Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mountian Man Rendezvous

 Every year over Labor Day weekend Fort Bridger in Wyoming has a mountain man rendezvous. Probably close to 20 years ago one of my uncle's started going with his family, and then another one of my uncle's and his family started going.  They invited my family to go, and we have been going ever since. My uncle's both have the equipment to camp in the park.  When you camp inside the park, everything that can be seen in your camp has to look authentic to 1840.  Most people camp in tepees or wall tents like the army used.  All of the gear is either wood or cast iron.  It can be a lot of fun.  Because we weren't sure how much we would like going, we opted to camp outside of the park in our "tin tepee."  In other words we camped in our trailer.  The first year we went was in 2002.  I went for the next three or four years, but then I was married and my husbands family had things going on that weekend.  We haven't been for a few years, although others in my family have gone most years.  I really wanted to go this year, but again there were conflicts.  My husband's uncle who he went to Africa was going to visit for the weekend, and he wanted Thomas to do a sideshow presentation of their trip for his wife's parents who were visiting.  Once again, it looked like we wouldn't be going.  Then I found out that my cousin was going to bless her baby at the church service that they have there, and I really wanted to go to that. After a lot of debate, I decided that I would just drive up for the day with the kids, and Thomas could stay home to be with his family.  I made my daughter an indian ribbon dress the week before, which she didn't like very much because I stopped working on her princess dress for Halloween in order to make it.  That morning I got up at 5:00 and drove to Fort Bridger, which is  20-30 minutes east of Evanston. I got the kids out of bed and put them straight into the car.  I thought they would go back to sleep and stay that way for most of the drive. Neither of them did, and I got to listen to them talk and jabber the whole way, which was very cute, but made for some crankiness later in the day.   We arrived just after the church service had started, but I quickly found my family and slipped in.  I really like going to church there because it is held outside there at the fort.  You really get a feel for what the early services would have been like for the pioneers when they didn't have buildings and had to have church outside.  It is always a testimony meeting, and you get some really good testimonies, and some really odd things.  I was glad that I got to be there for the baby blessing.

After the meeting was over, We found out that my aunt had injured her foot on the way to church.  Someone they knew went and got the emergency support people to bring in a cart hooked to a four wheeler to take her out to her car.   The law enforcement also stopped over.  The kids were fascinated with the sheriff's horses.  We of course had to tease her about trying to steal the spotlight on her first grandson's big day.  She had osteoporosis, so we were pretty sure that something was broken.  Instead of helping get ready for the family dinner, she and her son were headed to the emergency room in Evanston.  She said that this was the second time she had to go to the emergency room in period clothes.  The first time was for one of her son, and then this time for her.  She says that it is rather embarrassing.  I hope I never have to find out.  When they returned we discovered that she had broken her heel, which my brother in law says is really hard to break.  Besides the fact that it was really hot, we had a very nice meal and enjoyed visiting with everyone.   One of the reasons I like going to this is to spend time with my family, who I don't get to see as much  as I would like, especially my extended family.  I was planning on going through some of the shops on trader row, but we ended up just hanging around camp.  The kids had a lot of fun hanging out with their cousins and playing in the dirt.  Actually it isn't that dirty, it is pretty grassy.  I had forgotten Tristan's shoes, and he didn't mind walking bare foot at all.

 Tristan really liked sitting in his grandpa's chair.  He looked really cute until I got out the camera, of course, and then he threw a fit.

Playing with tools is one of Tristan's new favorite hobbies.   Isabel and her cousin are playing in the  briquettes that got left out.

This is the best picture of the family we got.  Tristan fell asleep in the stroller shortly before dinner when everyone else was doing pictures.  He slept on the way over to my uncle's camp and all the way through dinner. It was nice to only have one cranky child to deal with during dinner.

  As I mentioned, I made Isabelle's dress the week before we went up. However, I didn't quite get it done.  The bottom of the dress only has one of the three strips of ribbon it is supposed to have.  It also isn't hemmed.  The facing on the neck I did at about 10:00 Saturday night.  I wasn't sure exactly how to do it.  Apparently I was supposed to do some stitching on the facing that helps keep the facing in place.  Because I hadn't done that it kept coming out.  I purposely made the dress big, so she could wear it a couple of years.  I think however it ended up a little bit bigger than I was planning on, especially the neck.  Oh well.  She looked cute and she had fun.  Maybe next year I will make her a pioneer dress to match her cousin.

We had a lot of fun visiting, and we let it get too late.  It was almost 8:00 by the time we finally got ready and left.  It was dark before we even made it to Evanston, but at least the kids slept almost the whole way home.  They'd  had a very busy day, and had enjoyed their first Mountain Man Experience.  Just now Isabelle asked me if we can go to Bridger again.  I told that yes, we could go again, but not until next year.

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