FORT BRIDGER — Blue skies, sunshine, hot temperatures and the Fort Bridger State Historic Site proved to be the perfect backdrop for the 45th annual Fort Bridger Rendezvous.
Rendezvous or a French word for meeting, proved to be a step back in time to the pre-1840’s of the American West in the Rocky Mountains. In the fur-trapping years, a place would be designated for the meeting in the fall so the mountain men could trade their furs or plews for products normally bought with cold, hard cash. The rendezvous is reminiscent of the trips west by entrepreneur William Ashley and the goods he carried for the mountain men to replenish their stock to get them through the next winter. The plews were like money in the bank and were used to buy the supplies the mountain men would need for another year. The fur companies thought it was more economical to keep the mountain men in the wilderness to trap instead of returning east for supplies.
The Fort Bridger Rendezvous recreates a time in the Rocky Mountain West when men lived by their wits spending the winter trapping beaver for the fashionable top hats worn by gentlemen in the east.
Dan and Pat Watson, middle and right, step back in time as they wander Trader's Row at the Labor Day Rendezvous in Fort Bridger. PIONEER PHOTO/Virginia Giorgis