The modern day CACHE

topogrpahy

The topography of Canada and the United States, west of Lake Superior and North of the forty-second parallel, was determined between 1793 and 1812.  With the exception of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, fur traders from the American and Canadian fur trading companies did all of the early exploration. sacagaweaThese fur traders were either accompanied by Native Americans, or Native Americans told them about the major passes and routes through the Rocky Mountains.

surveyorThe French explorers who mapped the shores of America’s Great Lakes were not trained in surveying. When we look at the maps they drew, in the 1600s and 1700s, there are many mistakes.  Modern surveying had to wait, in any case, until the invention of a reliable chronometer watch that could be used to observe astronomical objects and precisely fix longitudes.  The inventor who assembled the first longitudinal chronometer was an Englishman, a Mr. John Harrison, and he and his successors sold chronometers to the “sea dogs” of the Royal Navy.  chronometerStarting in the late 1700s, the Royal Navy calibrated its chronometers by the longitude of its headquarters in Greenwich, a suburb of London, and the longitudinal numbers that flash on our GPS devices are based upon Greenwich to this day.  Determining one’s precise location, which now can be done with the push of a button or two on a smart phone, then required tedious observations of several known angles – such as the elevation of the North Star – and then complex arithmetical calculations by the light of a grimy window, a candle, or an oil lamp.

cacheThe word CACHE stirs up visions of pioneers, gold miners, pirates and FUR TRADERS. Fur traders and early explorers often “cached” their goods. When Lewis and Clark were hiring men in and around Mackinac Island’s great rival, St. Louis, in 1803; they hired many trained fur traders. Two years later in 1805, pushing up the Missouri River into what is now western Montana, these men saw the Rocky Mountains rising in front of them. They knew they would be coming back, so they carefully memorized certain sections of the riverbank, dug at least two separate holes, deposited some of the goods that they did not want to portage over the mountains, and called the holes “caches.”

lewisdiaryIn 1806 the successful explorers, who had reached and wintered on the Pacific coast, re-crossed the mountains and retrieved their hoards. Lewis was sad, however, he admitted in his journal, that at least one of the caches, containing valuable bearskins, had gotten wet and the furs were ruined. Later fur traders learned how to dig and line relatively waterproof caches by searching for patches of well-drained sandy high ground and using grease, tallow, wax, or some other waterproofing agent to try to seal valuable goods.

Each cache was buried secretly and the extra dirt was piled on a blanket or hide and taken to a stream where it could be washed away.  Other tricks to hiding a cache include digging up the floor within the walls of a tent, burying the cache and then camping over it for a period of days to tamp down the dirt and remove any sign of the hole.  Many trappers would build a campfire over the cache as well.  Sometimes, it was over a year before the trapper returned to their cache treasure mapand to find it they made rough maps, identifying a large mound of dirt over here…a unique tree over there…a big boulder…They would then note the location of the cache by pacing the distance to the cache from each identified landmark.


Let’s fast forward to the current century. Although modern technology has given ease to what was once tedious, man’s desire to seek and discover has not waned.  We experience a Bill Murray type of “Groundhog Day” each day we live by getting up, going to work, doing the sleep thing and starting all over again most days of our lives.  It’s no wonder our desire for diversity and adventure is often achieved during our “down-time” by getting ourselves lost in the great outdoors.

satelliteOn May 2, 2000, at approximately midnight, eastern savings time, twenty-four satellites around the globe simultaneously processed new orders and instantly the accuracy of GPS technology improved tenfold.

An announcement, the day before, came as a welcome surprise to everyone who worked with GPS technology. The government planned to remove selective availability of GPS completely by 2006.

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Dave Ulmer, the first geocache stasher

On May 3, 2000, Dave Ulmer, a computer consultant, wanted to test the accuracy of the now publically available GPS tracking by hiding a navigational target in the woods. He called the idea the “Great American GPS Stash Hunt” and posted it on an internet GPS users’ group.  Dave placed his own container, a black bucket, in the woods by Beavercreek, Oregon, which is near to Portland. Along with a logbook and pencil, he left various prize items including videos, books, software, and a slingshot. He shared the waypoint of his “stash” with the online community on sci.geo.satellite-nav:

N 45° 17.460 W 122° 24.800

Within three days, two different readers read about his stash on the Internet, used their own GPS receivers to find the container, and shared their experiences online. Throughout the next week, others excited by the prospect of hiding and finding stashes, began hiding their own containers and posting coordinates. Like many new and innovative ideas on the Internet, the concept spread quickly.

mikeWithin the first month, Mike Teague, the first person to find Ulmer’s stash, began gathering the online posts of coordinates around the world and documenting them on his personal home page. The “GPS Stash Hunt” mailing list was created to discuss the emerging activity. Names were even tossed about to replace the name “stash” due to the negative connotations of that name.  And Geocaching was born.

GEO: for Earth, was used to describe the global nature of the activity, but also for its use in familiar topics in gps such as geography.

CACHE:  The French word invented in 1797, referred to a hiding place someone would use to temporarily store items.

For the first few months, geocaching was confined to existing experienced GPS users who already used the technology for outdoor activities such as backpacking and boating. Those users had an existing knowledge of GPS and a firm grasp of the obscure lingo used. New players had a steep learning curve before going out on their first cache hunt and tools were initially scarce for this new game.

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Brian Roth, Jeremy Irish and Elias Alvord

Jeremy Irish, a web developer for a Seattle company, stumbled upon Mike Teague’s website in July 2000 while doing research on GPS technology. The idea of treasure hunting and using tech-gadgets represented the marriage of two of his biggest interests. Discovering one was hidden nearby; Jeremy purchased his first GPS unit and went on his first hunt the following weekend.

After experiencing the thrill of finding his first cache, Irish decided to start a hobby site for the activity. Adopting the term geocaching, he created Geocaching.com and applied his professional web skills to create tools to improve the cache-hunting experience. The cache listings were still added by hand, but a database helped to standardize the listings. Additional features, like searching for caches around zip codes, made it easier for new players to find listings for nearby caches.

With Mike Teague’s valuable input, the new site was completed and announced to the stash-hunting community on September 2, 2000. At the time the site was launched there were a mere 75 known caches in the world.

slashdotSlashdot, a popular online magazine for techies, reported the new activity on September 25, 2000, introducing a larger group of technology professionals to the activity. The New York Times picked up the story and featured it in its “Circuits” section in October, starting a domino effect of articles written in magazines, newspapers, and other media outlets around the world. CNN even did a segment in December 2000 to profile the new hobby.

The growing community chanted the mantra “If you hide it, they will find it” to the newer players. After some reassurances, pioneers of the hobby started placing caches just to see whether people would go find them. They did.

Through word of mouth, press articles, and even accidental cache discoveries, more and more people have become involved in geocaching. First started by technology and GPS enthusiasts, the ranks of geocachers now include couples, families, and groups from all walks of life. The excitement of the hunt appeals to both the inner (and outer) child. Today you can do a search on just about anywhere in the world and be able to walk, bike, or drive to a nearby hidden cache.

geocachelogoGeocaching is a real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now; all around you using GPS enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache hidden at that location.  There are now 2,590,242 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers worldwide.

See!  Everyone, at heart, wants to be a Mountain Man!

laketown01There are also no less than 54 caches hidden in or around Laketown, UT. All you need is a smart phone and the coordinates to the cache, which may be found here:

https://www.geocaching.com/play/search/@41.82549,-111.32243?origin=Laketown+utah

meritbadgeIf you are bringing your family up to camp and visit the Rendezvous, consider giving geocaching a go. If you have a boy scout in your family, they can earn a merit badge for participating.  This is a FUN, FUN activity for the entire family!

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A much younger Dana finding her first cache! July 2001

Dana is a member of Groundspeak and Geocaching.com.  If you have any initial questions about this activity, please feel free to leave a comment below and she will reply.  Or, you may contact her by email with your questions:

dana@bearlakerendezvous.com

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Mountain Men – Myths and Legends

As a small and unique cultural subset of the U.S. population in the early 1800’s, Mountain men distinguished themselves by forging into the wilderness between St. Louis and California. They mapped the rivers and mountains, established relations with Indian populations, saw unimaginable sights, survived uncivilized conditions and experienced incredible adventures.

When the energy of the nation was focused on westward expansion, the Mountain Man was at the forefront of that expansion and consciousness.  Subsequently, who and what they were become distorted until today popular knowledge holds, as truth, multiple misconceptions. It did not help matters that Mountain Men were also masters of spinning tales.  Many an experience was embellished into a larger than life story that made it into the books of American history.

Some of these misconceptions include:

  1. Mountain men always have beards
  2. Mountain men were solitary and loners
  3. Mountain men softened their leather by first chewing it
  4. Mountain men cheated the Indians by trading worthless trinkets for valuable furs
  5. Mountain men were illiterate

What are some myths/legends  you may have heard? Post them on our face book page.

Countdown……10,9,8……..

Ten more days! Things are going well. We have had lots of questions about the exact location of the rendezvous. On our website www.bearlakerendezvous.com you can view the map with directions including exact mileage from highway 30 in Laketown. Also, included is our contact #’s. ReminIMG_0243ding you that cell ser
vice can be spotty so LEAVE A MESSAGE and be patient. When service is available we can call you back.

We are doing our best to have signage. We expect that travelers are sharp enough to get to Laketown Utah. If you are really savvy here ya go..  41.83030296550294, -111.36064572259784

 

Additional Mileage Landmarks to the Laketown turnoff:

Rendezvous beach east 1.8 miles

Ideal Beach Main Gate 6.6 Miles

Garden City 9.7 MilesIMG_0323

Logan 49.2 Miles

From Sage Creek Junction 12.1 miles

From Randolph Utah 20.8 Miles

From Woodruff Utah 30.7 Miles

From Evanston Wyoming 53.4 Miles

Click here for Map

Also a reminder. Bring ice and water. We have a limited supply of water available at the “spring” tent located at the food court. Ice is available at Dee’s service in town. We have asked that they have an ample stock.

We want to remind you:

If you have any questions we can be contacted by cell or text. Service can be spotty so leave a message and contact number an we will call back.

Kash Johnson 801-452-1518

Joel Marler 801-567-1194

Reminders:

This is an outdoor event. Dress accordingly and prepare for inclement weather, uneven ground , loud noises, animal encounters and unpaved roads.

Dogs must be on a leash and poop picked up and discarded

This is a family event. Please act and dress as if your kids and grand kids are watching you.

Please bring ice and water for personal use. Please pickup after yourself. This is a non profit all volunteer event. If you leave it behind leave it in the appropriate location.

We are looking forward to a great event with fun for all.

Remember, we expect to make mistakes. Complaining without a solution is whining! Criticism with ideas for a solution are not only welcome, but solicited.

20 Days

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The site has been mowed and prepared

So the countdown begins.

We had a chance to visit the site this week. We plotted out traders row, primitive camping area, day parking and tin tipi camping area. We have a great area for shooting competitions and demonstrations. Archery and knife & hawk throwing areas. We located the entry/gate area and food court location where the “spring (water) tent” will be located.

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Kash and Landowner Rick discuss the layout

We met with landowner Rick Johnson to discuss access points as well as issues from last year.

There is lots of work left to do. Signs to be made and posted. Contact radio and television to promote. Permits to be pulled and notices to be posted.

But that is the fun of it. We have a great site and look forward to all who can attend.

For any information watch the website www.bearlakerendezvous.com for the itinerary and contact information. IMG_3408

Time Travel is possible

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The cool dawn breaks. As the eastern sky begins to lighten, wood smoke from dozens of cook fires wafts across the valley. The smell of bacon frying makes bearded mouths water. The stomachs of buckskin clad men growl in anticipation of a morning meal.

Such was the start of a typical morning at the 1827 Mountain Man Rendezvous at Sweet Lake (Now Bear Lake) and such is the way a typical morning will play out at the 2014 Bear Lake Rendezvous in Laketown Utah. August 20-24.

History comes alive as authentic trappers, traders and Indians recreate the glorious hey days of the fur trade. There will be dancing and singing, trading, tall tales and tomahawk, knife, archery and black powder rifle competitions. Browse the trade tents where authentic mountain man and Indian goods are available to purchase. Everything from buckskins, teepees and canvas tents to black powder rifles, bull horns and bows and arrows will be laid out in an amazing array of accurately recreated history. Marvel as the modern day craftsmen use primitive techniques and tools to make the everyday items of mountain man culture.

It wasn’t and isn’t all about the men either. You’ll see women adorned in buckskin dresses, beads and feathers or cotton shirts and calico dresses throwing knives and tomahawks at targets. (Not mountain men, though some may deserve it!)

So if you’re looking for a new and exciting adventure, step back in time and join us. Bring the family, spend an hour, a day or stay for the duration. Wrap a lip around some tasty mountain man cooking. Primitive camping is available.

For more information go to: http://www.bearlakerendezvous.com/  Text and photo by Dave Petersen

Here We Go

August 22nd-25th 2013

Hello The Camp!

Thanks to all who have pledged their support. We are happy to report the 2013 Bear Lake Rendezvous is ON!

Our plans are underway to make the 1st annual Bear Lake Mountain Man Rendezvous the “best / first” rendezvous you have ever attended.photo (4) - Copy

To all the Bear Lake visitors, seasoned buck-skinners and Rich County residents. Please mark your calendars and plan on attending.

 

 

 

For any questions, comments or offers please contact

kash4

Chairman:  Kash Johnson             801-452-1518

Booshway: Roger Backus             435-616-5159

Segundo:    Craig Miller                435-901-3322

 

http://www.bearlakerendezvous.com

Facebook/bearlakerendezvou

Email: info@bearlakerendezvous.com

Mail: PO Box 44, Woodruff UT 84086

The Naked Truth

Hello All,

We started thinking about Bear Lake as a great place to re-create a mountain man rendezvous. After all, the Bear Lake Valley is the place two of the twenty mountain man rendezvous’s actually occurred (1827-28). In late August, the area is beautiful and full of fun seeking, enthusiastic visitors.

We, as a group, are fast approaching a crossroads in our planning, implementing and executing a successful 2013 Bear Lake Rendezvous. (BLR)

Here is a quick overview.

Things we have:

  • We found a landowner who appreciates the historical and educational elements a rendezvous re-creation would offer as well as celebrating the heritage of the area. He is willing to let us use his land accepting all the wear and tear that comes with holding an event concluding the sacrifice is worth it.
  • We have Kash Johnson, a dedicated mountain man historian with 14 years experience in managing mountain man rendezvous re-creations. His only interest is to share his passion with those willing and interested to learn about the mountain man era.
  • We have the support of the local community who are anxious to see a rendezvous event and embracing the idea.
  • We have local and state media anxious to cover the event because it is in UTAH.
  • We have a tourist based recreational area with over 15,000 people in the area playing and having fun on the scheduled weekend. It is a very focused local market with lots of people with a lot  of money looking for things to do. Translation: Traders have a lot of potential customers ready to spend.

Tasks accomplished

  • Meetings with the landowner, county commissioners, Laketown town council
  • Incorporated as Bear Lake Rendezvous Inc.
  • Applied for and received non-profit status
  • Fire Barrels
  • Land owner agreement
  • Site layout
  • Website www.bearlakerendezvous.com
  • Facebook page
  • Logo created
  • County permit
  • Hooters purchased and refurbished
  • Bank Account
  • Alliances formed with The National Oregon California Trail Center, The American West Heritage Center and Bear River Heritage Area.

Budget

Insurance $850

Port a pots $2000

Dump fees $500

Gate management $500

Office supplies $200

P.O. Box $45

State registration $15

501(c)(3) $400

Water $250

Land lease $300

Web page $100

Advertising $300

Unexpected/emergency funds $1000

Total $6460.00

Now, full disclosure. We have the money to proceed. So this is not a plea for money.

We have most of the ingredients necessary to cook up a great event.   But we have to have the participation of traders and campers to attract a visitor market. As of now we have 11 traders registered. The area will support as many as we want. We need to have 35 traders/campers signed up and committed to attend to provide a marketable product to the visitors.

If we do not have 35 traders/campers signed up/committed by June 20th  we will cancel the 2013 BLR and make plans for the 2014 BLR. All paid registrations will be 100 % refunded.

If we do cancel 2013 we would be interested to find out why there was not enough interest with the traders/campers. Bad dates? Too close to Bridger Rendezvous? Too hot? Think people will not attend? Bad Location?Your input will help us move forward and make changes as necessary for 2014.

Understandably, there is apprehension about a new event. Our number one goal was to produce a quality event for the participants as well as the visitors.  We will pursue this goal and refuse to offer a “bad” event that will denigrate the future of the Bear Lake Rendezvous.

Also,  receiving non-profit status will allow us to attract corporate sponsors who will be willing to contribute to the success of the future rendezvous. We can get into budgets for 2014 and the donation is then tax-deductible.

So anyway, thanks for reading through. It’s up to you. If you have registered, thank you. Please talk to all those that may not have heard. Pass on the info to friends and family. We are excited to proceed, if not this summer, next summer. We can make this a rendezvous to be proud of.

Thanks BLR INC.