Labor Day Weekend Time Travel: Fort Bridger Mountain Man Rendezvous
Our family has come to love living history. Over the next few months I will be sharing with you some of our very favorites in hopes that it will inspire both your travel and learning.
One of our favorites and closest to home is the Fort Bridger Mountain Man Rendezvous. Early September each year thousands of people gather to take part in a truly transportive event. Once you step through the gates you are immediately immersed. Hundreds of canvas tents filled with all manner of craft line the dirt roads, a pipe band regularly graces the route with sounds from across the Atlantic and thousands of people totally decked out in period appropriate dress even if some of the loin cloths don't seem totally "appropriate".
As an advocate of preserving craft this is a heyday. Leatherwork abounds amid copious amounts of woodcarving. The copper-smithing sits beautifully among woolen camp blankets and overcoats. Truly remarkable handmade items can be found side-by-side the original antiques and found objects that can be appreciated for their practicality, cleverness, aesthetic and quality.
With plenty of good things for me to peruse there were even more mystifying objects and toys for the kids to enjoy. Dolls, slingshots, dress-ups, knives and all manner of wooden toys and trinkets bring the kids a lot of pleasure and expose them to a world so foreign.
Beyond the market, the rendezvous provides all kind of cultural entertainment. Native American dancing on the grandstand is a favorite. You also can't miss the axe throwing and rifle shooting that goes on all day. If you dress up you can even participate.
If you don't yet have plans for Labor Day this year put this on your list. If you do then put it on your calendar for next year. Some families make it a yearly tradition. They get geared up and spend the week camping and living life 175 years in the past. We haven't done that. Naomi Davis better known as Taza has a great blog post about the event as well as Yonder Journal if you want a few more insider tips.