Our Trek To Shaky Town By Bill Velacich
After the Interlake Rendezvous, I had 2 days to act ready for the unknown of the Pacific Primitive Rendezvous.The four of us took off on a Wednesday morning in 2 trucks. Dan & Jed in one, me & Shaky Ron in the other. We drove as far as Pendleton Ore the first night. Our first night, we used our bedrolls on the ground at a KOA. Kinda weird to start a mountain man week with motorhomes, generators, and rules up the kazoo, but being burned and butt tired, nobody really complained…out loud.
Pulling into Seneca the next day, we found out the site wasn’t to open till Friday morning. Sitting in the sun being eaten by blood-sucking mosquitoes, we were able to meet some of the other Rondy goers. We learned we could walk in, find a camp and put up our tripods to stake our spot. Another tip when arriving as early as we did; we needed to get in line for camp registration. Lucky us, we were 5th in line. The bed rolls came out again for the night. Note to self: remember to pack DEET, and ya better make it the strongest you can find because those BS (bloodsucking… my what a dirty mind we have) mosquitos are like something I rather hope to avoid in the future.The gates opened at 0:700 the next morning, I usually am not a person who does anything before that morning cup of joe, but our camp was up and the excitement of being on site had hit me. The week was filled with friends, old and new, camp stories flowed; some spiritual & raw, some I’m pretty sure, not true. But whos to say… its all in the spirit of a rendezvous. We bought some bread mix from the girl at the end of Traders Row, and that’s what we called her. “Girl at the End Of Traders Row”. We learned to cook that bread mix on a dutch oven… umm, actually we learned how to “not” burn bread on a dutch oven… Ain’t that right Jed. Practice, practice, practice. There was George of the PowderHorn Camp who is from Prescott AZ. He called his trading post “Blind Dog” because his dog Dioge was blind. Darn good old boy, Dioge.How did we come to be Shaky Town… When the time came to fill out our safety cards, we had wanted a camp name. Dan Lamping, a big smile on his face, came up with the idea to name our camp in honor of the Factor of the NWC Shaky Ron. So it is written, by Jed Lamping in the charcoal from our campfire on a piece of canvas, Skaky Town.
And then the calmness of no phone service or vehicles, no generators… just the quiet of a lantern burning in the growing dusk as the camp settles in for the evening. A chance to understand just what it was like to have darkness at night.
From Dan Lamping
On June 12th, Bill Velacich, Ronald LaCount, Jedediah Lamping, and myself left for the Pacific Primitive Rendezvous in Seneca, Or. We made it to Pendleton, Or., the first night and stayed at a KOA campground. We didn’t set up a tent and slept on the ground in bedrolls. The next day we made it to the rendezvous site. We couldn’t set up until Friday. So, Thursday night we parked at the gate and slept on the ground again, in bedrolls again. The MOSQUITOES ABOUT PACKED US OFF, NO BUG DOPE! The next day we set up our camp that was home for the next week. There were 328 camps, over 600 people, and lots of traders. Next year the Pacific Primitive is in Paisley, Or. It was a great time, spent with great friends. We met lots of great people and made some great new friends. If you ever get a chance to go one, you will not regret it.
I enjoyed that we had 4 shelters between us so I stayed in Bill’s shelter used mine to store our provisions. Hassles? not really everyone played along. my only regret was I did not take more pictures.
Photos courtesy of Dan Lamping/ Published by Debbie Velacich