“You need to know who you are and where you come from,” insists Randy Holl, public relations chairman of Oregon Trail Muzzleloaders. “You miss out on a lot if you don’t know your history.”

Photo © Jason LugoWhen Rocky Mountain fur traders by the surnames of Smith, Sublette and Jackson met up with Colonel Boone (great grandson of Daniel Boone) in 1825, it was to decide where trapping territories would be established along the Oregon Trail. What ensued over the next 20 years was not only trapping and trading furs, but skirmishes with numerous Native American tribes, starvation, snow-blown winter camps, death and privation.

Men honed the art of survival as they learned the natives’ language and ways, traded horses, guns and knives, and learned to make leather clothing to protect themselves from the elements.

Photo © Jason LugoSurvivors of those perilous days in the West passed down stories and relics, hoping they wouldn’t be forgotten.  The Oregon Trail Muzzleloaders association remains true to those who shaped our past by holding an annual rendezvous that replicates those who have gone before.

The 29th Annual Rendezvous is a family-centered event that brings to life the lifestyle of traders and trappers of the 1800s. Dressed in authentic attire, participants enjoy food, games, and contests while traders sell their wares. Children and adults can explore the smoothbore trail walk, hawk and knife trail walk, as well as a black powder rifle shoot and archery. Authentic teepees are set up to see as well as carvings, purses, moccasins, guns and tools.

The 2011 event will be held June 17-19, east of Albion. An authentic camp and a modern camp will be available. Costs are $40 per family, $15 adult, $8 junior (12-15), $3 peewee (11-1). For more information contact: Booshway – Larry Mettler “Blackbird” 431-9633; Rangemaster – Rick Ramsey “Powder Trickler” 679-7603.