View Full Version : Colorado Backcountry Rondy Report

07-24-2011, 07:49 PM
The second annual Colorado Backcountry Rondy was held this weekend in a wonderful little spot in the Front Range wilderness. Patrick was unable to make it due to unforseen matters on the home front, and was great missed. However, he was surely there in spirit! We moved the location this year, and I think everyone in attendance just loves it. I'll keep this short on words and long on photos. I had been working on a bighorn sheep and goat project for the Colorado Division of Wildlife southeast of the rondy site a few miles, so on Thursday I made my way up to the trailhead and hiked in...


I arrived behind flamingo 7 and sab and his wife. They had gone over to last year's site, which was about a half mile away from the new one. We moved their stovewood and gear up to the new site and settled in. On Friday Herb and his son, Spencer, arrived with the goat string, along with the 16-man tipi, arctic stove, and enough provisions for the rest of the weekend. Herb always spoils us with REALLY good food. Included this year were homemade bacon, cheesburgers, rotissoire chicked, and lots more.




MojoSlim, his gal Nautilis, singleshot, RandallH, gonehuntn, and talk2much also arrived on Friday afternoon...

MojoSlim and Nautilis



talk2much doing what he does best...shhhhh

I have a couple dozen pics of flamingo7 sitting like this in camp from several rondies. I wonder if he watches TV at home like this too.

07-24-2011, 07:56 PM
Here's sab and his wife, Stephanie...


Herb's son, Spencer, beating the pants off sab in a game of Go fish...


Master bowyer, Herb, crafting one for his son...


sab hand carving a special presentation for Patrick...



We have a group gathering around the fire each evening...


07-24-2011, 08:09 PM
On Saturday COSHunter arrived and our camp was complete. In the early afternoon I took Spencer down to the creek...the same creek where I learned how to catch trout nearly 40 years ago...and showed him how to catch wild Rocky Mountain brookies with a Tenkara rod. In no time he had mastered his casting technique, fly presentation (#16 Parachute Adams), and promptly caught a bunch of trout...


Herb and his son, Spencer, cleaning fish...


Later, early Saturday afternoon, gonehuntn spotted something moving about a thousand yards away on the 12K foot ridge west of camp...ELK! About 50 or 60 of them. Whata a sight!


The official group photo...

left to right: Herb, gonehuntn, flamingo 7, talk2much, RandallH and Koda, singleshot, Spencer, Stephanie and Roxie, sab and Max, COSHunter, MojoSlim, Nautilis, Sawtooth.

RandallH and Koda heading back down the trail on Sunday morning...


RandallH and I on the trail on Sunday morning...


Randall and I caught up with MojoSlim and Nautilis on the way out today...


07-24-2011, 10:25 PM
Another fine weekend with friends.

I brought a video camera with me but forgot about it until the hike out. I didn't take any footage in camp but I made a short video of our pack out. The video doesn't do justice; this is some breathtaking country!

Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A23as6ug5lE

07-24-2011, 10:52 PM
I did take a few pix in camp.

It is a known fact that when packing for a back country trip it's important to bring items that serve multiple purposes. All the experienced hikers do this because it saves weight. Demonstrating his prowess as a seasoned wilderness hiker, Sawtooth uses his Croc as a pen holder. Very ingenious my friend!

07-25-2011, 06:08 AM
Nice fish, sawtooth and Spence!! How were the bugs up there, I see a lot of people in shorts? This has been one of the worst years for mosquitoes that I can remember.

07-25-2011, 10:08 AM
Mrs. sab, the dogs, and I just woke up in our own bed after an all-night trek and 4:30am safe arrival at home. There's nothing like one's own bed after 6 nights in a sleeping bag. We all had a lot of fun and hope to do it again soon! As I expected, the Kifaru folks we met were simply great people, and we enjoyed sharing a camping site with y'all! We're just starting to unpack the truck now, so hopefully later tonight I'll post some of our pics. Herb and Sawtooth, PM me your mailing addresses so that I can send you the photos of Spencer's Tenkara experience on CD (the photos are high-res, too big to email).


07-25-2011, 11:43 AM
Yes, how were the mosquitos? I was reflecting on the relative lack of mosquitos in the rockies yesterday as I was enveloped by a cloud of mosquitos whenever I tried to stop in the cascades yesterday. I must have missed bug doping my elbows, as I sustained at least 6 bites on the back of each of them. As smokepole says, people are wearing shorts (to which I'd add that people are choosing to stand outside), so it must not be too bad.

Looks like another great CO backcountry rondy. Might actually make it to this next year.

07-25-2011, 12:43 PM
Looks like a real fun time for all. Kids with fish can't be beat!

07-25-2011, 04:08 PM
Well, Singleshot just presented me with the elegant carved bark--complete with signatures from everybody who attended. sab, you're an artist. I'm touched deeply, folks. This piece will go in my office. And most likely get toted to next year's Event. I sure am sorry I missed joining y'all (sab, I can say y'all too--with the best of 'em). Missed sojourning with a bunch of fine critters too, apparently.

I should report on why I couldn't make it. It's a corker. Tuesday morning I had to call 911--thought my wife of 48 years was having a heart attack! I'm pleased to report it wasn't. Instead, my girl has Stage Three kidney disease. The kidneys impact many body functions. Hers were malfunctioning, and the upshot is loss of potassium (or somesuch) caused the heart attack symptoms. I brought her home late Saturday after many, many tests as well as getting her chemicals back in some sense of balance via massive IV treatment. There are five Stages to kidney disease, fifth being dialysis and death. She's a stage Three. It's not curable, or even reversible, but it can be arrested. That assumes proper diet and probably treatment--we'll learn more in the days and weeks ahead about that. She's feeeling fine now.

Anyhow, there's the story on what I was up to while you guys were Rendezvousing. I would rather have been there, but I sure am glad I wasn't when this happened with Sarah. Take good care of your wife-mates men. And I'll see you next time. (Wow, I've missed two Rondy's this year. Enough of that!!!)

07-25-2011, 04:43 PM
sorry to hear that ! You are in my prayers.

07-25-2011, 05:07 PM
Sorry to hear that Patrick. Modern medicine is remarkable and I hope you have another 48 years with her!

07-25-2011, 08:30 PM

I hope your wife's road to recovery is smooth and her journey towards better health is quick.

We missed you this weekend and your hummus and rice crackers. We're glad you were with your lovely wife instead.

We offer our prays for you and your family.

07-25-2011, 08:34 PM

I see you omitted the video I took of you and the goat in your para-tipi. Was I suppose to keep that on the down low?

Anyway, I wanted to say it was a pleasure to see everyone and thank Scott for all that great food he brought. Scott you're awesome.

07-25-2011, 10:52 PM
Hey, all!

Well, things have finally settled down enough for me to get some pics and some comments together. I forgot how much work it is to return from a vacation, and I haven't even been in to the office, yet!

First off, Patrick, I was disappointed when I heard that you wouldn't make it because I was looking forward to meeting the man behind all the great gear I use. However, when I heard the circumstances behind your absence, I felt selfish for being disappointed. You and Sarah are in our prayers, and we wish her a speedy recuperation and adaptation to life with Stage 3 kidney disease.

Secondly, Stefanie and I would like to thank all of you for making our Colorado vacation a complete success! We (and that includes our dogs) had a blast, and we miss the cool weather already (it was 102F here today). Special thanks go to Herb and his goats, who were able to bring some delicious "real" food into the back country. Thanks, Herb - we REALLY appreciated the cheeseburgers after a week of freeze-dried meals!

Third, how about MojoSlim and Nautilus hiking in and out wearing Vibram Five Fingers! You two have tough feet and ankles!

Now, on to the pics and then to bed, since I'm operating on about five hours of sleep today, and my alarm rings in about 6 hours...

First, here's a pic of the easy way to get a couple critters across a log bridge:
http://www.cyclewacko.com/images/sab Portaging Dogs Across Creek.jpg

Here's a picture of the crew telling all kinds o' lies:

Here's a picture of the "cheeseburger transporters":
http://www.cyclewacko.com/images/Cheeseburger Transporters.jpg

And, finally, here's Herb's boy learning to cast, thanks to Sawtooth:
http://www.cyclewacko.com/images/Spencer Practices.jpg

To see Herb's boy pulling brookie's out of the creek with the enthusiasm of a 9 year old was priceless, and equally priceless was Sawtooth's tutelage in action! It is easy to see that Sawtooth is a natural educator...

What a great event the 2011 BCR was! Hopefully, we'll be there next year...


07-26-2011, 10:00 AM
As for shorts vs. mosquitos...it was warm enough for shorts and the mosquitos and flies were nasty at times. Personally, I just bit the bullet after running out of my 100% DEET. When I was up at over 12K feet glassing for sheep, goats, elk, etc., the flies were horrendous and completely immune to DEET! And I had shorts on. The rondy site was the "land between the creeks" with a branch on each side of the plateau were camped on. We had bugs! This part of Colorado is very lush this year, with a banner crop of wildflowers, including some of the biggest bunches of columbines I've ever seen. There was also one particular piece of trail leading up to the rondy site, very wet and shaded with aspens, that had hundreds of blooming wild rose plants. And to think that area was under a Stage II fire ban just two weeks ago!

It would be great to have some NW-ers come out next year! In turn, YOURS is a rondy I'd like to make the long drive west to make.

sab, I'm looking forward to seeing more pics of Spencer, in the creek Tenkara rod in hand, catching fish. PM to you is inbound. Thanks for taking such great photos!

07-26-2011, 11:16 AM
sab, I'm looking forward to seeing more pics of Spencer, in the creek Tenkara rod in hand, catching fish. PM to you is inbound. Thanks for taking such great photos!

Actually, the credit goes to Mrs. sab. If I took the photos, they would not be worthy of publication :)


one-eyed Bob
07-26-2011, 05:33 PM
Patrick, You and your wife will always be remembered in my prayers. I hope to make a rondy someday. Bob

07-26-2011, 09:38 PM
I wanted to tell everyone THANK YOU for a great time at the BCR. I really enjoyed myself, and heard many great stories, ate to much good food and enjoyed a part of the country I had not been to before.
Patrick, I am truely sorry about Sarah, but glad you were with her when she needed you. We will keep Sarah and yourself in our thoughts and prayers.
Thanks for a great time everyone.

07-27-2011, 06:37 PM
Looks like another great rondy! I was thinking the same thing about the skeeters and shorts....lol...

Patrick- Sorry to hear that my friend. I VERY glad that this has been 'caught' though. I hope that her doctors can treat her and keep her well.

William Clunie
07-29-2011, 11:02 AM
More prayers from this part of the nation coming your way.

07-30-2011, 01:05 PM
First and foremost, to Patrick and Sarah, I extend my most heartfelt sympathies and my best wishes towards your Health and Well Being. Your presence was greatly missed at the Rondy, but we are all glad you were where you needed to be, when you needed to be there.

To all the Back Country Rendezvous-ers: Nautilus and I had a great time. I want to say Thank You All for your company over the weekend. I look forward to seeing you all again, soon!

I have a few pictures, but haven't uploaded them to photobucket as of yet. I will do so, soon. I took more pictures of the scenery while hiking, but there are a few from the camp that might be worth a post.

Aloha, a hui hou, e malama pono (until we meet again, take care)

07-30-2011, 04:46 PM

This one's for you and Nautilus! You guys are awesome. Not everyone can pick flowers with their toes while carrying 30-pound packs!


07-30-2011, 05:34 PM
Sawtooth, I was wondering when you were gonna post that. It doesn't take much effort to pick flowers with those shoes. In fact, they sorta do it all by themselves. Have you bought a pair for yourself, yet?

Feet were blister free and feeling fairly well, after app 9 miles (maybe 10, after our detour the first day) over the weekend. Ankles held up well, even for that rocky part at the end of the trail. Both of us experienced similar results.

Not that I'm going to advocate them here to everyone, as they are fairly.... Unorthodox.... as far as shoes go, and I've heard of people injuring themselves while using them (though, typically, it was due to improper break-in time). The shoes are Vibram brand Five Finger Shoes. These particular models are the KSO trek (5.7 ounces per shoe). They have a bit of a tread on them, but are still pretty "barefoot" feeling.

Anyway, I like them. They work for me, so far (even ran a bit in a rain storm with pack weight on a trail using them), but your results may vary.

Also, they freak people out sometimes.


07-31-2011, 07:55 AM
I ran onto this photo of some black morels that sab's wife spotted in the middle of our rendezvous site. We didn't cook them up since we only found three.


08-04-2011, 07:58 AM
Well this is my first Kifaru post that I've keyed with my toes(LOL), wearing my new Fivefingers Treksport model. They are very comfy and weigh very little, I like them. Thanks MojoSlim and Nautilus for the introduction to them.

The Rondy was my son's first backcountry trip, first time at altitude, first goat pack trip and the first chance for him to meet some of the fine people that visit the Kifaru site. He made me proud and learned so much in this one short trip.

Special thanks to Sawtooth. Spencer's introduction to backcountry fly fishing could not have been better. Paul's teaching was a treat to watch, and the numerous hungry brookies in Paul's honey hole brought lots of action. Thanks again for taking the time, lessons that will last him a life time.

sab and Steph, thanks for the pictures. Spencer sure liked the dogs.

Once we had the goats loaded up, we made the trip out in 2 hrs 15 min. Spencer thought the down hill was pretty easy.

Thanks again to everyone.

08-04-2011, 08:29 AM
Hey, Herb:

Did you get the Vibram Twofingers for the goats? :D

I'm glad to hear that Spencer had a good time. We enjoyed his company, as well! And again - THANKS FOR THE CHEESEBURGERS!


08-04-2011, 08:34 AM
Cheeseburgers for breakfast...it was a REAL TREAT...I second sab's comment!

08-04-2011, 11:18 AM
Herb, PM me your address; I'll be in Omaha Monday and Tuesday and I have something for you. Plus, we gotta have a talk about the five finger shoes. I'm just say'n.

08-04-2011, 11:38 AM

You're rapidly becoming outnumbered. Give it up. :cool:

08-04-2011, 11:46 AM
We surely didn't mean to start the revolution; calling toes fingers and fingers toes and what not. Nautilus and I did do a 5 mile hike with about 30lbs last weekend and my feet are still blister free and feeling fine. Her, being newer than I to being barefoot, had a little foot muscle pain. If anyone else wants to dabble with them, I would reiterate the words of caution regarding giving your atrophied leg muscles ample time to "wake up."

Herb: Once you've gotten through the "breaking in" time, I'd like to hear about the TrekSports. I think they're lighter than the KSO Treks I was wearing.

sab: Injinji makes 2-toe socks... maybe they're testing the market for goat finger shoes?

gonehuntn: you might just come back from Omaha with some finger shoes for your toes :) I'm just sayin' :-D

08-04-2011, 02:29 PM
13 oz for the pair. I wore them a couple hours yesterday after they got here, freaked out my staff a bit, but that's ok every now and then. I'm quite far from them being my "go to" shoe packing in, but I'm sure I'll be wearing them around camp. I'll get some time in them this weekend.

08-04-2011, 07:32 PM
I wore them a couple hours yesterday after they got here, freaked out my staff a bit.....

Dang Herb, I thought they'd be all the rage there. Over in Omaha, everybody's wearing 'em.

Scoutin' Wyo
08-10-2011, 09:27 AM
Dang Herb, I thought they'd be all the rage there. Over in Omaha, everybody's wearing 'em.

They're all the rage in WY. First it was the ninjas, then the cowboys started to use them since they give good feel in the stirrups.

08-10-2011, 09:45 AM
Oh come on. Cowboys are trading in leather boots for five finger shoes? What is this world coming to?! We may need to get Huntsman22 to weigh in.

Scoutin' Wyo
08-10-2011, 10:39 AM
Oh come on. Cowboys are trading in leather boots for five finger shoes? What is this world coming to?! We may need to get Huntsman22 to weigh in.

Once they figure out a more durable way of attaching the spurs on them they will REALLY start to take over.

08-10-2011, 11:51 AM
LOL! Now that is a funny mental picture!

08-10-2011, 02:38 PM
add a spur shelf and riding heel, and I will be all over them...........


08-10-2011, 05:17 PM
I thought that had already been done to Crocs.

08-11-2011, 06:38 AM
Maybe they wear gaiters over the five fingers for protection. :p

08-11-2011, 09:59 AM
Gaiters or did you mean garters?