Are you confused? Don't know what to do? Neither do I. This
whole last minnnit site change is rather depressing and setting a bad
More info as I learn about it.
Posted 6/18 by me to AGR
To: AGR <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Welcome Homeless, or Random site
So we are not "Welcome Home" but sitting here Welcome Homeless.
Things seem to be getting a bit depressing at the site. The last of the
kitchens inside the gathering all got tickets yesterday. Some folks from CALM
doing a walk through yesterday also got tickets. The same mandatory appearance
on the 28th "use and occupancy" tickets that everyone else got. This seems
especially strange since there were not 75 folks on site at the time so I don't
see how that rule applied anymore. The mood seems to have changed yesterday
from "hold our ground" to "we just want to gather so lets move to another
site". While many folks are arriving, many are leaving as well. There are a
bazillion ways into the site and kitchens are setting up here are there through
stealth tactics of going around the FEDs. Still if caught it's a ticket. As a
result there are several other campsites including one at an old strip mine that
folks are also starting to gather at. The central meeting point seems to be the
Krogers in town since we are all over the place in many campsites.
A council was called for today to discuss moving to a new site. I was not
there unfortunately but herd back from someone who was. Yesterday as I was
leaving the site I spoke to two scouts who have been checking out FS proposed
sites for two days. Up until yesterday they felt that none of the sites were
workable. They had a site that they found in early spring scouting that was
possibly workable and one of the FS proposed sites shown yesterday was deemed
workable as well. It sounded that these sites had some things better than the
existing site, but in general were not as nice. I got a spotty cell call from
site that council had decided today to move to a new location and that location
will be announced tomorrow. The call dropped out then, but I assume the site
will be in Pocahontas county not Randolph or Tucker where the current site is.
I'll post more info just as soon as I know more.
The idea of not holding our ground saddens me as we are setting a dangerous
precedence by moving. If the FS knows they can manipulate us now they will try
it again. I don't like this. The environmental concerns seem to be BS. Every
local resource ranger and environmental ranger (and knowledgeable local) tells
me each one ranges from total BS to valid but not for here. I think it's
similar to the BS salmon issue in Idaho. The problem was real, but not for the
stream we were in. An unnamed ranger told me the site we chose was perfect.
It's a very popular camping spot and heavily encouraged to be used because it's
a good site. Three weeks ago there were hundreds of cars there camping. Another
person told me a group annually gathers there with about 3000 people. None of
this would happen if there were real issues with the site. I also found it
interesting that three weeks ago when I was on site the signs all said 21 day
camping rule. Yesterday those signs have been replaced with 14 day signs. This
in an effort to have a reason to kick us out before the 1st, however the change
was only made for Rainbows (didn't we win the last targeting one group court
case we had).
The town has been great. Everyone has been so friendly and helpful,
including the law enforcement and other officials. I have attended meetings with
the local hospital, EMS/EMT, Health Dept, State emergency management,
environmental team, town council and more and everyone has been friendly and
On another note. My E-mail account has been receiving almost 300 e-mails a
day. I can't possibly respond to all these e-mails so If I don't respond to you,
or give you a form letter, short letter, etc, sorry I'm just a bit overwhelmed
by the amount of e-mail I am getting. If I get a good question I may answer
publicly with your question so others know as well,.
I'm getting allot of emails about Cell phone access. 1st cal your cell
company and ask them what code to type into your phone to update your PRL
(Preferred Roaming List) first. It's a couple of digets (different for each cell
carrier) that helps you get a tower when you roam.
I have US Cellular, a CDMA Tri Mode phone. It works up to close to the
I have been told that Cellular One works better. I think they are TDMA.
Folks with TDMA based phones get coverage on the ridge above the gathering, mine
is not as good.
Cingular GSM and SPRINT phones do not even work from Elkins much less site.
Older Cingular that come from the AT&T lineage (TDMA) work from
Along 3rd street in Elkins are many free 802.11 Wi-Fi hot spots with easy
Posted 6/19 by me to AGR
To: AGR <email@example.com>
Subject: Let's Gather. Ignore All Rumors. More
Woza, what a day. My phone has been ringing off the hook all
First the facts, then the commentary. It's hard to get all the truth
because I am not there and many stories conflicts with each other. I have spoken
today with several folks on site and many others and am trying to piece together
the real story.
As for the new site. My directions from folks on site are slightly
different than Rob's. It is in Cranberry Glades. The directions are take 219 70
miles south of Elkins to Mill Point. Turn Right on 55/39. Go 6 miles to Rd 150.
Left 6/10 of a mile to 102. Left on 102. This would seem that the directions
for folks not on site already (coming from Elkins) are : Interstate 64 to 219
(exit 169). North on 219 to 55/39 and follow the rest of the
Also as I understand this there never was a consensus to move the site. I
last spoke to the scouts Friday Night. At the time they had just found this new
site. They said it had some good points, but a major road went right through
main meadow. They also said they didn't want to move and were upset that they
heard folks wanted to move. Given this I don't understand why most rumors now
are the scouts said lets go when others said no. I won't know the real story
till I am able to talk to them. Kid Village called a council for Saturday. I
was told that there was lots of shouting and arguing and no consensus. Then KV
and the scouts just left to the new site. I spoke to no one on site who wanted
to move or who thought that they should move, yet they are moving since the feel
beat by the FS, Scouts and KV.
Re: The stolen water pipe rumor. Here is what I know. There was a stash
of water pipe at the back door. It was NOT all the water pipe, perhaps 1/5th of
it at best. I personally saw this water pipe on Friday. On Saturday there were
horse tracks all around it but it was not there any more. This is the water pipe
that was stolen by the FS. AFAIK the big stash is under cover and safe where I
left it, but i have not confirmed this. I left the rest with a responsible
person who made effort to keep it hidden as they were concerned about it being
I was told that several folks will call me tonight or tomorrow morning from
site with more updates and info. I personally am meeting with one of the scouts
in a few hours and will upload topo maps to Rob and my site as well. I may not
be able to host maps myself anymore because the bandwidth is costing me too much
as I have exceeded my bandwidth contract (to many 3MB topo maps and 400k JPGs I
guess). If someone wants to donate for the bandwidth I will replace it,
otherwise I will just give Rob the info for welcomehome.org.
Some folks are gathering/staying in other sites including the strip mine
(RJ) near Elkins and other campsites trying to re-group and figure out what to
do. There are also other sites that are better that the scouts found, but didn't
use because they liked the Elkins site, so why are we not going to them? This
site is a set up. It was chosen by the FS because it was closer to there camp in
Snowshoe resort and because it is easier for the FS to drive into the site. I
am being told that the parking lot crew is signing the permit for this FS chosen
site and is trying to make sure there are not the kind of issues we had last
year (no nudity, dogs on leashes, drive ins by the FS etc) but my trust for the
Tim Lynn and the FEDs is 0. They have already lied to us on several occasions
this year alone and broken several promises.
O.k. So the commentary (or more blatantly commentary).
WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE DOING PEOPLE! This is dangerous precedence we are
setting here letting the FS know they can whip us into submission. Now they
think they can run things every year. There is no telling what they will try to
pull next year. In addition we need to NOT be in Pocahontas county. There is
no support system there. The town doesn't love us like Elkins did. The Emergency
Management system there has only BLS not ALS (Basic/Advanced Life Support) for
emergencies. Elkins has ALS. They are only volunteers so it impacts them more
than the larger more established town of Elkins. We loose all the work and time
we have done working with local businesses and agencies as well as understanding
the site and how to best use it. Buisness owners who stuck there neck out to
help us now get screwed and loose $$$ (they bought extra supplies for us).
This happened because the site was mostly populated by young, inexperienced kids
who lacked past knowledge on how to fight this as well as the support of enough
people to maintain the site. In addition most of the experienced folks were
hiding in town, other campsites or the back door rather than teaching the kids
how to fight and encouraging them. By the time folks, myself included, started
working to motivate folks and teach them how to reclaim the site moral had been
to far lost and we had been beat. There are plenty of other ways into the first
site from many angles. They can't stop us all if we just keep showing up
We need to ignore all rumors, including those of a moved site and return to
the original site, where we can safely gather in a good location. When enough
folks show up then we can reclaim the site from the federalies.