Archive for August, 2008

MHS All Classes Camp-out

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

In a decision that has been been more eagerly awaited than the outcomes of either major party’s “veep-stakes” — the crowning achievement of extensive focus group sessions,  telephone surveys and  longitudinal demographic studies (not to mention extensive reading of tea leaves), it has been decided:

The Mariner High School All Classes Campout — aka “Old Farts Weekend” — will be held at the Big Pines Campground, located near milepost 9 of State Route 821, also known as “Canyon Road.”  Big Pines is a Bureau of Land Management campground approximately 16 miles southeast of Ellensburg, WA.

This is a marginally improved campground, with very nice new concrete-walled pit toilets, fire pits, paved roads, and ample tent sites — no power, no RV pads, no running water except the Yakima River, which runs alongside the campground but would probably kill you if you drank it.

Still, it supports a nice strain of super-trout which have hardened themselves against the farm run-off, and the whole scene is very — well, scenic.  In mid-October, expect to see many, many bighorn sheep, some of them practicing the unique mating rituals of their species (”hey, baby — what are ewe doing?”).

Ah, but you want to know the DETAILS, right?  Like, what is planned?  Who will be coming to this grand affair?  What will it cost?  Who is — ahem — “organizing” it?

OK — in order, here are the answers:

1) Like, what is planned?  Nothing is planned.  Show up, and invent your own reality.  I can provide you with reasonable assurance that there will be firewood, friendly people, family-friendly environment, and at least a couple of your age cohorts from that big white concrete block that served as your home away from home for four (give or take a couple) years.  Bring some food, bring some drink — and bring a bit of extra to share.  If we each adhere to this, the rest will take care of itself.

2) Who will be coming to this affair?  Whoever you invite.  So take it upon yourself to invite the one person you’d most like to sit around a campfire with for an evening.  And then invite one more, because….well, you know.  Sometimes you gotta have a “plan B”  I will say that I’m focusing my efforts on folks who graduated in the 1970’s, because I don’t want to feel TOO old….

3) What will it cost?  Nothing.  The $5 camping fee for Big Pines is suspended from Sept 15 – May 15, so you’ll be using public land at taxpayer’s expense.   You’l have to buy gas to get there, but I understand the prime rate might be dropping soon, so maybe you can get good financing.

4) Who is – ahem — “organizing” it?  Think about this for a second.  I’m suggesting it, but I don’t “do” organization.  This is ad-hoc city, baby.  Living on the edge!

This is, as has been mentioned in previous posts, a spin-off from our recent annual oldfarts fishing trips.  Fishing may still occur — catch and release only in the Yakima Canyon, by the way — and I’m happy to provide some tips for visiting anglers.  But the primary focus will be on a nice night under the stars, huddled around a camp fire, eating camp food and looking around innocently when you fart.

Timeless stuff, that.

I will post occasional updates at this location, so please send the URL for this page to your MHS friends.  If you’d like to advertise the fact that you are planning to attend, post a comment on the MHS Class of 1976 Blog site entry for this event (i.e., this post!).

Hope to see you there.