Land of the Mountain Men

Debbie keeps telling people at shows – we’ll be at the Santa Fe Indian Market in the Eldorado Hotel at a show called Native Treasures the third week of August – that our travels are posted on the website. Actually, they’ve been posted to Facebook Doug Hocking Author Page. But I need to update the photos on the web page.

In June, we were in Wyoming for the Western Writers of America Conference and took the opportunity to visit places I had never been. We looked into the world of the Mountain Men.Betakin 137We visited many of the Rendezvous sites. This one is in Riverton where the Wind River and Bighorn come together. It’s in an industrial park and not a very attractive site. Betakin 138Here is another view of the Rendezvous Site at Riverton. Fort Bridger 128This is the 1825 Rendezvous Site almost into Colorado on a tributary of the Green River. Fort Bridger 129 Mountain Man Museum 002Pinedale has an annual Rendezvous and it’s on my bucket list (the problem with bucket lists is that I fear once you complete the list there is nothing left to do but kick the bucket; I have better things to do with my time). These beads are from the Museum of the Mountain Man and surprised me in that they are not the later glass beads we are so familiar with.  Mountain Man Museum 005 Mountain Man Museum 010 Mountain Man Museum 013Pipe and a bear claw necklace from the Museum of the Mountain Man. Mountain Man Museum 014This is how a lodge must have looked. Looks comfortable. Mountain Man Museum 019Smoking materials. They become models for things I might make. Pipes were the thing. Cigarette papers did not become available until much, much later, perhaps as late as the 1880s. Mountain Man Museum 020 Mountain Man Museum 024 Mountain Man Museum 025 Mountain Man Museum 027 Mountain Man Museum 032 Mountain Man Museum 038 Mountain Man Museum 041 Mountain Man Museum 058Porcupine quillwork mixed with beads. Mountain Man Museum 059 Mountain Man Museum 133An enigmatic fellow, Captain Bonneville built himself a fort on the Green River 15 miles or so above Pinedale. It was the site of a trading post and a Rendezvous. What was Bonneville doing there? Washington Irving made him famous. Why was he on leave of absence from the Army? Mountain Man Museum 137Year after year Rendezvous returned to sites on the Green River between Pinedale, which wasn’t there yet, and Fort Bonneville. Mountain Man Museum 138

This is also on the Green River near Pinedale. The Oregon Trail passed this way.Mountain Man Museum 142Mountain Man country surprised me. It’s a lot like the basin and range country of southern Arizona. There are mountains separated by meadow, prairie and expanses of sagebrush. It’s not all high mountains.  Mountain Man Museum 144 Mountain Man Museum 149Green River near Pinedale Mountain Man Museum 170Pronghorn antelope in Pinedale

About dhocking

Doug Hocking is an independent scholar who has completed advanced studies in American history, ethnology and historical archaeology. He grew up on the Jicarilla Apache Reservation and attended school among the Indios and paisanos of the Rio Arriba (Northern New Mexico). He retired from the military as an armored cavalry (scout) officer. His novels immerse the reader in the times, terrain and cultures of 19th century New Mexico. Doug lives near Tombstone with his wife, dogs and a feral cat. He writes both fiction and history and is currently working on a biography of Tom Jeffords and has two historical novels in print: Massacre at Point of Rocks and Mystery of Chaco Canyon. His articles have appeared in True West, Wild West, Buckskin Bulletin and Roundup.
This entry was posted in Mocassina, Mountain Man. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply