At the start of NWMF 2019, Zach Gray recommended we set the theme for NWMF 2020 as “The Oregon Trail…and then you die of dysentery.” His choice could not have been more timely given all the changes that 2020 has brought thus far and continues to bring. Change has certainly occurred that none could have predicted a year ago. The dates for this year’s NWMF event are August 13th-16th. That is just under four months away. There will be some changes this year but you can count on Emilie and I as well as our immediate family being on the farm those four days…and more. From the very first NWMF event in 2000, I have referred to our gathering as a family reunion and not just a vehicle-centric truck event. That still holds true now more than ever and we, as a family, are VERY strong. Family is always welcome…even if those family members live on other parts of the globe…even if those family members have not been on the farm for a while…even if they have never set foot on Waldersee Farm…yet.
Earlier this year, Marvin Bernards and his crew finished planting the last of 14,000 hazelnut trees that cover 80% of Waldersee Farm. Those who come to the farm this year will be asked to take a good long look at the scope of that planting. Then take pause knowing that each of those trees represents the lost of 2-4 individuals making the trek from Missouri to Oregon over a twenty-five year span. We are here on this original farmstead because brave people chose to transplant themselves from points east to a land of promise far away. The two words that resonate in my mind when I think of the Oregon Trail are Self-reliance and Self-determination. And to think these brave souls did so during a global cholera pandemic. This brings me to the first major change for NWMF 2020.
Harry Cooley and the Boy Scouts will NOT be serving the five meals that they did in years past. The kitchen is closed. Think Oregon Trail. You will be asked to provide for your own food and drink needs. going basic or being very creative is up to you. There are also restaurants in the area and one would think those will re-open within the next four months. We have reserved more than enough chem toilets although they may require social distancing instead of being side-by-side as in years past. Beyond these points, I guess we will just have to what and see what develops. Adaptability and resourceful innovation is key. Personally, I am VERY optimistic for a fun “family”reunion” this August.
p.s. One final bit of homework. Please review the following: