Tiger Rally and Rolling Home

And on to the Tiger Rally.  We had very much enjoyed our visit to Tiger Rally 2014 but had not expected to be able to attend 2015.  But this year, the rally was held later in June and we found ourselves in the area and thinking of starting the trek back east.  So, it made sense to stop off and visit with Tiger owning friends.  We did arrive a little late and drove in to the Camp Hale Group area on Friday night about 7.30 P.M. just as everyone was enjoying the campfire and meeting circle.  We found a spot to camp, inhaled some dinner and joined in, just in time to introduce ourselves.

Rally 2015

The campsite was at 10,500 feet and was very pleasant with lovely views all around.

Rally 2015 (1)

It was an old army base, used for training the 10th Mountain Division during World War II, so not a good spot to pick up odd metal objects! We did not take many photos, but, courtesy of Tiger owner “knine” here is a nice photo montage: Tiger Rally 2015

A steady stream of people came to see Ndeke Luka during the “Visiting Hours” and we, in turn,  enjoyed seeing a new 2015 Bengal amongst others. Many owners of older Tigers are interested in some of the special systems on Ndeke Luka and so Fred participated in group discussions of camper electrical systems and cell phone boosters. More improbably, he gave a demonstration of how to dump a composting toilet. This was a bit of a riot, drawing quite a crowd of interested, if initially distant, people. Once people realized that they were not going to be gassed, they crowded around and into the camper. (The composting toilet in Ndeke Luka is sold by http://natureshead.net ) Note to “normal” people; there are certain subjects that are of huge importance to people with campers.

We stopped in Leadville after the rally to have some coffee, find a dump site and buy diesel.  The coffee came from the City on a Hill Coffee Shop (http://www.cityonahillcoffee.com), an excellent spot we discovered last year, the dump site and also water from the city, and the diesel from a station down the street. We had enjoyed our stay in Leadville last year and were reminded again this year that it is a very pleasant place, if a little bit high at 10,200 feet.  But one gets used to it and it reminded us of our years in La Paz, Bolivia at even higher altitudes.  We  kept  bumping into Tony and Tracey. (https://gohomer123.wordpress.com/author/gohomer123/) First we found them in the coffee shop, and then they joined us as we ate lunch on the main street (decent food but slow service). They are some of our favorite Tiger owners as so many of the good ideas in our Tiger were lifted from theirs! (And they like bicycles.)

We were heading to Louisville, CO (just north of Boulder) to visit more friends from Monrovia, Liberia so we headed out about 2.00 P.M. and headed north. Louisville, and Boulder, turned out to be lovely towns with lots of character, wonderful restaurants and all too attractive gift shops. We were taken out of town to a wonderful restaurant for a great breakfast at the Chautauqua Community House (https://www.chautauqua.com), a wonderful mountain retreat, full of flowers.  We followed this with a memorable dinner at the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse, part of the same group and a restaurant with such a wild pedigree that you simply must read the following link:  http://www.boulderteahouse.com

From Colorado, we worked our way east to Kentucky, stopping off at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill. (http://shakervillageky.org) Another real gem; think of a smaller Williamsburg or Olde Sturbridge Village. A few hours in Pleasant Hill will have you researching the history of the “Shaker” movement and the role of Kentucky in the American Civil War.

Until very recently, U.S. Highway 68 ran right through the center of the village.

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The Shakers lived communally in “family” farms. This beautifully constructed building was home to the Center Family. The entire village reminds one of nothing so much as a New England prep school.

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Shaker architecture is noted for clean lines and symmetry.

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Note the natural light from a skylight.

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While many utopian groups, like the Amish celebrate simplicity and “no tech”, the Shakers celebrated simplicity and high tech. The fare may have been simple, but the oven was state of the art.

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Peasant Hill also had running water from a “water house” to which water was pumped before being gravity fed to other buildings.

The shakers were also masters of various crafts, such a coopering or barrel making.

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Shaker prayer services were nothing if not “athletic”, hence the name. Couple this with the need to place the men on one side and the women on the other and you end up with an enormous, open room. (As sexual equality was a major tenet, note that both sides need to be equal.) Now look for the columns to hold up the two additional stories above. They are hard to see as there aren’t any. The entire building is internally reinforced from the trusses in the attic, simply amazing engineering and construction, none of which is noticeable until you visit the attic._ND84631

Shaker theology is a bit interesting; the group was almost matriarchal and, since all members were expected to be celibate, depended on conversion and the adoption of orphans to keep up the numbers. Shakers were also opposed to slavery and slave owning converts freed their slaves, many of whom converted themselves, to the annoyance of slave holding families in the south. That said, many Confederate generals prohibited their troops from raiding Pleasant Hill or enslaving the free blacks who lived there. (In contrast to the Army of Northern Virginia in Pennsylvania.) Similarly, President Lincoln granted Shakers the first conscientious objector status in U.S. history.

And thus we come to the end of another wonderful trip.  Each time we visit west of the Mississippi we are more enamored, but for the moment we remain fully rooted on the east coast.  But there is lots to see and do out west and we shall be back!

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