What we're about
Upcoming events (5)
Geoff Goodman started this MeetUp page in 2014 and organized local meetings and trips. As a few others pitched in, more local trips were done and some of us enjoyed a really fun sea kayaking trip to the Baja Peninsula of Mexico that fall. In 2015 several members led area paddling trips and our special project was a very successful four day Smith River paddle. In 2017 we repeated a successful Smith River group trip. In April of 2018 we headed south for a carefully planned trip to warm coral reef islands off the coast of Belize and added jungle and Mayan ruins explorations for perhaps a once in a lifetime experience. We've faced a couple organizational problems: We originally had about 20 people who actively participated and before long over 200 others signed up but did not contribute or participate. Running the MeetUp page costs about $200 per year which Geoff had personally paid. We have additional expenses if we want to rent campsites in advance. So effective for 2016 we changed the rules for the page so that a $15 annual "dues" was requested to be a member. We initially had about eighteen people pay/contribute the $15. Some people had problems paying on line, so we delayed dropping anyone. By late 2016 our extended grace period ran out and about 200 people (mostly people who had never participated) were automatically dropped off the contact list. Since then the number of people signing up and paying has resulted in roughly two or three dozen active "Season Pass" members plus some people on a free trial membership. This seems a workable size for the group and should generate enough revenue to support our low cost operation. :) We include special “Season Pass” benefits: - pass holders will be invited to join in planning major events - pass holders will be able to tap into the accumulated group knowledge - pass holders will be invited to an annual Season Pass Holders Only end of year party Beginning in 2016 we experienced problems with using MeetUp.com as our site, full of information and photos, which was sort of partially decapitated by the company to conform to smartphone format. Also our understanding is the company was sold to a real estate firm which, among other things, rents meeting rooms. Kayaks do not fit well in meeting rooms. Put in sites at rivers do not have street numbers, nor are they usually on internet mapping smartphone systems. We are different. For 2019 we will continue using MeetUp which has not yet deleted a lot of our information as originally announced. UPDATE: All our trip descriptions have been deleted ! Only short messages are now allowed. Our write up this week, with information and suggested trips for 2019 cannot be posted, at least not in a simple single form or document, not even in the documents section, which MeetUp has now eliminated. This used to be a very good site, but for groups like us the functionality has been very diminished. Short version is that we have some fun ideas and just need volunteers to help schedule / plan them. See the "Contact" button on the left under the list of Organizers. Feel free to use that and we can e-mail our ideas to you. Suggestions are always welcome.
Here's general information about our events, both public and private (paid members only). Our MeetUp site. You can use this site at no charge. However, the MeetUp system is not free. The MeetUp company charges the organizer a monthly fee automatically drawn from that person's checking account. The amount charged increases with the number of people shown as "members" even if we have never seen nor heard of them. So we do not want phantom members. We've created a $15 annual fee to cover the cost that would otherwise be taken from the organizer's bank account. It's easy to pay that $15 via a credit card using the MeetUp payment system. That annual fee also covers some reservation expenses, including a group site for our annual fall moonlight paddling party. Anyone can join this group as a free member for an introductory period of getting to know us, but after about a month or two of not having paid the fee, the person will be automatically dropped. Our other Site: On our separate private site for paid members, we post details about the trips available only to paid members. It's also where they can post comments regarding car pooling etc. and perhaps see some of the photos and lessons learned from past trips to a particular area. (We used to do that on MeetUp before the new ownership cut back on features.) Pay the $15 fee and we should notice it and then send you a link to the other site. If that doesn't happen automatically, use the "Contact an Organizer" button on our meetup page. Thanks! (Note: In our new site we require a valid e-mail address. If a trip is canceled or changed we don't want the message to get stuck in someone's spam filter. Also it's a handy way to contact just the people involved in a particular trip.) (Date / time for this entry is bogus - information won't post if left blank.)
UPDATE: As of January 23, 2020 there has not been enough interest to make this trip a reality. Perhaps someone will want to do this trip in about December[masked] to March[masked] We'll leave this description here just as a sample of the ideas which members can contribute. ------------------------------------ The Dec 31 at 1am is just a place holder on the calendar. (The MeetUp system requires that something be entered for dates and times.) In general, start early to beat the crowds. The general location is near the towns of Crystal River and Homosassa Springs in Citrus County in Florida. That's on the Gulf Coast side of Florida. Crystal River is about 80 miles north of Tampa and 90 miles west of Orlando. Those two cities have good flight connections from Bozeman. Allow 2 hours for driving time because of the time required to exit from those metropolitan areas. (Orlando is the airport servicing Disney World so the area is crowded with tourists, but that allows more flight connections and the airport is well designed for handling crowds.) If flying into Tampa, rather than staying in Crystal River, consider staying in Homosassa Springs which is near a large wildlife area and ten miles closer to Tampa. "How to find us": People going will need to decide where they want to stay and meet up. Both towns are small coastal villages with retirement villages nearby. The main highway along the west coast of Florida goes through them and hence there are plenty of motels and fast food restaurants. Things to do: Go on a pontoon boat tour to swim with manatees (you don't much swim, to see them close you just float with a life jacket and wet suit and move silently and slowly like them - they may start to wonder if you are a newcomer manatee and come look at you!) There are plenty of kayak rental businesses usually providing just basic sit on top kayaks, although some places also rent transparent plastic canoes. Visit some of the many nearby nature reserve areas. Q: Who would seriously be interested in doing this about February 21 for about five days (before most college kids arrive for spring break) and who would be willing to roughly coordinate? More details and updates will appear on our DownToMeet site which is an expanded version of this site. Paid up members on our site in MeetUp can join for free on the new site - just search for it and apply.
In April 2018 five of us experienced sort of a once in a lifetime really great trip to Belize where we first stayed in a rustic resort within a jungle nature reserve - with tropical birds calling, amazing flowers and trees everywhere. The second day included a short hike to swim in a pool below cascading waterfalls. Then boat rides to coral reef islands about 30 miles off shore where we lived in tents under palm trees and kayaked or snorkeled or did stand up paddle boarding whenever we wished. A trip to snorkel in the famous Blue Hole was a plus. After a week of that we went back to the mainland and inland to a tropical bird watching area where we also trekked through large Aztec ruins and some of us (not saying who) started a shouting match with baboons in the trees. It required about two weeks of travel & cost about $4,000 but what a trip ! In July seven members went on a two day paddle on the Jefferson led by Tom Elpel. We camped overnight in a new river access camping area that Tom spearheaded. A good time was had by all. The second day was particularly interesting for wildlife as we paddled a less visited stretch and saw moose as well as deer and pelicans and frequent bald eagles. The annual Fall full moon paddle held at Hebgen Lake which, though a bit of a drive compared to Hyalite, but provided variety and judged a success. Want to repeat? In between were a number of day trips, though not as many in past years. One which had great reports was a paddle on the upper Madison, just above Ennis Lake, which most of us have not done. That and other trips from the past were discussed with possible repeats and renewed attempts at some great sounding ideas which did not get implemented in the past. Volunteer to be a trip leader / event organizer - we can provide ideas and guidance.