As I Saw It – Post 2018 Alafia

Filed in News From Our President by on February 5, 2018 0 Comments • views: 660

As I Saw It


February 4, 2018

Sitting here this morning in “the little house” getting emotionally prepared to head back to Dover after a month on the property, I reflected back on what I saw this past month. We had moved onto the property right before New Years and already there was a field full of canvas bellowing in the winds. The roads were marked off, and there were empty spaces with ropes or canvas or some other means for a future camp. Tents were in all phases of set up with trucks, cars, cargo trailers, and campers surrounding them. I recognized most of the camps since most were the same tents in the same places that I have seen over these past many years. It is almost routine…will sort of. Even in setting up our camp, Cherri and I always do something different. Continuous improvement? Sometimes.

During these early set up and Alafia preparation days, I could still see our flock of turkeys and the occasional deer. As our activities increased their appearances decreased mostly appearing on the south and southwest perimeters of the property where not many of us roamed. As the annual human pilgrimage to the Alafia grew the sightings of our animal friends diminished as they slipped into their hidey places away from the strange sights, sounds, and smells.

On Sunday and Monday, the days when only paid members are permitted on the property, there was a calm. It was a quite time. I saw campfires here and there with members huddled around softly talking almost in whispers knowing that there was a storm gathering to the north getting ready to come blowing down upon them. Early on Tuesday morning the front gate was opened and the cars, trucks, trailers, and campers started tricking down the newly graded road passing the freshly mowed fields and manicured fence line. They started forming “the line.” The line they always form and have done for many years. Getting in place and proper order to be identified, tagged, and start the tailgate party.

Wednesday morning…wow! The caravan was now three and a half rows deep stretching from the Registration Gate all the way to the front gate spilling out onto Azalea and still growing. Florida Frontiersmen were busy going up and down the lines, identifying and moving the entourage into some semblance of order. Promptly at 8 the gate opened and the ground started rumbling and the dust started flying. I had to cut in line and to get through stockade gate. I wanted to see the chaos that was about to happen, but there was none. The Trade Chief stood tall at the stockade gate with his arms folded across his chest nodding his approval as the caravan drove past him then breaking off into their separate ways to their predesignated spots. No problem here.

After that it all pretty much becomes a blur of sights, sounds, and smells. I too wanted to go off to my hidey place, but there was too much to do. It was all hands on deck. Everyone pulling together to make this the best Alafia ever, and by God WE did it. So as we take a big unified sigh, lets start working together again to make the 2019 Alafia River Rendezvous® the best one ever. See you at the Alafia!

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