Trappers Wild West Show… part 2

Santa's Last Stop Gale F. Trapp, 2012

Santa’s Last Stop
Gale F. Trapp, 2012

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Then head on over to the Death Valley ’49ers Invitational Western Art Show. It really is genuine old fashioned family fun with loads of historical activities above and beyond the canvas.

Never participated in historical reenactments? Here is your chance to join an encampment or rendezvous and experience a bit of history for yourself.

Not to mention, this juried art show features excellent Western Art, by both new and well known artists.

64th Annual Death Valley ’49ers Invitational Western Art Show
http://www.deathvalley49ers.org
Thursday through Sunday, November 7-10, 2013.

This will be my 3rd year attending this show, and I have to admit, it’s one of my favorites. It was here I received my first artist recognition, earning a 3rd place and best new artist award my first year, and receiving a 1st place award my second year. Is it any wonder I’m excited to participate?

The art show itself offers fun events including:

Competition Voting
Vote on your favorite piece. Support your favorite artist!

Awards
1st, 2nd and 3rd place ribbons are awarded to each of the five categories as well as the Plein-air competition based on voting done by fellow Death Valley ‘49ers.

Artist Quick Draw and Auction
Watch the creative process at work as artists complete a masterpiece in 45 minutes.

Original art makes an excellent gift, so come on over and join the fun.

Advertisements

Shining Times

“I defy the annals of chivalry to furnish the record of a life more wild and perilous than that of a Rocky Mountain trapper.”
–Francis Parkman

The life of a fur trapper is exhausting... and dangerous

The life of a fur trapper is exhausting… and dangerous

It’s rendezvous time and all around the West reenactment organizations or “buckskinners” are finishing preparations for a shining time around the campfire. Participating in rendezvous has been a source of inspiration, frustration and some of the best times, I’ve known.

Everyone should have their own lodge

Everyone should have their own lodge

There are those who find recreating history to be odd, silly and maybe even just plain dumb or a waste of time and money. However, at rendezvous, I have learned more about history, men and nature then could ever be taught in either a class or boardroom.

We're all on friendly terms here

We’re all on friendly terms here

The life of a mountain man or fur trapper was hard – there weren’t many that died of old age – because the very nature of their life brought them face to face with death on a regular basis. Of course for those that survived to tell the tales, these adventures became the stuff of legend.

Mountain men wear cool, handmade clothing

Mountain men wear cool, handmade clothing

The tradition of a rendezvous grew out of a need for the trappers to exchange pelts for supplies, and quickly grew into a month long revelry with trappers, travelers, women, children, Indians and company men joining in.

Yes, there are women at rendezvous

Yes, there are women at rendezvous

Mountain Man, James Beckworth, claimed there was “mirth, songs, dancing shouting, trading, running, jumping, singing, racing, target-shooting, yarns, frolic, with all sorts of extravagances that white men or Indians could invent.”

No electronics... but kids still have fun

No electronics… but kids still have fun

Today’s rendezvous are similar – we compete, we trade, we tell tall tales, we learn from each other and we have a good time. Conditions are primitive – no electronics, no RV’s, no refrigeration, no running water – and it’s easy to find yourself transported back in time, where things might have been simpler, but they certainly weren’t easier.

I'm a pretty good shot with my handcrafted black powder rifle

I’m a pretty good shot with my hand built black powder rifle

And yes, I handcrafted all my goods and clothing… from the brain tanned leather, to the beading and quillwork, along with my muzzleloader. What I didn’t make, I traded for, just as the original mountain men did.

So, are you ready for shining times around the campfire?