Klingons in the Mist 2002
Report on the First Klingons in the Mist Campout.
Credit where credit is due.
MarQis served as a true klingon. He drove me all over Sullivan, Missouri looking for an alternator. When it became evident that I was screwed, he drove me to a store to acquire a new battery and charger as a backup plan. He truly has Strength and HONOR and I shall forever respect him as a friend and Warrior. I would now recommend MarQis for a Mark-of-the-Empire award and shall award such the next time that I see him.
This was a decently central location of the entire fleet, and some of us drove a long way to get there. But it is the fairly central location for the fleet and I submit that it remains at the same location at least for next year. Then perhaps we can move it to Petit Jean or a camp ground near Jasper, AR.
We came through 7 and stayed with Chicken Plucker in Belleville, Land of Deliverance. We had hoped to come through LIT on the way home. However, we found out the hard way that sometime after leaving DFW that we had lost the alternator. We bought a new battery and a charger near the Meramec State Park (near St. Louis). This gave us a new battery (for the Karmann which is without) and a battery backup (the one we drove up on) to get home on. The bus used 60% of the 950 CCA battery in 9 hours of driving (zero starts, all push starts) to get from Meramec State Park to Belleville, Arkansas. We are talking a 1971 VW TypeII bus with a TypeI aircooled, carbureted, distributed motor. I can now testify that if you do not run lights, you can drive a real car for 9 hours on a battery. Do not try this in a modern, computerized, solid state, fuel injected toy car.
Thus we chose to retrace our presumably known good steps to insure that the battery would get us back home. So we missed out of visiting other friends and family on the leapfrog to and from.
Outside of the push start and alternator issues, the bus with the Lyle Cherry motor did a marvelous job. We actually passed a few slow pokes (one was a Ford Aerostar) between Booger Holler and Jasper each way.
About the actual campout:
We rented a cabin in order to travel light. I truly recommend the cabins. It was nice. Fireplace, airconditioning, stove, fridge, furniture, shower. Even pots, pans, utensils, towels and the like were furnished. This allowed us to avoid carrying the weight of actual camping gear. We also had a real AC for the humidity present there. OK, it is not real camping by my definition, but it was supposed to be some vacation time for me and we certainly enjoyed buying food locally (Sullivan, MO) and not carrying the extra weight of food, ice, and camping gear. Think about this for next year.
We hung our house flag off of the front porch and the LSWA flag on a tree by the road.
We did a recon to find everybody else tent camping. With this fact and our push start problem, this left us with a bit of a problem that the service oriented attitude of klindom resolved. MarQis picked us up from our cabin and took us to the camping area where we tapped a keg of my heavy malt and had a real fun day together on Saturn's Day. (He also drove me in to town to get an alternator. We had to make do with the battery and charger.) This park allows two float trips where they haul your butt upstream and dump you. They also rent canoes and rafts. We played in the water and had a good time.
There are 52 known caves (literature says "about 40"). The cave that possesses the largest known single room is located walking distance from the tent camping. It was a wonderful tour. We went on the first tour of the day which according to the guide normally has the fewest. They allow a maximum of 30 people and we had 8. It was very personal and we could discuss items freely as we all had a tidbit of information about the critters and structures of the cave to offer each other.
After the cave tour, we then took to the river like fish. We played for some time in the water. I will admit that for somebody without a layer of insulation, I thought that it was cold. But normal sized people were doing just fine. It was great seeing other floaters headed downstream having a good time. This is probably better than the Buffalo in Arkansas.
Post riverine operations, it was serious keg time as we discuss fleet ops, local ship ops, and other fleet information. It is surprising to find the completely different attitudes and approaches to the klindom. We discussed these to try to figure out the best of the best traits to take back to each of our respective ships. I also went into detail about batleth combat since the Cold Revenge Quadrant appears to be the most experienced and active with weekly batleth practice. Later, and until dark, I was able to discuss, both verbally and physically the technique and concept of the batleth and its usage. We had a grand time and the only casualty was a borrowed batleth. (Rotok will kill me later.)(I place an order with Captain3 for a replacement at this time.) It became readily evident that I'm still at a disadvantage against larger Warriors. Even with experience, size can outweigh experience. I also left printed copies of my usual batleth oriented paperwork and a CD with movies of our latest tournament as well as the original tournament. With this shared, hopefully we will have others come to our future tournaments.
Sunday was pretty much pack up and head home for each camp. Since we did not finish off the 5L mini-keg of heavy malt, and that I knew that Chicken Plucker wanted some, we drove 9 hours with a tapped mini-keg to deliver the rest of the heavy malt to him. This was driving 9 hours with the John Holmes of open containers. By simply staying out of trouble and not breaking traffic laws, we did not attract attention to ourselves and we thus made it without incident. It sure was a relief to cross back into Arkansas territory to know that my equipment and CHL (along with a transporter full of klingon weapons) were back into territory that recognizes the Federal Second Amendment.
Part of this family's going to the CTF campout in Missouri was to prove a point. If we can drive 25 hours ONE WAY to make a klingon all weekend event. It can be done to make OUR Tournaments. MarQis and I have proven that is is possible to drive across state lines and long distances with enough prior planning. I am challenging members of other ships and quadrants (fleets too) to make our 2 and 3 day Batleth Tournaments. If we can drive 25 hours, you can too. If we can get off from work with weeks of advanced notice, you can too. We have set the example through Planning, Strength and Honor. I challenge the IKV Bayou Serpent and ship's of other Quadrants to send at least one representative to our future Batleth Tournaments. We have set the example, it can be done. Besides, you don't know what you are missing until you have experienced us.
I await the 2003 Klingons in the Mist. I await seeing you at our future Tournaments.
Strength and Honor
Lt. Cdr Salek Sutai
An Approved Brewmaster of the Empire
That was the official account written in 2002. We did have fun.
The AER needed to reflect the fun.
However, that great expedition failed.