I was on a train traveling from Lincoln, Nebraska to Salt Lake City, Utah, when I met a woman who wrote for a prestigious magazine. She was from California and was interested in what Bridger was all about. She was familiar with some of the civil war reenactments and asked if it were similar to those events.
As I described the event, I realized that the Fort Bridger Rendezvous is not just a reenactment, but more of a celebration of the fur trade era. The life style was so unique to American history that it could only be celebrated as Fort Bridger can do it. For those with just a touch of imagination, Fort Bridger delivers a somber reverence to the history of the Rockies. Walking through the grounds, you can feel the spirits of Bridger, Carson, Bonneville, or Beckworth, knowing they too walked in that very spot.
Those who participate in the rendezvous vary from historically correct primitive camping and dress to those who visit for just the day. I have never attended an event that has so many events, sights, and sounds in such a large area. In the spirit of the original rendezvous, there are many family reunions and friends who meet there but once a year. Trading and competitions fill the day with fun and good times. Those who attend, hate to see it end.
The Fort Bridger rendezvous is held each Labor Day weekend. Perhaps that too adds to the excitement. The crisp nights gives way to the hot summer days, school is about to start, and for most, it marks the end of the summer. Labor Day is one of those few holidays that are intended to celebrate ourselves as workers. What better way to commemorate the holiday.
After trying to describe Bridger, it is undeniable that here is something magic in the air that cannot be planned and very difficult to describe. It must be experienced. I truly hope that my new train friend can find the time to check it out herself.