Redwoods … and an awesome community of ‘treeples’.
International Tree Climbers Rendezvous ‘Coastal Redwoods’ 2019
Written by Tammy Bills aka ‘Sequoia’
The 2019 Rendezvous afforded tree climbing enthusiasts from many walks of life the opportunity to reconnect and to extend a branch to newcomers at Redwoods River Resort in Leggett, CA. Our site host ‘Billy’ welcomed us with open arms, affectionately encouraged climbing ‘Big Jack’ (named after her late husband), befriended all, and expressed her admiration for our group of ‘treeples’. So delighted, Billy extended an open invitation for us to return to ‘RRR’ and ‘rendezvous’ again. Thankful to Gene for accepting ‘the Pink Carabiner’ and hosting this year’s event as well as for Eric’s initiative in helping with scouting in the endeavor to secure such a great location for us to gather, and climb.
We had donors who offered 600’ hanks of rope for accessing the big trees, an awesome team setting access lines, a stellar safety team to ensure set-up, break-down and all that sometimes goes unnoticed in-between, including expert facilitation to assist those unfamiliar with climbing giants. Additionally, walkie-talkies were a significant means of communication from ground to canopies in efforts to ensure safety, and lines were hitched to indicate availability as well as climbers on rope.
There were special guests from New Tribe, and there were Tree Boats. There was participation in ‘the Big Canopy Campout’ with ‘treeps’ snuggled tightly in sleeping bags to evade the evening chill. A food truck provided great meals and a welcomed place to meet. There was the warmth of sunshine and glowing campfires, smiling faces, a British Pub, climbing and hiking along the Eel River.
Among presentations was climbing technology, rope walking, a drone demo for setting lines, stories about ‘Luna’, information on conservation, and on fire forestry. And our GOTC Sponsor held their annual meeting offering opportunities for many to share personal presentations of interests and ideas, including where we might rendezvous next year.
There was excitement, opening box after box of donations for the Silent Auction, lots of Swag, bid sheets galore and the thrill of last-minute dashes for the win. A very successful auction and additional donations provided thousands of dollars for establishing the ‘Abe and Lynn Winters Rendezvous Scholarship Fund’… One step forward in efforts to preserve ‘Rendezvous’ history, outreach and sustainability.
As it is with all rendezvous there were scheduled and organically grown good times, intrigue, light shed on new and innovative ideas, tried and true traditions, gear talk, resources, and connections including wedding vows exchanged aloft, tentstiles, and a giant cargo net, stacked hammocks, and of course a lot of climbing and hanging out in some very tall trees, ‘Big Jack’, ‘Reynolds Triple’ and ‘Bottle Cap’ among many. Home to some of the tallest trees in the world including some 200’ to 250’ Redwoods on site, who could measure the height, the breadth and width in terms of one’s imagination. Captivated by their magnificence, treasured memories are etched on hearts by those who lent a hand, shared branches, insights, gear, and good times surrounded by this forest of amazing Giants.
We had yet again as far as Rendezvous go a great team of organizers. And gatherings, and bonfires amidst Old-Growth Coastal Forest and acoustic ambiance while sharing memories and making new. Exploration in and among the Big Trees. Sometimes seemingly unfathomable, the majesty and the magic. To be but a spec in the midst of a Forest of Giants is seemingly beyond imagination, permanently etched on hearts.
Celebrating trees, embracing our differences, diversity …and the one thing we all have in common.
Redwoods River Resort Post ‘Vous Recollections
Written by: Nancy Krebs
Camaraderie, laughter, adaptation and fun have been keystones of Rendezvous Pre/Post trips in Costa Rica and Redwoods. Fabulous idea, to extend the Vous with opportunities to explore area highlights, with like-minded people. You definitely want to consider adding Pre &/or/Post-Vous to your next Rendezvous! I’ve come to think of pre/post trips as an insider’s sampler of the best and/or most unique features in an area with the bonus of fostering new friendships and gaining new perspectives gleaned from participants interests.
For example, on this year’s post-vous we refreshed our onomatopoeia (look it up!) vocabulary,
shared our love of the Ear Hustle podcast, discovered new music – gotta love playlists driving in van (another great Eric idea – traveling together in one vehicle; ya’ learn a lot about one another) and used participants vast knowledge of all things botanical to enhance exploration of natural areas: mushrooms, lichen, ferns, & of course, spectacular tree species.
Post-vous itinerary included a stop at a small-batch, craft winery (www.loxtonwines.com), dinner at a fine Napa restaurant (www.thefigcafe.com), strolling among the magnificent redwoods of Henry Cowell State Park (https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=546), and time in beautiful Monterey and Carmel, plus tasting custom, hand-made chocolates (ask Eric).
Originally on the agenda was SCUBA diving in the unique deep-water kelp forests of Point Lobos. However, Nature blew a furious wind on the Post-Vous stirring up the largest waves one local diver said she’d seen in years. So, SCUBA cancelled.
No worries though; if nothing else Treples are ADAPTABLE and curious! Whatever the obstacles, fun and adventure will still be had. Off we all went on a Naturalist-led tour of Point Lobos with Doris Welch, an acclaimed expert on the natural history A-Z of the area. Geology and marine biology were two of her specialties. The waves created a dramatic backdrop, crashing into the rocks Doris was describing, and sending spray skyward, with the unique Monterey cypress tree enduring this chaotic backdrop. Invigorating and spectacular!
In the evenings we enjoyed walking Asilomar State Park beach, visiting the Monarch overwintering site, finding great restaurants and finally, gathering around the outside fireplace to sing along with Joanna’s guitar-playing. The football fans got pizza and cheered their home teams, one night. No end to interesting past-times, with Treples.
A highlight was visiting Monterey Bay Aquarium. A vast array of exhibits and live animals do a stellar job of generating wonder and a love of marine ecosystems. We spent hours and hours exploring. For breaks, one can sit on outside decks taking in the long views of the Pacific Ocean and curving coastline stretching from Santa Cruz to Pebble Beach. This quintessential northern California coastal experience capped off a quintessential California Redwood experience. Synchronicity is a beautiful thing. Can’t wait for next year’s Rendezvous adventures and hoping pre/post-Vous trips can be a part of Treples’ experience!
James Reed “The Power of Tree Climbing”
Tammy Bills “Silent Auction for future Scholarships and Stipend Funds”
Paul McCathie “Big Canopy Campout”
Richard Mumford “Rope Use and Rope Walking”
Keynote speaker Stuart Moskovitz, “Luna…Branches Still Reaching 200 Feet…Message Still Reaching 10,000 Miles”
Anne Dangerfield “Tree Climbing for Conservation”
Gray Shaw “Fire Forestry”
Bonfire GOTC Meeting and 2020 Rendezvous Discussion
Eric Folmer “Tree Climbing in Costa Rica for New Year’s”
2019 Educational Sponsors:
|Nick Araya, Tree Care LA
|“Drone use in trees” Seminar
|Anne Dangerfield, Arribada Initiative
|“Tree Climbing for
|Gray Shaw, The Black Ripple
|“Fire Forestry” Presentation
|Stuart Moskovitz, Sanctuary Forest
|Key Note Speaker – “Luna…Branches
Still Reaching 200 Feet… Message Still Reaching 10000 Miles”
|Richard Mumford, Climbing Innovations
|“Rope Use and Rope Walking” Seminar
Special thanks to co-organizer Eric Folmer from Treewolf for his many invaluable contributions ranging from general event logistics, pre and post event planning/hosting, transportation, and educational excellence to just name a few!
Thanks to Our 2019 Community Donors:
Many Thanks to our 2019 Event Organizers!
|Host and Main Organizer
|Chief Cook and Bottle Washer