Okay, for those of you who aren't familiar with this term, Rendezvous is spelled correctly. It is pronounced ron-day-voo. Back in the old days when there were mountain men and Indians running around the west, and supplies were hard to come by, everyone would get together once a year. The mountain men would trade in their furs for supplies and everyone would get drunk. Not much has changed from that festival - except for the furs. Although during rendezvous, you can buy pretty much any type of fur you would like. It's PETA's worst nightmare ... not that I agree whatsoever with PETA.
It's also a chance for the locals to have some fun. There is a big parade and anyone who can come up with a buckskin outfit can participate in a reinactment (pageant) of what it was like back then. The guy driving this wagon was a classmate of my husband. His name is John Wayne (I'll not tell you his last name for privacy sake). They take the pageant pretty seriously. It's narrated (formerly by John Perry Barlow of Grateful Dead fame, who lived here). Not sure who narrates it now. I haven't been to the pageant in 15 years.
I enjoy some of the events but for the most part, it's a nuisance. It's hard to get through town all weekend - starting Thursday. We have a small town, with a major highway running right through town (that's our main street). During Rendezvous, we have vendors lining both sides of the street - blocking all the sidewalks and there are literally hundreds of people in the way all the time. It's fun if you are visiting and have never seen such a thing, but if you live here, it's a nuisance. Anyway, enough of my rant. I'm really not upset about it. Just giving context.
After the parade we went to the library. The Christmas tree for the US Capitol is coming from our forest this year, and apparently when the tree comes from your state, the state is allowed to send a certain number of homemade ornaments to decorate it. The library hosted an ornament making party. The kids were able to either make a Cowboy Joe ornament (the bucking horse that is the symbol for our state) or a gingerbread ornament. This is the basic Cowboy Joe ornament in the picture below. The kids had to cut them out, hole punch around them and then lace with rawhide leather. (The one in the picture is unfinished).
My 6 year old decided to make a gingerbread ornament (can't blame him - it smelled incredible and we got to use cinnamon in place of flour when we rolled it out). His is the star with the silver center.
I'm not sure how weather proof either of these projects will be. They made the dough with glue, but if they used the same Elmers type glue as for the decorations, it will just melt as soon as it gets wet. Even the paper ornaments will get soggy and be ruined. Oh well. It was fun and the kids thought it was great. I have to give them credit. They come up with some great programs at our awesome library. And it has to be the most beautiful, architecturally impressive library anywhere in the west. It's very "western", log cabiny with a colored cement floor. This photo of the library was taken when it was first built. The trees are all grown up now and there is a lot more beautiful landscaping. There is also this site for the library and you can click on the photo tour for the Pinedale branch. They added on a wing as big as the original library last year, using rammed earth construction - which is just what it sounds like - super tightly squished dirt. It has a neat effect, but I have to wonder about the longevity - thought they assure us it will last as long as the pyramids. I would make a house like this (the log cabin part) if I was a millionaire. No worries there.
Doesn't he just look thrilled? Keep in mind that we had just sat through a long parade. We were out in the hot sun for about 1.5 hours if you count getting there early enough to get a good spot. Thanks to the fact that this is an election year, we brought home just over 5 pounds - no kidding - of candy. Yep, that should last us until next year!
So, Rendezvous has a split personality. One part has become very commercial - people set up booths along main street and sell all sorts of art, furs, buffalo summer sausage (my favorite part) and then your typical concessions like footlong corn dogs, cotton candy and funnel cakes. The other part is all about remembering the past, and trying to be authentic. The Museum of the Mountain Man hosts a Native American Indian who gives lectures while dressed in authentic Indian clothing and facepaint about what things were like for the Indians. They also have talks about mountain men and that sort of thing. An area of town is set up for authentic old-style traders in canvas tents. They call it Trader's Row, and that's where I did my shopping. There are several people who sell beads, moccasins, hand made leather work, pioneer clothing, pottery, etc. The beads are a real steal for anyone into jewelry making. I'm not, but my daughter likes to bead, so I bought some beads to keep her busy. The ones above and below this paragraph are the ones she bought - lime green, turquoise, orange... loud colors, but dull finishes.
Here are her beads in the sun. Did I mention they are ridiculously reasonable with their prices. All the beads in the picture below were less than $20 total. It's more than will fit in my hand. She probably paid close to that same amount and so we have two heaping handfuls of very pretty beads. I think if she could have gotten away with it, she would have bought some of every color. It is like walking into one of those pricey candy stores with the candies all sorted into separate bins. Except these are sold on strings. You can see below all the beads on strands - all the white, then brown, then blue, etc. Each color has over 12 feet - yes feet - of strung beads, and we paid $3.50-$4.50 per color. The single strands (orange blue and silver in the picture below and the wild colors above) were a buck apiece.
Now here are mine. All of mine sparkle :)
Here they are in the sun. I must have been in a glitzy mood, because I'm usually the tame one. I don't have hardly any jewelry, and rarely wear it because my little people try to strangle me or destroy it. But I thought it would be nice to have some real stuff. And my daughter (who is nearly 18) makes awesome jewelry. She's gone for a few more weeks, working at a Bible camp for the summer, so you'll have to wait for the finished product pictures. I'm excited to see what she will create with these. Beading is not something I'm very interested in. I love to sew but I'll leave the jewelry making to her.
Oh yes, we had to attend the rodeo too. My 6 year old loves all things rodeo so he and this steer hit it off right away. They were having a bit of a discussion after the rodeo. All this in one day, and before the rodeo we attended my husband's 20 year class reunion. It was a long, fun day, but on Sunday, we were beat. And I have to add that I'm all funnel-caked out for the year too.