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Rendezvous 2014



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What: 2014 Backcountry Llama Rendezvous and Drive-in.Poster

When:  June 27-29, 2014

Where: Hidden Oaks Llama Ranch, Estacada, Oregon.

Why: To learn and educate others about llamas, and have fun doing so.

Last updated: Tuesday, June 24, 2014 19:37


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Continuing the inclination to vary the location and environment in the PNW to keep things fresh, this year's event moves from Southeastern to Northwestern Oregon.  The setting this year is in the mixed forest land of inland Oregon.

About Hidden Oaks Llama Ranch

Hidden Oaks is a 50 acre llama ranch with on-site camping facilities.  Our camp area features a wood-fired pizza oven.  There are hiking and driving trails plus a nearby creek.

About Milo McIver Park

Nearby McIver Park is a 952 acre park situated along the scenic Clackamas River and Estacada Lake.  The park has hiking and driving trails open to llamas, camping, picnic areas, boat ramp and 27-hole disc golf course, and hosts a fish hatchery.  Also well known at the south end of the park (where we will be stationed) is the Bat Trail, a self-guided nature trail loop open to hikers and stock with bat houses and bat barn, providing shelter for at least six different species of insect eating bats, some of which are under threat of extinction.  Each bat can consume up to 500 mosquitoes per hour each night.

We will have numerous obstacles available for PLTA trial or just for fun.


As usual, this a combined event.  In addition to backcountry llama packers we invite and encourage llama drivers to attend as well and bring their carts. 

Of course newcomers/ investigators are encouraged to attend -- the idea is to bring together all aficionados (and interested parties) of the working llama to learn and have fun.  Youth are encouraged to attend.  We're again inviting 4H and FFA kids (with their llamas).  Most of these youth have show experience but few of them have actual exposure to llama packing or driving.  This is a chance for actual hands-on education about what can be done with llamas as well as gaining more handling experience, strengthening their relationship with their llama.  This is a chance for experienced llama handlers to pass their extensive llama knowledge to the younger generation.

PLTA Basic and Advanced Pack Trials are being organized this year in Milo McIver Park.  There will also be the inaugural PLTA Challenge event, which is sort of a cross between a basic pack trial and a poker run.  It is open to everyone.

As with last year the focus will be on Introduction to Packing with Llamas.  First-time llama packers welcome!  Backpackers welcome!

Several experienced packers and their llamas will be available to provide assistance and hands-on instruction.  It's recommended that attending llamas be basic pack trained, i.e., halter, lead, load, comfortable with wearing packs and being ground tied.  This event provides an excellent environment for experienced llama packers to conduct training for their inexperienced llamas, and less experienced packers to learn from others.

Following rendezvous, a pack trip will be made to Frog Lake Trailhead, hiking in to the forested Twin Lakes in the Mt. Hood Wilderness.  It's about an hour and a half drive and the trailhead has a very large parking area.  It's a relatively easy hike to a picturesque lakeside camp or a moderate loop hike on part of the PCT, your choice.  The upper lake has a small loop trail to the higher elevation ridge, offering a day hike opportunity from camp.  Forage consists of beargrass and huckleberry bushes.  Highline tethering is recommended.  It's a good training hike for semi-green llamas, accompanied by the more experienced llamas.  A Northwest Forest Pass is required.  Your stay can be as long as you like.

We will be at the Hidden Oaks and Milo McIver sites all day Thursday so if anyone would like to join us early you are welcome to, but there are no formal activities planned; just set-up.

Estacada Lake Clackamas River

Tentative Schedule*:

Friday June 27th

4PM PLTA weigh-in and manageability
5 PM Introductions
5:30 PM Itinerary review (Scott & Gayle Noga)
6 PM Dinner (main course and beverage provided, see below)
7 PM PLTA weigh-in and manageability (cont.)

Saturday June 28th

7 8 AM Breakfast (provided).  Build your own sack lunch.
9:00 AM Depart for Milo McIver Park
10:00 AM Packer's Primer
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Assorted activites for those not on trials.
10:30 AM Advanced PLTA Trial departs
12:00 PM PLTA Challenge explained (Ann Sheeter)
12:30 PM Basic PLTA Trial departs
Following Basic PLTA Challenge (Ann Sheeter) open to all
4:00 PM Seminar: Leave no Trace (Debra-Langley Boyer)
5:00 PM Depart for Hidden Oaks Ranch
6:00 PM Show and Tell: New Items/Info for Packing and Llama Care (Scott Noga and others)  {Oven heating up}
7:00 PM Camp Dinner (main course and beverage provided, see below)
7:30 PM Camelid Theater (Lisa Wolf +)
8:00 PM Campfire and "Train Wreck Testaments" and "Tall Tale Testaments"

Sunday June 29th

7 8 AM Breakfast (provided)
8:00 AM Driving, Hiking, Exploring, Q&A
11 AM Lunch (leftovers)
12 PM Depart for Frog Creek Trailhead

        *Times are approximate and subject to change.  Participants are free to join the scheduled events above or groups may elect to take advantage of alternate activities.  Spontaneous activities may break out at any time.

Primary Sponsors:  Backcountry Llama Association and Rattlesnake Ridge Ranch.

What to Bring

Please bring a comfortable chair and your own camping and packing gear. Saturday dinner will be pot luck. You are encouraged to share a favorite on-the-pack-trail dish (or side dish) and recipes.

The area of Milo McIver park we will be in has some covered picnic tables, but you may want to bring some chairs too.

Llama pack gear.  Bring your driving equipment.  Local roads around camp and in the park are suitable for driving. The weather is expected to be upper 60's-70F with cloudiness, so bring your hats, sunglasses and cameras. Forecast low is in the 50's at night, so some layered warm clothing is recommended.  Rain gear or umbrella is prudent as there are some clouds and scattered showers in the forecast but the weather should be generally good, just a little cooler than normal. See the forecast.

The llamas will have some grass available at and around the campgrounds but bring some weed-free hay or pelletized feed.

Water buckets and canteen/coolers.  Water jugs for the campgrounds.

Friday night dinner is provided so you won't have to worry about cooking on travel day.  Baked potato with bacon, cheese, butter, sour cream and seasoning will be available, along with beverages.  Bring salads and any other toppings you like.

Saturday dinner is also provided and the menu includes build-your-own pizzas.  Potluck contributions are welcome for additional variety, and if you have some favorite pizza toppings please bring it.  As usual, if you have any dietary restrictions please let us know! Gayle is quite adept at coming up with substitutions.

Saturday and Sunday breakfasts and Saturday lunch will also be available.

We also encourage people to share what they do for camp cuisine so we can all learn from one another.  With llama packing the meal preparation ranges from backpackers fare to RV camping, depending on many factors.  We'd like people to experience the range of possibilities.

Have an innovative or newly discovered pack gear item, technique or information to share?  Please be prepared to do so!  Let us know and we'll add you to the show-and-tell on Saturday evening.

What to Leave Behind

Important: Practice Leave no Trace principles insofar as practical.  Please pick up any pellets and bits of hay before you leave and dispose of all garbage.  It's important to leave the camp area clean.

Items to Note:

Topical bug repellant, e.g., perethrin-based, is recommended as preventative for ticks.

Plan to drink plenty of water on hikes. Drinking containers are recommended.

What to Order

  • Commemorative T-shirts    $20
  • Crew Neck Sweatshirts    $30
  • Hooded Pullover Sweatshirts    $35
  • Hooded Zipper Sweatshirts    $40

Get your llama shirt.  Orders need to be in by June 6 to get them made before the event.

Registration Fees --  Registration Form

Costs are $40 per adult for the entire weekend. Kids ages 10-18 are $10 for the weekend. Kids under 10 are free.  Opt. family rate $90.  Group discounts available.  Members of 4-H or FFA, 50% off.  Discounts also available for seminar and activity organizers.  Inquire.  Fees cover permitting, insurance, food, attendance and participation in all events. Please have registration (and T-shirt, etc. orders) in by Friday, 13 June 2014. After that date fees increase to $45 for adults.

There is a $5 per vehicle day-use fee at Milo McIver Park, where we will be on Saturday.  A toll gate is at the entryway.

PLTA trial entry form. (Will also be available at the event.)

Please make checks payable to: c/o Rattlesnake Ridge Ranch; 350 Tracie Road; Pasco, WA 99301-8895.  Registration submissions are also accepted via E-mail attachment and PayPal.

A Northwest Forest Pass is required if attending the post-rendezvous pack trip.


From Portland, from Hwy 84 take Hwy 206 South, then 224 east towards Estacada.  Three miles before Estacada turn left on SE Currin Rd and travel for approximately 4 miles to 30645.

From I-5 South, turn east on the Woodburn Estacada Highway 211 at Woodburn, OR, passing through Mollala.  In Estacada, turn right on NE 6th Ave., which turns into SE Coupland Rd.  At two miles turn left on SE Curring Rd and travel a mile to 30645.

View Larger Map

For a Topo map of the post-rendezvous hike, click the button to the left for a print quality PDF.

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Last modified: 15 May 2012