Thursday, September 25, 2014

Welcome to the Wild West

Throwing axes while barefoot = fun!

Saturday I went to my first Rendezvous.  No, not a clandestine meeting at a nightclub along the Seine to exchange microfilm, but rather a gathering of the Pleasant Hill Primitive Riflemen.

It's like a Ren Faire, only it's set in the 1840s in fur trapper country in the American West. 

And it's much more.... thorough.  For one thing, people camp for days, sometimes weeks, mostly using authentic gear....

We discovered that her dress matched my skirt so we had to take a picture.

Uncle Steve with a bone-handle knife that he put together.

Me in the chair I eventually bought

The guy who made the chair I eventually bought.

 Behind us is the tent Uncle Steve lived in for four days. 
 Making dinner over the fire that he kept going the whole time he was there.

 Of course, you have to have music....
Steve and some of his warm and welcoming friends.

I found the history quite fascinating.  Basically we are talking living in wilderness all winter long, trapping in freezing water, no towns, men only except for native women, temporary shelters since you moved every few weeks, very little communication with the outside world, and total reliance on yourself and the men in your group if you were sick or injured.  The rendezvous were in the summer, and that is where the trappers sold their furs, bought supplies, and often gambled or drank away what they had earned.  They would last around two weeks, and must have been the highlights of the trappers' year. 

I really enjoyed myself, despite the heat.  It was a glimpse into a bit of American history that I knew nothing about.

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