Some of the first books that I can remember reading were of the life stories of Daniel Boone, Jim Bridger, Kit Karson, Jedidiah Smith, and other epic accounts such as the Last of the Mohicans. When my dad told me about a cousin, Jim Walker, who went to mountain man rendezvous’, I could hardly wait to ask if I could tag along. The first rendezvous I ever attended was with my dad and Jim in Kindred, North Dakota, at the age of 12. Mountain men, voyageurs, long hunters, natives, pioneers, traders… all makes and models of wild men, with names like Three Legs (Jim), Fawn Killer, Wood Tick, Uncle Ernie, Crooked Nose, and Colonel Tom, just to name a few. I continued attending rendezvous’ through my early 20’s. My wife Stacie and I attended her first rendezvous in 2015, where we met up with my friend, Fawn Killer at the Bemidji, MN Hang Fire Rendezvous. Since then, we have attended around 1-2 a year, including the High Plains Regional Rendezvous’. It was at the High Plains where one of our friends, TC, was looking at some of my brain tanned leather, and said, “ Brother Man….you should bring some of this stuff to Fort Bridger.” The following fall, I saved out some hides to finish in August just before the Fort Bridger ‘Vous. In early July, we got an order from a costume designer who ended up buying all the leather we had.
“Now what?”, I thought to myself. “Do we still go with no hides to sell…and pass up the opportunity to attend one of the biggest rendezvous’ in the country? Horse Feathers!!! We’re going!”
Labor Day Weekend arrived at Fort Bridger with a bronze sculpture of Jim Bridger pointing the way. It was a beautiful location, with mountains in the distance and a small stream running through camp, which had beaver dam just up current. It didn’t take us long to find our friends, Lance, and later, TC.