KB's Winter Rendezvous
In February 2003 KB (Kitchen Bitch) put on a winter rendezvous at the
Sierra Muzzleloaders Range. I decided to go and take an old friend of mine (Swamp) who
hadn't been to a rendezvous for a couple of years.
I decided to take my tipi since my wedge tent had leaked on me in the fall and I hadn't
had time to re-water proof it. This meant that I would have to drive my Ranger Pickup
since this is the only vehicle I have that will hall the 27 foot tipi poles. We decided it
would be best to take two trucks because there wasn't enough room in the Ranger for all
the camp and a weeks supply of fire wood.
The day before we left I was rotating the tires on the Ranger when I noticed that the
right front disk break rotor was cracked. I got the parts and replaced the rotor. I
noticed that the first time I hit the breaks they went to the floor board. I hit them a
couple of times and they worked ok. This was to haunt me all the way to the rendezvous and
We left Santa Rosa Saturday morning around 9:00 am, drove over the coast mountains and
across the Sacramento Valley on Hwy. 20. Just as we got to the east side of the Sutter
Bypass I noticed Swamp (who was following me) flash his lights as a signal to pull over.
He told me that a large cloud of smoke just came out from under my truck. I looked
underneath and saw a lot of transmission fluid spread along the bottom of the truck but
couldn't make out where it was coming from. I took a look at the odometer and saw that I
was 122 miles from home. Out of range for a free "AAA" tow so I decided that
since the rendezvous was closer than home that we would go to the rendezvous and worry
about the truck later. Which is what we did with a dark cloud of smoke following us. The
transmission lost 3 quarts of fluid in the 40 miles from Marysville to The rendezvous but
we made it.
There was one other camp set up when we arrived. It was Le Puke, the club booshway with
his diamond fly.
We set up the tipi, had firewood stacked inside, the ozans
up, everything put away and a warm fire going by the time the
rain began to fall.
It pored all Saturday night with high winds shaking the lodge. We didn't have the smoke
flaps set just right so some rain came in through the opening. Water also came in under
the door. Because we were on a slight incline from front to back it ran right into the
fire pit. Fortunately I had set the fire in an old gold pan that I use when the ground is
At one point around 3:00 am. I got up to stoke the fire and noticed that the gold pan was
floating in the little pit that I had set it in. I pulled the fire pan out of the water
and moved it under Swamps ozan to keep it out of the rain. I got the fire stoked up and
crawled back under my warm wool blankets. Not too long after I went back to bed I heard a
vehicle drive in. It was Le Puke taking his camp down and leaving. The wind was howling
and the rain was beating a staccato drum role on the lodge cover. I remember thinking that
he must have gotten hit pretty bad by the storm to be packing his camp up in this
downpour. He said later that the wind had shredded his canvass so he just decided to
By Sunday Morning the storm had abated but the day was cold and
overcast with occasional showers. We spent the day keeping a fire going trying to dry
things out. We took a walk and Swamp practiced throwing hawk and knife. No one had shown up for the
rendezvous yet. We were visited by Blank Buster and a friend of his but no one set up a
Monday morning we woke up to frost on the ground.
About mid morning No Socks showed up and set up his camp.
Later in the day Badger showed up and set
up his camp.
Little by little the camp was beginning to grow.
On Tuesday K.B, Broken Drum, Burnt Stick, Iron Hand and some
others showed up.
Now It's beginning to look like a Rendezvous.
For the rest of the week we spent a lot of time hanging
out around Badgers fire. The temperatures were pretty cold for most of the days with a
little rain on Wednesday. After that it began to get warmer in the afternoons but there
was always frost in the mornings and ice on the water buckets. The temperature dropped
quickly after the sun went behind the western hills.
One warm afternoon, Badger, Broken Drum and No Socks shot
there bows at some sacks filled with hay.
Another day, some folks showed up for the day and wanted to do some shooting so some of us grabbed our trade guns and took a walk along the trade gun trail with them.
Small Bore was shooting his .410 trade gun.
Badger's .62 belching fire
Thursday evening Swamp and I took my pickup to Plank Busters plase and put
it up on his hoist to see if we could see the transmission leak but could not see where it
was leaking from. I decided I would drive it as far as I could and when it died I would
call "AAA" and get towed home. A big Thank You Larry for helping me out. On the
way back we stopped at the Buck Horn Pizza and bought one of the biggest pizza's I have
ever seen for 20 bucks and brought it back to share with the camp.
On Friday we had a pot luck it was good eating as usual. K.B. cooked a bear roast
"yum" and a critter stew made with Rattle Snake,Alligator, Elk and Moos that
Swamp had given him. Dung Beetle had a tin of her famous chocolate dung piles, Swamp made
beans and rice and there was of course allot of other outstanding stuff.
On Saturday Iron hand sponsored a frying pan
shoot and a ham shoot.
I managed to get two shots at the frying pan, hit it the first time. I Had to take down my
camp and head for home so didn't shoot at the string holding up the ham. I probably would
have hit the ham by mistake and earned a new name anyway so it's just as well.
We left the rendezvous Saturday afternoon and drove all the way home with
out incident. The Ranger ran fine all the way and didn't use a drop of transmission fluid.
The breaks are still not right so I am going to fix that and then sell the truck.
Well, I hope you have enjoyed the pictures and my little story.
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