Hello, all,
As some of you know, I have been toiling away on getting a rendezvous arranged for this year, as the bylaws say I should. I have looked at sites we have previously used, and at some that we haven't. The criteria I have wrestled with seemed at first to be simple. It should be west of the Missouri River, preferably some place in the Rockies. My thinking has been that it should be located somewhere that provided the shortest drives for the majority of the potential attendees, where the weather was the most moderate and tolerable, where we could be the most undisturbed, and where requirements from government officials would be the least intrusive and least expensive. Other considerations were opportunities to show ourselves to others in order to perhaps attract new members and also to build contacts with other organizations.


In contacting members who might be able to provide sites or suggest others who could, I was unable to find a place that provided all of the above. Permits to use public land come laden with requirements and some of those are expensive, such as hooters and insurance. Private land is available but travel to them for many of the folks who would be most likely to attend is extensive and inconvenient.


So. . . . I have talked to some folks I know who are truly wonderful people and who are putting on their own rendezvous. They have their own property so they don't have to be hung up with the permit process. They do, however, have expenses such as insurance etc, that they have to pay for.


Yes, they would charge us the same amount to attend and participate as they do their own members: Camping: $20.00, Camping with one shooter. . . $35.00 each additional shooter $5.00, Family Max, 50.00. Traders are $45.00.


They have already established a fun set of events such as muzzle loading rifle and pistol shoots, primitive archery, knife and hawk, complete with prizes. They have both primitive and modern camp sites. They have offered to provide us with a primitive site dedicated to the NAF. The primitive site, by the way, is not open to the public. The rendezvous site is out in the country outside St. George, Utah, right at the mouth of Pine Canyon at 5000 feet elevation in the junipers and pinyon pines, set for 23 April through the 26th. We can, however, arrive as early as we desire and stay as long as we wish. There is a grand little lake for fishing about a mile away. Close by are trails used by Jed Smith, Kit Carson, and the notorious Mountain Meadows Massacre. Just a ways off is the trail used by the ill fated Death Valley wagon train. Mesquite and Las Vegas are an easy drive south. Zion and Bryce National Parks are within easy driving distance and lake Meade and Havasu are reasonably close.


After consulting with Buck Conner and John Kramer, I believe that this opportunity presents the best situation for our annual rendezvous even though the dates are earlier than I'd like. Everything is set up for us. We will have the opportunity of presenting ourselves to other buckskinners and even visitors who are not buckskinners but who can visit trader's row and can participate in the shooting events.


Having  our rendezvous at that time presents nice moderate weather (leathers during the day and capotes at night). It is my intent to send a hard copy letter to all NAF members establishing this as our annual rendezvous for this year.


The group in St. George is called the Anasazi Free Trappers. If you "click" on you'll be able to read and view their web site.


I hope this meets with your approval and support. You all know my phone number and email address. If you want to talk about it you know how to get in touch.


Bill Cunningham




come warm yourself friends