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Restocking the Brown Bess

    The first rendezvous was in 1825, when William Ashley brought supplies to the trappers who gathered at Henry's Fork of the Green River. Thus began a yearly tradition of resupply and hard partying for the mountain men that lasted until 1842. For men who had spent the whole year working in the lakes and streams of the Rocky Mountains, isolated from all but their small band of partners and occasional contact with the local residents, this was a time to renew friendships and acquaintances, sell their furs, drink, play, gamble, compete in marksmanship, horse racing, wrestling, and storytelling, and stock up on everything they needed for the next year. Often, the trappers left the rendezvous as  broke as they were when they arrived, but there was always next year to look forward to, and more stories to share.
Today, we still rendezvous, more often, and in more places. All over the country, people step back 200 years to relive those "Shinin' Times," gathering in valleys, forests, and fields to reenact these joyful occasions, sharing stories,
competing in marksmanship, tomahawk 
and knife throwing, archery, and various other contests of skill, and joining around the campfire with music and camaraderie.

Right, JP at the 1838 Rendezvous, Riverton,WY.

Above, Bob at Surry, VA.                                                   
Above middle, Port Angeles, WA

Tamer now than those historic encampments, modern rendezvous are family events, and the young participate and learn along with their elders, about history, outdoor skills, and living with the natural world.
                                                                                                                                           Right, flint knapping at the Eastern Primitive.                        
             Eagle Creek, Washington, above.  

Bob and Curley, Rimrock, WA, below                                                      

JP and Bob makin' music, Skull Springs, WA

The photos on this page are from various rendezvous in
Washington State, Montana, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Virginia. All bear similarities, subtle differences in style, but all share in common, a dedication to preserving skills and knowledge of the era of the Mountain Man and the history of our nation, and a respect for the people, those who were there before, during, and after the "Shinin' Times."

Left, Bill takes his shot, Surry, VA. Right, Julie does time in the stocks for some unknown heinous crime, all in fun, of course! Surry, VA.

Left, Kevin, alias "Mad Hatter" arrives in camp at Surry, VA., while fellow campmate, JL checks out his purchases from sutler's row, below.

 It's a family affair, at Surry.

                                                                                                                                                                Above, Kevin & Bob at Surry.
Bob and son, Ethan at Whidbey Island, WA, on the 'Hawk and knife trail, below left.   Below right, a comfortable camp at Whidbey Island, WA.


Right, a demonstration of Lewis & Clark's air rifle. Very cool! Below, we all took turns shooting it.

Far right, Hostages for trade?

These pictures and the ones below are from the Eastern Primitive, which was held that year at Muddy Run, Pennsylvania.

                                           The Three Arts!

 Below right, the archery walk was tough!                                                                                                  Our camp, right.

The highlanders were there to toss the caber, haggis, and other stuff!
                                                                                              The younger rendezvousers had a great time, too!
The sun sets on Surry camp, above and below.                                                                     Right, a trio of tipis, Eagle Creek, WA

Our camp, Belle Grove, VA


                                                                                                                                          Reprobates! Bob, Kevin, Bill, and JP
                                                                                                                          at Belle Grove, VA.

JP, Jeff and Bob at Skull Springs, WA


     Below, JP ready for the hunt                                                                                                               Right, my shield.                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                            Right, waitin' on the stewpot, Surry.                                                                                                                                                                      

A special place of vision.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Right, the first U.S. Naval ensign, flown at my lat camp at Surry, Fall, 2013, and by my many-times-over Great Granddaddy John Paul Jones on his ship during the Revolutionary War.