June 26, 2016

A Proverbial Wrench in the Works

Rebecca and I have been giving a LOT of thought and consideration to the following, and we want to bring it to the forefront immediately.  So, without further ado, I’ll just spit it out, then take all the time needed to explain our reasoning, and answer any and all questions.

We are putting the 2011 OBN Rendevous on hold until next summer.

“WHY??”  you ask, amazed that we could be so callous and unfeeling??  A number of reasons, really.  Bear with me as  I try to explain.

You’ve lived through the issues we’ve recently experienced with the expansion of the Directory, and moving over to a new server.  Both of these endeavors were neccesary, and monumentally time consuming for Rebecca.  Her dedication to keeping this ship afloat can’t be overstated.  But, it also means that we’ve done virtually nothing to facilitate the summer gathering.  And there is a LOT to do.  We’ve had numerous offers of help of all kinds, and we TRULY appreciate that, but most of the work falls squarely on our shoulders.  It’s something that, under normal circumstances, we welcome with open arms.  These recent developments have made it unreasonable to pull this off with hope for any degree of success.  And we WON’T do it half-assed.

I can hear the murmurs out there in cyber-land – “What about you, Joe?”  “Can’t you do your share to make it happen?”  Valid questions indeed.  The answer, quite simply, is this – I just announced my resignation at work and I’m starting a new job in June.  In Maryland.  Moving the family across the country.  Selling a house and buying a new house.  Starting a new job with a new company.  And, while the OBN family IS important to me, it has to take a back seat to the events that are currently at the forefront of my life.  There simply isn’t enough time in the day to do everything , so you have to make decisions based on priorities.

Now – we’re not suggesting that other OBN folk don’t meet up and experience the terrific commoraderie and networking that we know would happen, regardless of our presence.  We’re just saying that we woun’t be able to be a part of it this year.

However – for those of you in the upper Midwest, you still have an option available to you. The Midwest Bloggers Summit is being held in Brainerd MN on July 22nd-24th and is sponsored and coordinated by The Sportsman Channel.  Some of you have asked if this is a competitive “group” – it is assuredly not.  They simply recognize the value of the bloggers and their impact on todays way of obtaining information, and we want to endorse this event.  We  (Rebecca and I) fully support the event and, if conditions would allow it, would likely attend as well.  (CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO about the event)

SO- I really hope this doesn’t screw up any plans for the summer, but the decision to postpone the event for a year is simply unavoidable at this time.  In closing, I’d like to make note of one little bit of information that I’m not sure all of you understand – both Rebecca and I have real jobs, families and we try to have real outdoor lives as well. The OBN is a labor of love, and we are both completely dedicated to driving it to wherever it may end up, but we are a team of two and to be blunt, we do our best, but aren’t perfect.  For example – right now I am a couple of weeks behind in getting some of the “stuff” out to the winners of the “Losers” drawing.  Some of it just got in; some I need to put together.  Bear with me.  All good things come to those who wait.

Thanks for your understanding and patience.



  1. 1

    I hope it’s northern Maryland, it’s beautiful up there. D.C. area, not so much.
    Good luck with the new endeavor Joe, and Rebecca needs a vacation. Maryland in the fall is stunningly beautiful. . .

  2. 2

    Hey guys, I for one applaud your decision. This will be a big event and big events don’t just happen. It takes a lot of work. In truth, some of use need a little more heads up time even to arrange for ourselves. OBN folks are getting together on their own and that should hold everyone for a bigger and better event next year. Thanks for all you two do for all of us.

  3. 3


    Consider us NOT upset with this decision. We completely understand that the family and real lives come first. We look forward to hopefully attending an OBN event in the future (depending on location and available resources at the time :P ). Don’t fret about us OBNers. You and Rebecca are doing a phenomenal job in making the OBN what it is and we can’t wait to see where it goes in the future. The boundaries are limitless.

    Tim @ Appalachia & Beyond

  4. 4

    I also absolutely applaud you ability to make the hard decision and postpone the rendezvous. We all appreciate the hard work you do and what you have created. It is an amazing thing.

  5. 5

    That’s a tough call to make, and when you know it’s the only right way there is no choice. I wish you all the best luck in Maryland Joe, and you know you are still good for one last shot at those fish I promised you. Keep in touch.

    p.s. Ken is right, Rebecca needs another vacation. Somewhere warm again, with great bonefish action… (bring your camera) ;)

  6. 6

    I may be one of the few that is happy about this (for a totally selfish reason). My husband and I are desperately working towards paying off our student loans. We are on track to be done in October (which will be $52,000 paid off in 4 years!), and I was trying to figure out a way I could make it to the shin dig.

    Thanks for all you do with OBN! Love this community.

  7. 7
    Michelle @ Sportsman Channel says:

    Thanks, Joe and Rebecca, for letting the group know of our event in Minnesota! The Outdoor Writers Association and Ducks Unlimited just came on as sponsors as well. We have two great speakers lined up to help bloggers expand their blog & business, but the event is also about networking and learning from others. Registration ends in 3 weeks!

  8. 8

    I understand :) Never enough time for me either.

  9. 9

    Ok, so what are the dates for this thing now? ;) LOL

    I can’t imagine anyone being upset about this. Stuff happens. I’ll just meet RD in CO and we’ll C&R some RMNP trout ASAP. And as for next year, I’d like to suggest a few things like a cat shaving contest, some square dancing, maybe a ferris wheel. I’m sure I can think up some more stuff….a goat milking event, some “strange food” competitions, mushroom snorting, naked mountain biking, an outdoor film video contest thing. OK, you got me. That last one was for me. ;)

    You guys just keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll roll with it. So Mom and Dad cancelled vacation this year….that’s ok. That just means next year’s Convention will be bigger and better. Thanks for all the work you both do.

  10. 10

    This one is for Joe.
    “Lord, we ask that you make Joe’s relocation a success & bless his household” –Amen.

  11. 11

    Joe, so completely understood, it would be hard to imagine anyone not being just fine with this decision. Making a major move, as you are, is life changing! We all can wait until Life slows down a bit for you. My gosh, I have been wondering how Rebecca an you have been able to answer the bell for all (15) rounds as it is. Take some family time, find some inner peace, you both have earned it.

  12. 12

    Making the tough calls is never easy. And on a personal level, I’m too poor to afford the trip this year anyway. Best of luck in the new job and the new location. If you guys are ever interested in wandering up into PA, drop me a line.

  13. 13

    Disappointed, but understand. May I suggest that as a proxy this year, come out to Blogworld LA, November 3-5 (http://www.blogworldexpo.com/2011-la/). If anyone is interested, I’ll be happy to organize a fishing outing in the Pacific Ocean…Salty-style…for that Sunday, Nov 6th. I tweeted out that I’d love to fish with as many of you as possible, and this might be a great opportunity to do it. Let me know.

    • 14

      Certainly something to consider, SoCal. I guarantee you that if the schedule allows and I get out there, you’ll hear from me!


  14. 15

    Without concrete details emerging to date I had a feeling… Joe- I wish you the best on your big move. New waters, among other things. Don’t worry, we’ll keep blogging. You and Rebecca have turned OBN into a force to be reckoned with in the Outdoor World in a few months time. I think we all need the extra time for planning AND budgeting in order to have a successful Rendezvous, so don’t sweat it. It will be all the richer next year as OBN continues to grow, more characters and story lines emerge, and this small nation you command gathers. I’m looking forward to it. (And relieved, I really want to do my Nipigon trip this year, in August.) JT/FR

  15. 16

    I have to say I was looking forward to this year, but I am sure it is for the best. It’s kinda like going grocery shopping with my girlfriend…..I complain and whine the whole time about how she is taking too long and I am starving, then we get home and she cooks a meal that should be served for royalty. Sometimes, things are worth the wait. :)

  16. 17

    Completely understand, want to see Rebecca get some much needed fishing time and wish Joe the best of luck in your move and in your new job. I’ll start planning now to keep more vacation time open next year so I can be sure to participate. :o )

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