2011 Western Regional Traditional Rendezvous

Tygh Valley, Oregon


The Western Regional Traditional Rendezvous rotates among the western states, and this year was in Oregon, so close enough for me to drive to. Tygh Valley is in the Eastern Washingon high plains area, beautiful country. It's also pretty rugged country for hiking/walking, with half exposed rocks and/or down tree limbs literally everywhere. The first part of the course was level but then it dropped into a steep sided valley where the walking was on this kind of surface, but on the sidehills. I did not trust my bad leg on this section so did not try it.

The camp setting was a huge moderately level area and the camp spread out all over it. I left Sunday so I don't know how many shooters they ended up with, but campers were still pouring in all Saturday night and Sunday morning. I'm guessing six or seven hundred folks, but it could have been more. I've never seen so many vendors at a shoot. There were at least two mini-vendor rows, but there were vendors spread all through the place and the total camp was so large I never did walk through all of it.

Here are pictures of a wonderful weekend shoot. I could probably have organized them into better order and there were at least as many shots I should have taken but didn't, but this should give you a pretty good idea of the event.



First night's camp in Portland Thursday night... :^)



Friday morning I drove out US 84 along the Columbia River Gorge. I went up on one of the lookout points for this shot of the mighty Columbia doing its thing... rolling on, as Woody Guthrie would say.

Roll on, Columbia, roll on.



Once at The Dalles, OR, my route cut south through the Oregon high desert farming country, mostly wheat and hay, new crops showing.


Finally got off of paved roads onto a service road up toward the area where the shoot was. As mentioned, it's pretty rugged country. This road climbed steadily up to the top ridge, where the camp area was.



And here's my little home away from home. The van is rigged with a plywood bunk and a kitchen box setup. My bows were displayed as much as the occasional rain permitted, and got a lot of very nice reaction from folks, including the professional bowyers who came by. Needless to say,I'm pleased. I guess I'm making progress.



I was in fairly early, though some folks had been there for several days in advance. Fairly level ground (relatively speaking) and more or less open under the pine trees. This was on Friday around noon. By Saturday it was looking more like a parking lot!



This was a different angle from my camp. The tents to the left of the row of trees are the beginnings of one of the vendor areas. I had a most entertaining half hour or so on Sunday morning watching the owners of the camper at the right working to get a full size one piece new elk target into the camper!



Now this is what I call a sturdy fence post reinforcement!



There were a number of groups with horses.


This isa different area of the campground, on Saturday. You can see how it's filling up.


Another area, a little further out. This, too, was full by Sunday



The shots were, for the most part, IMHO, overly long. I don't recall any shorter shots mixed in. Quite a few people I talked with commented similarly. In spite of my light bow, I took almost all from full distance. The target settings were very nice, though. This one (telephoto'ed) was worthy of Moses Lake!



My friend Kirk's wife, Kat, and I made the ram look easy, so Kirk tried a carom shot. Expensive, but impressive! :^)


Super wonderful late night campfire times, with tons of hunting and shooting stories. (The vacant chair was mine.) After this photo I got out my ventriloquist figure, Uncle Louie and he and I entertained with some of my old material and some storytelling. I told them about how I got into show business by running away and joining the circus. Somehow I think they doubted some of the elements of the story! Uncle Louie was very nervous about being so close to the fire, but performed like the trouper he is.



Early morning view out the back of my van. This picture doesn't come close to doing it justice.


The morning, noon and evening gathering place. The food service provided was great... breakfast sandwiches with sausage patties as big as the oversized buns, egg, cheese and tomato... or buiscits and gravy with an oversized sausage patty and two eggs. German sausage, buffalo or beef burgers for lunch and supper. I never lit my stove!



In case you were wondering what elephant ears were... a huge flat bread covered with sugar and cinnamon. Yes, there were some hyperactive kids around!


This branch was perfectly positioned at the height of the arrow path to the bear. When I took this picture, there were alredy 17 arrow dimples in this section of the branch. The shot was best taken kneeling.




This is my "memory shot' from the shoot. This cougar was hung way up the tree, and you had some real arrow hunting to do if you missed. That's Dick and Bamboozle's little arrow sticking proudly up there!



Other than just being a great shoot, the high point for me was when Kirk Lavender of Bigfoot Bows called me over and presented me with the prototype of his new D shape longbow, "The Boot Hill". This is the first straight D shape for Kirk. He and I have had a running tease going on for a couple of years now about straight "real" longbows vs. recruves/RD's. I guess I finally influenced him to come over to the light! :^) It's a beautiful bow, zebrawood belly and riser with a carbon back. It's built to my weight and inscribed to me, as the prototype: #001. It has quite a bit of reflex or prestress built in and, with the carbon back, is one fast longbow! Needless to say, I was stunned.