CASG #11, November 2019.

Discussion in 'Events & Meets' started by Doc Mark, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark Subscriber

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    Howdy, Guys and Gals,

    The event is shaping up, nicely, and as the attendance numbers firm up a bit, we'll make the final determination of which campground we'll be using. We'd love to do it at Belle Campground, but worry about there being enough room, if everybody who has expressed interest to join us, does so. More on that, later.

    For those of you who are old enough to be considered "Seniors", you can get a Lifetime Pass, which will get you into most National Parks, and Federal Recreational Lands. You can also get a discount price on the campsite, too, if memory serves. Don't forget to make reservations to visit the Keys Ranch, if you'd like to do that tour. It will be a drive from our campsite, depending on which one we choose, but might be a good bit of fun! As there are several dates available for the tour, during the time we'll be camping, we can do it in two, or so, groups, so that there will always be folks in camp to watch out for everyone's gear. In any case, if you are interested, here's the website from which you can check the dates, and buy your tickets. ALL tickets must be bought in advance, as there will be no tickets sold at the site.

    Keys Ranch Guided Walking Tour - Joshua Tree National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

    As mentioned before, please let me know if you are interested, so we can make plans accordingly. We've got a good group, so far, but there will always be room for more, should you wish to be join us!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  2. z1ulike

    z1ulike United States SotM Winner Subscriber

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    What dates in November will CASG 11 be held?

    Ben
     
  3. Doc Mark

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    Ben,

    Great talking to you in a PT! Talk to you again, soon, I'm sure!

    Doc
     
  4. Doc Mark

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    Greetings, All,

    We are having a bit of a nasty time, trying to get a campground that can handle our group for the dates in question! If you haven't already, would those who are planning to attend the event, please send me a PT, let me know what date you plan to arrive? Thanks to Mac, we may have a place to hold the event, but it will not be JTNP. ALL of the reserve campgrounds are now filled to the point that we'd only have a place to came in mid-week, and would have to leave before the weekend!! YIKES!! In any case, so far, we have six attendees who are definitely going to be there. Sadly, we lost a few who were hoping to be there, but could not. And, we have a goodly number who "might" join us. See the problem here? Without firm numbers, finding a site that can handle us is next to impossible. In JTNP, it's not possible to "save" sites any longer. You have to be there, pick your site, and pay for it, in order to have a place to camp!! So, if you folks would please send me a PT, firming up, if possible, I'd surely appreciate it! Talk soon, and God Bless!

    Doc

    PS - HUGE thanks to @ArchMc , for his advice, and experience in getting good sites out there, and for some other fun things that may well take place!!
     
  5. Rhubarb

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    Hello @Doc Mark and all, please count me out of this particular gathering. It sounds like a blast!

    Thanks for thinking of me and please keep me in mind for all future CASGs. JTNP is a 9 hour drive for me according to that Google machine...Im in east/central Nevada these days!

    JTNP is on my short list of NPs to visit...I might have to re-think my RSVP marked "NO"....
     
  6. snwcmpr

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    I wish I could. Some thoughts.

    Cons:
    Leaving the cabin in possible cold means winterizing if I do not find someone to watch it.
    It is a long drive .....

    Pros:
    Some people I would like to see.
    A great time of year.
    A beautiful area.
    Close to Death Valley.
     
  7. Doc Mark

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    Hey, Guys,

    @Rhubarb , Great to hear from you, again!! I've got you down on my CASG contact list, and will keep in touch, as more events are planned in the future. No worries about not being able to come this time. I know it's a long drive, both ways, and that takes a lot of time. I hope all is well with you and yours, and again, wonderful to hear from you!

    @snwcmpr , All things noted and totally understood!! Someday, maybe, it will be easier to plan these Gatherings, but I fear not. Mac and I have been talking, and it seems that all the National Parks are overrun these days, and that makes it VERY hard to choose one in which to have our event!! For those sites in Joshua Tree NP, where we used to be able to have a few of us show up on Tuesday, and grab all the sites we needed, so others could drift in later in the week, or the weekend, we see that's no longer allowed! So, IF someone wanted to attend at, say, Belle Campground, they would have to be there on Tuesday, or so, in order to obtain their site!!! I am not sure that this will ever be able to happen. Unless we reserve a Group Camp around 6-8 months ahead, I am very worried about us EVER being able to use JTNP, again, for one of our Gatherings!!!!

    We do have a possible alternative site, which is also down in the desert. More on that later, for those that do plan to attend the Gathering. We're working on it, right now, and we'll see if that will work out for us. It's NOT in JTNP, sad to say, but it could be a great place for us, in many, many ways!!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    PS - Only those who ARE going to attend, will be getting the directions to this possible new site. IF we do this, we're going to try to keep it "OUR site", and not have others show up to camp there!! =; :-$ :-$ :-$:thumbup:
     
  8. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    This problem of campground over-crowding has become huge, and is mostly driven in my experience by on-line reservation systems. To me they are nothing but pernicious.

    Some of my grown kids and their families repeatedly have to wait extraordinary amounts of time online the day and hour that reservations 'open' for certain campgrounds online, months ahead of time.

    Wonderland Trail reservations at Mt. Rainier Nat'l Park draw thousands when they 'open' online. Forget about it.

    In my opinion, these should all be scrapped. First come, first served, as once upon a time.

    It doesn't affect me personally; we stopped going to National Park campgrounds years ago. But the same is now happening to popular Nat'l Forest ones.
     
  9. ArchMc

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    In Joshua Tree NP, many of the campgrounds, like Belle, are first-come-first-served. The trouble is that the number of available campsites has not increased in many years, while visitation has increased many-fold. What happens, of course, is that people drive long distances and find no campsites available. If you're by yourself, this means searching for another campsite somewhere -- maybe just a legal wide spot. (Note to European readers: In the US, there is no implicit right to camp on someone else's private land without their permission. You can get in trouble for doing so.) A problem occurs with get-togethers (like a CASG) where several people want to camp together. There's a definite possibility that people may have no reasonable alternative other than to turn around and go home.

    To clarify something Doc said, this is not a huge problem at all national parks. But certain parks have become the cool place to be for younger adults as well as for the Good Sam RV crowd. This is especially true in southern Utah. The worst crowding I've experienced was at Arches National Park, where the features we could hike to were literally determined by available parking. It felt more like being at an amusement park. The rangers had temporarily forbidden backcountry camping until they could get a hand on crowd control. I kept catching myself thinking, "We should come back midweek," only to realize it was Wednesday. I've heard Zion is also now extremely crowded. Unfortunately, Joshua Tree now has these same problems, due to its relative proximity to LA and to the nearby Coachella Music Festival. The obvious solution is to open more campgrounds in nearby National Forests and BLM lands, but this would require at least a small number of additional rangers -- difficult to arrange given years of budget cuts to those agencies.

    ....Arch
     
  10. Ed Winskill

    Ed Winskill United States Subscriber

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    Frustrating situation, indeed. Here in the Pacific NW, on Forest Service land, we have never failed to find a decent car camp spot, although sometimes not at the campground we most wanted to use. While we now have a lot of population pressure, it is nothing like Southern Cal.

    As I've said in Action Gallery posts over the years, we quit backpacking in Mt. Rainier Nat'l Park years ago. But that turned on a host of factors, including the difficult permit system, the disallowance of any campfires in the backcountry, and the fact that backcountry sites are now located in the deepest, drippiest, dreariest parts of the forest. All of the foregoing for valid reasons, no doubt.

    Here, though, if you don't find a preferred car campground, you can almost always find something else before 'turning back'. But it may be in adjacent Nat'l Forest, rather than the Park. But the situation can sometimes be tougher for groups.
     
  11. ArchMc

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    Ok, it looks like @Doc Mark has passed the baton to me. ;)

    We do have a place to camp, so no worries about making a long drive just to end up at Motel 6 in Beaumont.

    The site is on private land, adjacent to Sand to Snow National Monument and about a 30 minute drive from Joshua Tree National Park. It's at 3000' elevation and so should be cool but not cold, though in November anything can happen. It could possibly be windy, although the site offers some shelter (as it's in a canyon). Water and restroom. It's more rural than wilderness in nature, but private (the canyon, again) and the adjacent national monument is as wild as you could possibly want.

    If the bright lights are calling you, the fleshpots of Yucca Valley are not that far away. For that matter, neither is the entrepôt of Palm Springs. (Palm Springs also has an international airport, if any of the worldwide stove brotherhood would like to join us.)

    I can't find where Doc has listed the exact dates he and Sweet Bride will be here, but they are in mid-November. Since it's private land, it doesn't really matter. You can come early or stay late. If you're interested in attending, please reply to this thread or PM me. Directions to the site will be sent to participants.

    Looking forward to seeing you!

    ....Arch
     
  12. Duck

    Duck United States Subscriber

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    @ArchMc can this site accommodate a pop-up trailer and if things work out and I can attend how late can I let you know?
     
  13. Doc Mark

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    Howdy, Duck,

    Mac can say, for sure. But, after talking to him about it, I'd guess that should be no problem, at all. Plenty of room, me thinks! I don't think timing is going to be a problem at this site, which makes it better than JTNP in that regard! Hope to see you there! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  14. ArchMc

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    @Duck
    A pop up trailer is fine, so long as you can tow it on a dirt road. I guess if everyone showed up with a trailer we’d be crowded, but that’s not going to happen.

    Timing shouldn’t be a big problem, either. When do you think you’ll know? Feel free to PM if you want.

    ....Arch
     
  15. ArchMc

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    I guess I should set some ground rules.

    No ATVs, (unless you need one for basic mobility).

    No shooting, hunting, fishing(haha).

    There is some land recovery/ restoration going on, so some sites you may think you can drive to, you can’t. There are some good campsites at some of these places, and you’re welcome to walk to these sites (a couple hundred yards). It will all be made clear when you arrive.

    There’s a fair amount of wildlife, including coyotes, bobcats, deer, badgers. Black bear and mountain lion have been seen in the area, but generally stay closer to water than this site. Lots of bird life, though fall migration will be mostly over by mid November. Bring binoculars if you’re into birds at all.

    This is just off the edge of a rural neighborhood, so we need to be aware of this, especially at night. Based on previous CASGs, I seriously doubt this will be an issue.

    Any questions, please feel free to contact me. Looking forward to CASG #11.

    ....Arch
     
  16. snwcmpr

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    Sounds like fun.
    Best to you all.
     
  17. Doc Mark

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    Greetings, All,

    Huge thanks to Mac, for his help in securing us a site on which to hold our CASG #11!! Well done, Mac!!

    For those who wish to join us, but have yet to send me a PT about that, please let me know as soon as you can. Only those who have contacted me will receive the actual date info, and the site location. Looks like we may have a pretty good turn-out, after all, if everyone who had contacted me actually show up at the event!! SB and I are very much looking forward to seeing some old friends, and meeting some new ones at this event!!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  18. Doc Mark

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    Howdy, All,

    CASG #11 will soon be upon us!! We've the makings of a great turn-out, and SB and I are really looking forward to seeing so many of our friends there, to have a little stove fun, fettling, and socializing!! IF you have no contacted me via PT, and wish to join us, please send me a message, ASAP, and I'll get back in touch with you.

    So, bring yourselves, your stoves, your food and drink, and be ready for some outstanding fun at CASG #11!!! See you there before you know it! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc