Regional News


She Won’t Be There

By Helen Woods, Staff Writer

How many of us have gone up to the Newberry Caldera in the last few years to fish, hike, camp, or just to take in the spectacular view from Pauline Peak?  To enter the summit lakes area, we had to stop at the Forest Service Kiosk to pay a modest fee or show our passes to a Forest Service employee inside.

Sometimes the line was long and, by the time we made it to the front, we were a little frustrated.  Okay, maybe a little more than a little.  For the many years, a woman named Shirley was there to greet us.  No matter how frustrated we were, Shirley had a ready smile and a welcome.  If we had dogs, she said hello to them and asked if she could give them a treat.  She always offered a Newberry National Volcanic Monument newsletter.  Most of us locals would decline because we had already seen it on our many trips up to the caldera.  Shirley worked in the kiosk at Lava Lands for many years, but her preference was to be stationed at the caldera.

But, she won’t be there this year.  Shirley passed away early this year.  I ran into her husband at the La Pine DMV and through our conversation, I realized it was the Shirley that I knew.  He said, “she won’t be there,” but the obvious implication was that she would, if she could.  I will miss her.

Little Deschutes Rendezvous;
Bringing the  Past Alive!

By Kathy DeBone and Ken Mulenex

Upwards of 200 Black Powder enthusiasts gathered under bright sun shine and warm evenings this Memorial Day Weekend to take part in the 31st Annual “Little Deschutes Rendezvous” south of La Pine. The event is hosted every year by the Ponderosa Mountain Men of La Pine. This is one of many similar clubs around the country who, with black powder guns and authentic period clothing and accouterments, return for a time to the primitive lifestyle of the original mountain men.

What they are recreating are the rendezvous, (aka, Rhondy’s) that brought trappers together with the fur companies in the early 1800s. These trappers became known as “Mountain Men” as they traveled into the Rocky Mountains and the Cascades to trap beavers and otters to supply the fur needed for the fashion of the time. (“I defy the annals of chivalry to furnish the record of a life more wild and perilous than that of a Rocky Mountain trapper.” -Francis Parkman)

After a winter of trapping in the mountains the Mountain Men would rendezvous with the fur companies on the east slopes of the Rockies to sell their furs and get resupplied for the next season.

The Rondy camp is somewhat divided depending on whether you plan to camp primitive (in “town”) or in your tin tipi. If you are going primitive, you must be dressed in period clothing and your camp must be primitive. Hide the cell phones, and new-fangled camp chairs and coolers. Dry camping is available for the tin tipi folks where there are no dress requirements.

Tony & Kathy DeBone enjoy the Rendezvous

Many families of La Pine have been participating in these rendezvous for years. The Wilson family, Toby, Jen and their 3 boys, Thorin, Tristan and Tyrell, of La Pine, and other families participate in the Rondy’ in a lifestyle, primitive, similar to that of historic mountain men. Black powder guns, authentic period clothing and accouterments and enacting the primitive lifestyle of the original mountain men. Toby says he enjoys hanging out by the campfire, playing his guitar and doing things “the old-fashioned way.” Jen, his wife, just as avid a fan of the “Rondy” as Toby, loves seeing the, “kids and just be kids” get into character for the weekend.

Now as then a rendezvous is organized by the “Boosway”. The Boosway for the Little Deschutes Rendezvous is Ralph “Stump” Torpin. He says he enjoys reliving this vital part of American history and he does it “out of reverence for our ancestors”. He continued by saying, it takes a lot of work to set-up and run these rendezvous and couldn’t do it without the help of his Segundo: Andy “Wait for me” Anderson, Al Welch, Mac Cunnington and many others.

PMM President, Ralph “Stump” Torpin, describes their “Rondy” as a great family event where people of all ages can participate together in a common interest. In fact, many of the youngsters are outfitted with their own rifles and participate in the shooting events set up just for the kids. Watching them shoot, it becomes obvious that these youngsters have been taught well about how to handle a gun and to respect what it can do. They also are frequently crack shots.

Shooters bring all kinds of period firearms to a Rondy. You find long guns like rifles and smoothbore “trade guns” along with pistols and knives and tomahawks used in a wide variety of competition events. To be authentic everything must be pre-1840. That means nothing that uses cartridges is allowed and no revolvers. (They hadn’t been invented yet.) Long rifles and pistols have to be reloaded after each shot by measuring the powder down the barrel followed by ramming the ball down with the ramrod, thus the moniker “muzzle loader” or “front stuffer”.

Even though they use replicas of what the mountain men had in the early 1800s they are still just as dangerous if proper precautions are not adhered to. Both Torpin and Anderson emphasize that safety of all participants is a number one priority. “You really can’t stress safety too much.” Torpin says. This attitude has paid off. In the now 31 years the PMM have been hosting their Rendezvous they have never had an accident.

A Black Powder Rendezvous is more than a few days roughing it in the wilderness; it is also the camaraderie of being with others who share your same interest.

Anyone wanting to find out more about Black Powder shooting and the Ponderosa Mountain Men can phone either Torpin or Anderson at, 541-420-9536

Many thanks to Steve Coffee, for his contribution and photographs.

Christmas Valley Chamber 2017 Awards Banquet

By Florence Neis, Staff Writer

Small Family Business of the Year –
Gifts-N-More Ilene and Darrell Anderson.

The Christmas Valley/North Lake County Chamber of Commerce held its 7th Annual Awards Banquet “Bibs and Ribs” April 22nd at The Lodge at Summer Lake, focusing on Volunteerism.  Master of Ceremonies Carl Shumway opened the ceremony with a short speech extolling the commitment and hard work of volunteers who make Christmas Valley and North Lake County communities a great place to live.

Keynote Speaker Teri Myers (“Magda Barenove”) spoke about the Newberry Country Trail, an area encompassing South Deschutes County, North Klamath County and North Lake County.  Newberry Country Trail will promote local economic development by encouraging visitors to explore the region’s small towns and attractions.

Carl then introduced presenters who recognized the six businesses and individuals who represent the spirit of volunteerism and contributions to the community:

Educator of the Year – Chad Waldron

Educator of the Year – Chad Waldren, Ag Science teacher at North Lake School

Emergency Responder of the Year – Gil Foust of Summer Lake

Volunteer of the Year – Glenna Wade of Christmas Valley

Small Family Business of the Year – Gifts-N-More Ilene and Darrell Anderson

Business of the Year – Summer Lake Hot Springs, Duane Graham

Lifetime Volunteer – Merv Stutzman of Christmas Valley

The chuck wagon dinner was provided by The Flyway Restaurant at The Lodge at Summer Lake.