This year’s Round River Rendezvous (known affectionately as the rondy) was held at West Branch campground in Northern California, about 4 miles (so I hear) from Poker Flat.
Advantages of the site were:
1) easy to get to;
2) numerous campsites and workshop sites;
3) a cold creek running through it where we could cool off during the hottest days, and draw our drinking and washing water from (upstream from there).
Kitchen was well-organized and Morning Circles were well-run. Organizationally everything was very smooth.
Several days were in the hundreds, and on those days the nights were warm enough to sleep without a sleeping bag until about 5 AM when things finally cooled off.
We also had a few cooler days for variety, and cooler nights. The entrance road made a big loop when you reached the main camp, and there was a latrine not far away so that was convenient.
Fire danger was high, and fires were only allowed in a few select spots, namely the rowdy campfire and kitchen area. Other spaces made use of tiki torches, and that worked just fine.
There were a fair number of dogs, and that caused problems occasionally, but that’s about par for a rondy. Interpersonal relations generally went very smoothly, but the conflict team was available in case there was a need. Everyone was respectful of the need to keep intoxicants out of the public and family areas, so I didn’t see any problems there.
The rendezvous was multi-generational, from infants up through grandparents, and as far as I could tell everyone self-identified as an Earth First!er except for a reporter or two and a very small contingent of Green Anarchists. General impression? Earth First! is as young as it ever was, it’s only me that’s getting older.
People we know who were there: KP, Garlic, Karen Coulter, Gedden, Rod Coronado, Jonathan Paul, Dana Lyons, Tim Ingalsbee, Dave Parks, Andy Caffrey, Jim Flynn, Chris Manes, Dennis Davie.
Workshops I went to: Deep Ecology, hosted by Gedden, Karen Pickett, and Karen Coulter. Earth First! History, hosted by the two Karens. Ancient DNA, hosted by Dave Parks. Journal, hosted by the Journal Staff. And a workshop on the Mattole.
Mosquitoes? Yes. A few at breakfast, but most came at dinner-time. Except for mosquitoes, butterflies were the most numerous invertebrates. I also saw a dragonfly, a metallic wood-boring beetle with beautiful metallic green wing covers, and a small scorpion that glowed green under Dave Parks’ ultraviolet light.
There was the familiar dawn chorus of birds, but birds seemed to be mostly silent during the day, or maybe I was just too busy meeting people to notice them. Except for birds and humans, there were no vertebrates around that I noticed — no ground squirrels, chipmunks, deer, bears or any other.
Trees: Doug Fir, Hemlock, and Madrone. Understory: raspberries, poison oak, other.
Skies: a few clouds now and then. No rain.
Warrior Poets Society Meeting: four attended.
Welcome Back party for JP and Rod, Friday, July 4th, up at the rowdy fire. We had a good crowd.
Rally, Saturday, July 5th, first two hours were down where we had morning circle every morning, close to the camp kitchen. I tried out some new material. Then we had a break and moved up to the rowdy fire, where it went on into the wee hours. People seemed to enjoy both parts of the Rally. Part one was in a general space so it was alcohol free. Part two had a keg.
Sunday was the Journal Workshop, as well as planning for the Action. I didn’t go to the Action planning so I have no idea where the Action was this year, though my guess is it was at both the Mattole and at Seneca Biomass burner in Eugene.
One thing different about this year’s rondy is the amount of attention we were getting from the LEOs. They were stopping nearly every car that came up, and some were even stopped twice. If they found the smallest infraction they’d search your car, at least that’s what I heard.
So there you have it. My Rendezvous report.
(I should also mention that I brought a bagful of copies of Roadkill on the Highway of Love with me, and in two days I had given them all away.)