By Brian & Kathy Fair, Inland Empire Chapter Members
After 2 years off, this year’s Priest Lake Dry Rot was back in full swing. 40 boats with lots of smiling, eager faces to get back to normal with a full 4-day boat show weekend. Brian and I put a spin with our own touches and we couldn’t have been any more pleased. As Dry Rot always brings, a hearty group that endured finding lodging when Elkins & Hill’s Resorts have been sold out since last November, and last-minute changes that were out of our control. The participates took everything in stride and with ease. Our newest members, Darin, Gina & Charlee Butler joined with their newly restored “Little Toot”, a ’41 Chris Craft Utility. Also, on Friday, 3 hours before the show was to start, I got a call from a new owner of a Chris Craft Cavalier that decided to sign up and joined us for every, single event. I suspect they will be our next new members.
Friday night always kicks off our show at Nordman Restaurant & Bar. Lots of food with stiff drinks, we handed out registration packets, sold t-shirts/hats/posters, sold Saturday breakfast tickets and a short speech from Brian regarding the coming events and changes.
On Saturday morning, hard work pays off with our Poker Run stops. Each stop, and never the same stop twice (except for the Duchess boat) Brian and I figure out stops with the help of family & friends. We love the stops’ enthusiasm, eagerness and different ideas for things to hand out. Damn…someone better save me one of those Pudding Shots next year! Great effort…
Cavanaugh’s Resort, under new management, served a hot breakfast for those that signed up. They have a great attitude and we look forward to working with them next year with new ideas already in the works.
After everyone rested up from the Poker Run, we opened up our small cabin to the Saturday night BBQ and presented awards for the Poker Run. One hour before everyone was to arrive, it started to rain. Hutch texted Brian and asked “What is Plan B?” Brian’s reply “There is no Plan B”. Thankfully, only a couple of sprinkles just freshened up the forest and we were good…keeping in mind it’s a small 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom cabin. Riley & Caitlyn Anderson transported everyone over from Elkins to the east side of the lake in Dan Indgjerd’s tour boat, Kaniksu. As we were down on the dock to greet our guests, most certainly was my proudest and happiest moment I had all weekend. Seeing all of the smiling faces as our guests arrived in the gorgeous tour boat, ready for a good time.
Dinner was catered by Longhorn BBQ, with desserts that our Priest Lake bay neighbors brought – the Yandts, Winns, Murphys & Boges. Afterwards, Brian presented Poker Run awards. Bob & Anne Henshaw won for Best Poker Hand, with our Priest Lake resident John Forney & Company for Best Time. Each received a custom award Brian’s company made, a cutout of Priest Lake. Later on, Kaniksu made 2 trips back to the west side to return our guests safely under the beautiful star filled sky.
Brian again knocked it out of the park with the 2022 Dry Rot t-shirts, hats & posters. This is something we do out of our own pockets, and if we’re left with shirts that don’t sell, we eat it. The price helps pay for Brian’s design guy who is always very creative each year. I believe this year’s design will be hard to top so the challenge is on. Never sold them out so quickly.
Sunday, the public show, a curve ball was thrown to us 6 days before the show started. After months confirming with Elkins there would be a breakfast buffet Sunday morning, we were informed via email that there would, in fact, be no buffet. In true Dry Rot style, it was mentioned, “move the event!” Me, in my detailed-out events mind, said “It’s too late!”, but Brian, after careful thinking and a phone call to Craig Hill, said “yes, we’re moving it to Hill’s Resort”. The group was informed and things worked out better than ever expected. The Hill’s family doesn’t have “no, we can’t do it” in their vocabulary. The feedback we have received has been excellent & positive. A huge shout out to Hill’s Resort for the confidence in their staff and management, never doubted they couldn’t pull this off, plus in a short time span.
For the parade, more than previous record amounts of boats left the Hill’s docks to parade down to the east side of the lake, going through 8-Mile Island, around Pinto Point, up to Cape Horn and back to Hill’s Resort where we returned to our saved dock spaces. I’ve never seen so many people out on their docks waving at all of us. So fun… Unfortunately, no drone video this year that David Bluff creates (for free) because of the blocked air space from the Forest Service Firefighters’ planes because of the fires in the area. That was really disappointing because David does such an outstanding job.
As the Sunday show was coming to an end, and Brian & I were finished counting ballots, show awards were handled out: Captain’s Choice went to Mike (Hutch) & Carol Hutchison and the Dockwalker’s award went to Brett & Jodie Sargent, a gorgeous ’62 Chris Craft Holiday Hardtop, Brodie, super unique looking and very deserving. Our Dry Rot chairperson’s award, a 64 oz flask with a bottle of Idaho Gold, went to Terry Deems with a heartfelt loving memory of Murray Danzig. Terry had purchased Murray’s Hacker Craft and recalled memories about Murray frequently throughout the weekend. With Murray’s recent passing, so touching “Sirius” has a wonderful home and is treated with the love and respect it so deserves.
Monday, ended the busy weekend, as always, a relaxing, enjoyable time sitting on the sandy beach and roasting hot dogs at the Upper Lake, and chatted with friends. I love ending up there…so peaceful and quiet, able to let out a huge sign.
We heard from several people that weren’t at the show, if it was going to be held. The answer is always “yes”. Contact Brian (509-990-6796) or me (Kathy – 509-993-6122) directly for registration forms and information. Also, Brian and I have created a Priest Lake Dry Rot website where you can find forms, information and look at photos from this Dry Rot year’s show and previous years. It is located at “Priestlakedryrot.com”, plus found on Facebook at “Priest Lake Dry Rot” and follow us on Instagram “Priest_Lake_Dry_Rot”. You can’t say you’re not informed with all these outlets we have created.
Until next year, pull out of the lake and work on your boats, get them tucked away warm and safely, so you’re ready for next year’s Priest Lake Dry Rot. As I said in my “Thank You” email to everyone that participated, we appreciated the flexibility with our show. It’s the people that make the show as great as it is…and a beautiful lake doesn’t hurt!