DEL NORTE— The San Luis Valley Renegades held their first annual rendezvous event during the weekend in Del Norte. The group was established several years ago to draw attention to muzzleloaders throughout the Valley. This event was the first to be held in Del Norte, but the group also hosts a similar event every year in Creede.
During the event, guests gathered at a piece of property west of Del Norte, generously donated to the group by local resident Kevin Off. Participants dressed in 1840s fashion and enjoyed a weekend full of fun activities including a group shooting; they set up camps with tents made in the mid-1800s, cooked meals in early trapper fashion and held a public opening on Saturday where they welcomed visitors who came out to see what the event was all about.
San Luis Valley Renegades President Karen Miller said that though the weather was rather difficult to deal with, everyone who attended still had a wonderful time. “We had several visitors who came out on Saturday and our group members welcomed them with open arms. Later in the day it started to hail, so a lot of people headed out, but those who stayed were able to see what we do, and it was a great time,” said Miller.
The group dedicates themselves to living life like people used to back in the early days of the Valley. “We had people who brought actual leather tents that were stitched back in the 1840s. We cooked on cast iron Dutch ovens over open campfires, shot muzzleloaders and told tales of the old days. It is just a really fun way to see how people lived back in the old days and the costumes make it original.”
The group spent some time trading possessions like the fur traders and explorers used to do back in the 1800s. One family who attended even had purebred wolves that they raise when they’re not out in the woods living like the old days. “It was amazing to see the wolves— such sweet animals when they are domesticated,” said Miller.
“We are always looking for new members. Not everyone has to participate in the shooting, if they do not want to. There are so many other things we do, anyone interested in the era would enjoy the group,” said Miller.
The group meets every second Thursday of the month at Fae Moon Designs in Del Norte where they host a potluck and host several shooting events throughout the year at the Rio Grande Shooting range located just outside of town. Those who may be interested, can contact Miller at 873-5466 or via email at [email protected]