better group of people to sit around a cherry red hot stove inside a tent while the wind is howling outside in the frigid MT. wilderness. I get all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it (just so long as there are no"yummy" comments). :D

08-14-2010, 10:21 PM
As far as grey locks go...well...Evan, I knew I'd like you! (sorry Bitt, just the way it goes. Guess we'll have to get together sometime to compare notes.)

Yeah, yeah....Evan is a great guy....
can't see very well .....but a nice enough fella.

08-15-2010, 11:08 AM
So what if, instead of a NW winter rondy in Oregon and a MT winter rondy, we aim for a "Lewis and Clark" rondy somewhere in the vicinity of the Idaho panhandle. Maybe 4th of July pass. Or maybe even somewhere east of Lookout Pass? That would be a pretty cool event if we could get some NWers and MTans all together in the winter. Free tele lessons by Wanderlustr ;) Something to ponder.

David in OR
08-15-2010, 12:25 PM
Free tele lessons by Wanderlustr

That would rock. :)