American Adventurist Appalachian Rendezvous

There is one event every year that I go to that is for me. I know that might sound selfish, but it’s true. It is hands-down my favorite event for a number of reasons. I enjoy it so much I think you would to. Read on for why you should add an American Adventurist Rendezvous to your 2020 calendar…

Getting there is half the fun

I managed to convince Dan of The Road Chose Me to head down to NC with me.
We linked up at my place in PA and started our southbound trip early Thursday morning.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather.
However we all know pavement is boring.
I also wanted to show Dan some dirt roads in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
After taking highways (boo) to Buena Vista, Virginia
we snaked our way up the western side of the mountains.
Eventually we paralleled the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Many people who travel the parkway don’t realize there is a web of dirt roads that still exist in the are.
As fun as dirt is, the parkway itself has its fair share of cool spots.
But let’s face it, dirt is still way more fun!
This road descends off the eastern side of Peaks of Otter.
First time I drove this road it was with Adam of Overland History.
Coolest part about this route is all the switchbacks and elevation changes.
This isn’t even the most extreme elevation change along the route.
Once we arrived at Uwharrie late in the afternoon we found a crowd already on site.

Friday

Thursday morning we bounced over to Troy to the Uwharrie Merchantile.
Some of you might recognize this location from the 2018 Unlimited LJ Adventure which I wrote about last year.
I always love supporting local businesses in the communities I travel through.
In this case it was a cup of tea for me and a coffee for Dan.
The highlight of the day was Dan speaking about his travels.
He talked about both of his trips as well answered many questions the American Adventurist crowd had for him.
The second best thing about Friday night was of course
Skottle Popcorn!

Saturday

Saturday morning got off to a pensive start as the group gathered at the Uwharrie Off-Road Training Center grounds to dedicate a memorial to the late Scott Fields.

I will say three things about having know Scott:
Whether you knew him for five years or five minutes you were family.
I never knew him to say a single negative thing, nor have I ever heard about him ever saying a negative thing. Even until his last breath his positivity was infectious.
We owe a great debt to him for the legacy he leaves behind in everyone that knew him and the impact he had on not just the communities around Uwharrie but the off-road community at large.

“Just keep moving.”
Saturday afternoon it was time to get my learning on.
Here Rock Creek Overland hosts a radio communication class.


I know what you’re thinking, “Dean, didn’t you just host a radio comms class?”
I did, but I will be the first person to admit I can *always* learn something from someone else.
The highlight of Saturday, and the whole weekend in general, is the pot luck dinner.
Here the entire group convenes for a communal dinner.
This is hands-down the reason I come to this event. It’s what separates an American Adventurist Rendezvous from every other event I go to throughout the year.
It’s all about the community and coming together in fellowship.
Granted a table full of raffle prizes never fails to bring people together either.
Huge shoutout to all the companies that contributed to this year’s raffle.
Sadly I didn’t win anything 🙁
A Skottle full of popcorn never fails to bring people together either.

Sunday

Sunday was a slow lazy day for Dan and I.
When all was said and done we were the last ones to leave the property.
As per American Adventurist tradition there was no trace we were ever there.
As the last person to leave I did a quick sweep just to make sure, but I didn’t have to pick up a thing.
Oh yeah, can’t forget the swag. Glorious swag.

Conclusion

What I love about the American Adventurist Appalachian Rendezvous is its emphasis on the community. There are no vendors crowding up the place with retail booths. There’s no show-and-shine parking for the egotistical to show up their rides. It’s just one community of people coming together to recreate together for a weekend.

The other thing I love about the rendezvous is that they are about doing stuff, not just ‘camping in a field.’ There was a group that went out mountain biking, a group that went out boating, a group that went out trail riding, a group that went to an off-road 101 class with Overland Experts, and a group that stayed back and did absolutely nothing (that was me by the way). At a rendezvous you’re free to do as little or as much as you’d like and there’s no pressure to do any more of any less.

The final thing I love about the rendezvous is that it benefits the community. Money collected by donation this year benefits local volunteer emergency medical services. In years past money collected went to support the local community center. At other rendezvous American Adventurist has done trash cleanups in the desert as well as supported local Boy Scouts.

Those are the reasons I enjoy the American Adventurist events more than any other event I go to. It’s also why I think you should attend one if given the chance. Currently there are three. There are the Desert Rendezvous and Mountain Rendezvous in California, and the Appalachian Rendezvous in North Carolina. At some people I hope they add another event (or two) to the schedule, but for now the emphasis is on quality not quantity.

For more information about the events visit the American Adventurist website. Even if you can’t manage to attend a rendezvous, it’s still a great online community to be a part of!