So there we camped for the night. The next morning when we met the NAF gang at Jerryís (local eatery with good food and coffee) we learned that evidently the place weíd chosen for the night was the local "hot-sheets" motel. Oh well, aside from some slamming doors in the middle of the night it was a good sleeping spot.
After coffee with really friendly locals, we headed for rendezvous. It had dried out enough to get us part of the way to the camp but was still soft enough that the owner had us park at the ranch headquarters and hauled us and our gear across some great hunting country (lots of deer and
javelina) with some ATV looking things with pickup type beds on them. (Two days later we got to go out and bring our own vehicles in closer to camp).
What hospitality! The Three Pines party were just great. They did things up right and made us feel at home. There was a Saturday night pot-luck dinner that was not only filling, but really tasty. Two traders showed up and they had some nice wares and were not above making some trades. Even the weather cooperated. The days hovered right in the mid seventies and at night it got colder than hell! But that helped us to get up early so that we didnít miss the early morning spectaculars. Fog rolled in at about daybreak and imparted to everything visible am ethereal, gauzy look. As soon as the sun broke above the surrounding hills the fog grabbed its skirts and fled to somewhere else. Really great to watch.
Despite having in attendance only the local NAF members, plus Howdy and I, it was pure fun. There were some walk-ins (including the Chief Factor who was on his way to Washington state and already behind schedule) and that population helped to make up for the fact that even members who were within easy driving distance didnít support the camp. As a result the income from attendees and walk-ins werenít enough to cover the expenses. Wherever the next nationals are held, I hope there are enough people serious about supporting the NAF that they will make the effort to attend. I know that although I felt bad about the lack of NAF members there, Mark and his party must have felt even worse. From experience I know that to go to all the trouble and work that it takes to put on an event and not have much of a response is pure depressing. You end up not wanting to ever do it again. Poor bull, guys.
In the meanwhile, summer is here! That makes it an ideal time to get out and practice our skills. Perhaps some of you can even write about how the camps and whatever skills were required and how they were done and how it all turned out.