In happier days, I used to go to a lot of outdoor folk music festivals. A hallmark of such festivals was a large cork bulletin board by the first aid tent where people would post stuff such as:
Joe Davis! We're in the green tent over by the really big tipi. Come say hi, Sharon & Gary.
Anybody have a spare 1L propane tank for a Flame-o-matic grill? My dumb husband forgot ours. Our cell phone # is 555-1234
I'm going into town Tuesday afternoon on a food run. Plenty of room in the van if anybody wants to come with; we're the blue Dodge caravan parked by the trampoline guy.
Nowadays, I suppose even the folkies have done away with thumbtacks and markers and just wiz-bang everything with their laptops and Blackberries.
Another hallmark of folk festivals is that everybody in your group gets together the night before and spreads everything out on the driveway so that some consolidation can take place: Hey, maybe just one charcoal grill would be enough for the five of us, huh? Let's stash the other two in the garage and free up some space in the van. Pretty sure one can of bugspray will do it for us, too. And leave the guitar amp at home; there's no electricity out there, dude.
Anyway, NPS isn't a folk festival, and Madison is hardly the back woods of the Berkshire Mountains, but still I wonder if we could use this forum to pack a little lighter and travel a little smarter.
I'm nervous about everybody just posting willy-nilly though, because the thread would become unmanageable.
Maybe something like
Thread for travel: People needing rides/ people offering rides/ people going sightseeing and looking for company, etc.
Thread for gear: I'm bringing this [big heavy thing]/ anybody have a [big, heavy thing] I can borrow?
Thread for local expertise: I know a good auto mechanic in Madison, I need a reliable babysitter in Madison, etc.
Again, I'm kind of thinking out loud. People on teams are probably already doing this on a smaller scale, but the Internet is really good at putting small ideas onto larger scales, right?