June 24, 2020

Rendezvous – A French term denoting a gathering to conduct commerce.

The 1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous is an annual gathering held on the original rendezvous site in Riverton, Wyoming.  It is known to be where Captain Bonneville rendezvoused with his company of 65 trappers in June 1835.   Many historians believe the 1830 Rendezvous was at this site.

The 1838 Rendezvous grounds in Riverton, Wyoming look much like they did in 1838.  This is the only site of an original trapper’s rendezvous not developed by man.

I have attended every rendezvous since 2010.  This is truly one of my favorite events.  I’ve met many mountain men and women over the years, walked Traders Row and have learned how to throw a hawk and knife.  I’ve bought beads, a bird whistle and sat in on a hide tanning seminar.  I’ve eaten at The Roost and visited with many a mountain man from around this territory.  This is a throw back to another time and I love it.

1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous, Riverton. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson
1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous, Riverton. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson

A rendezvous is a historical re-enactment of the gathering of mountain men during the fur trade era.    You’ll see everyone dressed in  clothing from the 1825-1840 fur trade era.  In many of the camps you’ll see details as it was 182 years ago.

I enjoy walking Trader’s Row and seeing all the wares.  Beads, tanned hides, knives, whistles, you name it and it will be there.

1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous, Riverton. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson

Meet the Booshway Gary “Big Toe” Gavin or the Segundo Dave “He Who”.  Seminars are held daily on leather crafting, hide tanning, flint and steel fire starting.  Watch the knife and hawk throwing or try it yourself.

1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous, Riverton. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson
1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous, Riverton. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson

There’s kids games, a candy canon and even a fashion show with a parade.

Walk with me in the footsteps of Jim Bridger, Kit Carson, Osborne Russell and Moses Harris.

See the complete schedule of events from July 1-5  here.

Be sure to stop at the Wind River Heritage Center, 1075 S. Federal Blvd and see Wyoming wildlife and western history starting from the 1800’s

Directions:  From South Federal Blvd in Riverton turn East on E. Monroe Ave for 1 mile to Smith Road.  Follow the signs to the buck and rail fence and a wooded area.

1838 Mountain Man Rendezvous, Riverton. Photo: Jennie Hutchinson
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