Mountain Man Rendevous: Relive the Wild West
August 1, 2008
Granby – Take part in the Wild West and learn about portions of Grand County and Colorado’s Western history with the annual Medicine Waters Rendezvous and Living History weekend at Snow Mountain Ranch/YMCA of the Rockies.
Enjoy fun for the whole family in a genuine mountain man camp with a working blacksmith shop, black powder demonstrations and historic reenactments. The event includes authentic trading tents, encampments, mountain man activities and nightly living history demonstrations and tours.
Programs include “Beyond the Shining Mountains” with Edward Berthoud (portrayed by Joe Kelley) and Jim Bridger (portrayed by Rich Dowell), the Goldman Brothers Blacksmithing Show, Medicine Waters Storytellers (incl. Kelley, Dowell, and Jodie Boxell), and a Candlelight Campfire Living History Finale with guided tours to four or five living historic sites and interpretations.
Primarily known as the chief engineer and secretary of the Colorado Central Railroad during its Colorado expansion throughout the 1870s, Captain Edward L. Berthoud was a military officer, statesman and engineer in the Western United States. The town of Berthoud, as well as Berthoud Pass just south of Winter Park, are named in his honor.
Bridger was among the original mountain men, trappers, scouts and guides who explored and trapped in the Western United States, 1820 to 1840. He is said to have had an extraordinarily strong constitution that allowed him to survive the extreme conditions he encountered walking the Rocky Mountains. Also known to be full of tall tales, he once said he walked from what would become southern Colorado to the Canadian border and came to know many of the major figures of the early West, including Brigham Young, Kit Carson, John Fremont, Joseph Meek and John Sutter.
Traders set up on Wednesday and open camp up to the public starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday. Thursday activities include fire starting demonstrations 11 a.m. to noon, blacksmithing demonstrations 1 to 3 p.m. Mtn. Man Activities and trader’s booths 3 to 6 p.m., “Beyond the Shining Mountains” at 7 p.m. and meet the trader’s tent tour 8 to 9 p.m.
Friday’s schedule is similar, except the Goldman Brothers Blacksmithing Show is the highlight at 7 p.m. Boxell is also set to portray John Colter, “the first mountain man” and a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (although best remembered for his explorations made after being honorably discharged in 1806). During the winter of 1807 to 1808, he became the first known European to come across Jackson Hole, see the Teton mountain range, and enter the region now famous as Yellowstone National Park.
On Saturday, activities open at 10 a.m., with a blacksmithing demo 11 a.m. to noon, tomahawk throwing 1 to 3 p.m., Mountain Man Activities and trader’s booths 3 to 6 p.m., Medicine Waters Storytellers 6:30 to 8 p.m. and rounds out with the Candlelight Campfire Living History finale 8:30 to 10 p.m. The camp then opens up to the public at 10 a.m. for the last day of the Rendezvous Sunday, Aug. 10.