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Rendezvous. Wow, you guys were great.

Posted by xsubdude99 
Rendezvous. Wow, you guys were great.
October 29, 2017 10:27PM

What a wet, muddy awful mess but damn, considering the rain, the surprise 10 o'clock quiet time ordinance and an extremely over-reaching police force, I really had a great time. I want to thank ALL the amazing volunteers for their massive efforts in making this festival a success. The sight of all those partied out, muddy zombies dragging themselves across the woods in the morning to help with the stage tear down really warmed my heart. I can't thank you all enough.

Thanks to the terrible weather and the help of the Elkhorn City police trying to intimidate everyone it looks like our numbers were about half of what they normally were but still, it was one hell of a festival. Great bonfires, awesome after parties and muddy smiles everywhere, not to mention the crowning of the undisputed, BWA mud wrestling champion, after a little recovery time, I'd do it all over again. Great job everyone. smiling smiley

Re: Rendezvous. Wow, you guys were great.
October 30, 2017 08:38AM
It was indeed a fun weekend. Thanks for organizing Bob. I know I had a fun time at camp and on the river. Now its just a matter of waiting for some warmer temps today to set up everything again so it can dry!

Andrew Van Horn
Captain of the Pirate Ducky Fleet
Re: Rendezvous. Wow, you guys were great.4
October 30, 2017 10:57AM
What a great rendezvous! Even with the weather and dum cops it is ALWAYS a warm fuzzy feeling to see old and new Boater friends gather at the Russell Fork! It was also so nice to take Brice and Vivian down the upper in rafts and give the "New generation" a taste of what WE all love!!! Great job Bob, Megan, B Randy, Mellow fellow, and ALL the volunteers!

B. J.- Kayak Bum and river guide
Re: Rendezvous. Wow, you guys were great.
October 30, 2017 12:53PM
Man Bob, our ENTIRE southeastern boating community is a better place because of you and your efforts to re-energize the Russell Fork River Rendezvous! I sincerely hate that the weather and the unnecessary intrusion of the local police force put a damper on your efforts. However, if there is one gleaming quality about boaters is that we can embrace the elements and thrive off inclement weather. From everything I witnessed, it was a hugely successful Rendezvous all things considered. I can't even fathom all the energy that went into all facets of getting this thing up and running, I hope you will have the fortitude to come back and do it again next year!

Re: Rendezvous. Wow, you guys were great.
November 03, 2017 08:51AM
I couldn't agree more with what Clay said. There are two major reasons the world of kayaking, pros and all, are aware of the BWA. One is the NPFF and the other is the Russell Fork River Rendezvous and Lord of the Fork Race. We have our fingerprints all over the Russell Fork and it is a credit to the BWA and recently because of you, that it is true. I see the Russell Fork as the Crown Jewel of Kentucky whitewater and the BWA has a strong presence. It does not matter the money raised, although it is sweet to give away money to AW. Vibe is key. It is more important that the commitment to the festival, the race and the Russell Fork in general creates the vibe that places the BWA front and center in this event that draws professionals and world class kayakers from ALL OVER THE GLOBE. The day we lose our interest in the Russell Fork is the day we lose our path in the center of the paddling world and we may find the club floating into dudsville like so many paddling clubs. This event, and your effort and leadership with it, are yet another reason the BWA is such a nationally successful club. Truly. No one does what the BWA does and your effort is part of what makes us great. It was good to see BWA movers and shakers at the Rendezvous (except Spangler and he gets a pass). We make shit happen!

And, man, I can't say enough about the impressive infrastructure, the heaters and the large, large pop-ups. Stage was beautiful. Mark Branch is the man for the sound and coordinating the music with the bands. Brandy, Megan are queens when it comes to ambiance. The woods trail was beautiful again. Just beautiful. Mello was the shuttle bunny extraordinaire. When I see effort go into something like this, I feel protective and love for you all. I don't really care if we made money or not, the event was amazing and the circumstances did not take that away. The BWA is better for this effort, and so is the event that we started way back in 1995 when I was a much younger hippy kayaker.

We need to move to Haysi. Elkhorn City is hostile. Carson Island is a great location because you can paddle to it. But, it is unfriendly like I have never seen before in all the decades I have been coming, and it is completely unnecessary. I see politics involved. We are eco-tourists when we are there. That may be part of the problem. Mayor Mike Taylor has been heard to claim that eco-tourism has done nothing for Elkhorn City. That paddlers do nothing for the area is the import of that message. While it is not true and we all try to spend money there, it does not seem to matter. We are not coal and we don't go to the Mayor's church. He does not like us and at the end of the day, he is responsible for the abusive police tactics at the entry to the festival.

To do Haysi, we will need to up the ante. It will need to be as much music festival as anything in order to draw folks up the hill to Haysi. It is sometimes hard to get folks away from Ratliff Hole on Rendezvous weekend, so large incentive to make the drive is needed. That is what I used to do. I funded many a Rendezvous out of my own pocket back in the day. One year we had 17 bands play, non-stop on the stage. Many played for free and just formed for the Rendezvous. Others, like Catawampus, Green Genes, Barnyard Effect, Born Cross Eyed, came and played for free or costs because I cajoled them to come help us recognize a breathtaking place at risk. Of course, we kept the BWA broke back then, like zero balance in our accounts, which is not close to where we are today. Anyway, this is going to require large effort to move the festival and make it attractive. I will help in ways I can.

Don't get down and bummed with detractors about the Rendezvous (I never listened to them back in the day either because they don't get it) and the problems at Elkhorn City. Let's talk to Haysi now. Let's promote the next years festival now. Let's line up as many acts, as we can, now. Lets coordinate with the Race crowd (Eric Hendrickson and Jay Ditty) as soon as possible. And, everyone buy goods and services in Haysi from here on until we get a new Mayor in EC and a renewed attitude to those of us that love the area and paddle and camp there.

I will add that it was brilliant to coordinate the camping situation at Ratliff Hole with Austin Bradley, the superintendent. It took a load off him, he told me, he trusted the BWA and it gave us some control over the camping. Great idea and lets keep that up if we can next year.

Re: Rendezvous. Wow, you guys were great.
November 03, 2017 12:28PM
Words of wisdom my friend.

Re: Rendezvous. Wow, you guys were great.
November 04, 2017 08:17AM
At this point I have to agree with Brent! Poor old Kentucky still lives in the Dark Ages and the politicians, whether state or local, will probably never realize the asset and permanent resource they have in Russell Fork river! They cling to coal which has basically been depleted of its once vast reserves and are blinded to any logical options. They do not even research or consider the rafting/river economy created in nearby states such as Tennessee or West Virginia! I think it is time to discuss Haysi !

B. J. - Kayak Bum and river guide
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