By: Bears Butt

When you think about things in general and in a perspective sense, ones location on this earth can quickly be attached to exactly where you are at.  That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense as a single statement, so let me explain.

I am sitting here typing away on what I am writing.  To someone in Europe, I am in the Rocky Mountains.  To someone in New York, I am in the Rocky Mountains.  To someone in Missouri, I am at the foot of the Wasatch Front, in the Rocky Mountains.  To someone in Colorado, I am on the other side of the Rocky Mountains.  To someone in Salt Lake City, Utah, I am in Willard, Utah.  Now does my first statement make any sense.  Still no?  Tough.

Back when the mountain men were roaming around this great nation they began back East.  Where?  Well let’s say Saint Louis, Missouri.  Or South at Taos, New Mexico.  Of course back then the Missouri location was on the edge of the unknown.  Civilization had creeped that far and being on the bank of the Missouri River, the river defined the boundary of the wilderness to the West.  Taos, on the other hand was in the Mexican territory.  These men were there because it was a relatively safe place to be, among people similar to them (not Native Americans) and the trapping season was not on.

Once it became time to venture toward the trapping grounds with prime hides waiting, they would pack up and head on out.  Later on, when Ashley and the boys took up the task of bringing the necessary goods (and Whiskey) out to the men in the trapping fields, the trip to St. Louis or Taos became un-nesessary.

The meeting places where Ashley would announce to all the men in the mountains via word of mouth became known at the “rendezvous site”.  And Ashley mixed things up quite a bit from year to year.  One time in what we call Wyoming, the next in Northern Utah, the next near central Wyoming and then things began to settle down to pretty much the same place for several years running.  But the fact remains Ashley and the boys would have plenty of stuff for the mountain men to restock up on including the whiskey part.  These rendezvous’ also brought in Native Americans who would camp on the peripheral of the white mans camp and they too would enjoy some of the same pleasures that the mountain men would enjoy.  Actually, the Native American women liked the idea because of the trinkets and shiney mirrors and other goods not known by their own kind, until these mountain men came around.  But that is not my point in this.  What is my point is the rendezvous.

Ok, so here we are at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.  The narrowest corridor of land  between the shear rock cliffs and the Great Salt Lake.  A small town named Willard, Utah!  A wonderful place with a wonderful view.  Quiet little place, with the exception of the freeway traffic noise.

Back in the days of the Pioneers venturing out West with Brigham Young in the lead and coming into the great valley of the Salt Lake, Brigham was smart enough to know that the valley before them could not sustain all of them.  Couple that with the fact that he needed some avenues “out of Dodge” (so to speak) if the U.S. Government decided to reign him in (he and his group of Mormons were not very well liked back then).  So, having the knowledge that up and down the Wasatch front streams poured out their fresh waters from the mountains and they flowed down and into the Great Salt Lake, he sent some of the Bretheren and Sisters to settle near these streams.  To erect homes, clear and till the land and become self sufficient.  His instructions were also to assist the Native Americans with food stuff and essentials, and to avoid conflicts with them.

He sent folks to the South and to the North.  On the Northern end they settled in Bountiful, Farmington, Along the Weber River, Ogden, North Ogden, North Willow Creek, Three Mile Creek and on to Brigham City.  There were more, but it took more time to settle some of the other settlements that currently dot the maps of our present time.

North Willow Creek is what it was called at the time.  Later named Willard, after one of the higher ups in the Morman, Latter Day Saints (LDS) church, who was very influential, Willard Richards.

Suddenly along comes a small group of people who were born in and around that small community.  Carrying black powder rifles and pistols and wearing deer skin leathers and wool capotes and who called themselves “The Willow Creek Free Trappers”!  A good looking bunch if I do say so myself!

Let it be known that Ashley and the boys never had a rendezvous on the banks of the North Willow Creek, but in a generally speaking sort of way, he had one pretty dang close.  This year, 2011, history is going to be made and it is going to happen right here and right on the banks of the Willow Creek!  The Willow Creek Free Trappers first rendezvous to be held on the Zundel farm in Willard, Utah, September 1st through September 5th.  If you get there early enough your camp could be right ON the bank of the Willow Creek.

The Willow Creek Free Trappers have been searching for the perfect place to purchase for rendezvous to be held.  A place loaded with tall trees, cool meadows and a stream running through it.  By golly, I think we have found that exact place to hold this years rendezvous.  We have been chasing a wild bunch of beavers that have created quite a stir in the Willow Creek.  There are loads of “beaver sharns”, so go hunting and come back with a perfect one.

This historic event will be a fun one as usual and I for one am really looking forward to it.  Come on out and join in this event.  You won’t be sorry.

Bears Butt

Aug. 2011


Written on August 25th, 2011 , Just more stories

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Just some of my old stories, new stories, and in general what is going on in my life.