Best of the Tetons

Many Strings

Fort Henry Rendezvous 2015:

This rendezvous is only a short distance from the historic fort location near Rexburg, ID.

The Fort Henry Buckskinners have been hosting this rendezvous for around 27 years. 2015 was the second year at the current location next to the Henry’s Fork River between Rexburg and Parker, ID. There are Mountain Man Rendezvous held now in every state of the country, however Wyoming and Idaho are where they really happened!

Update: The 27th Annual Ft. Henry Rendezvous will be held on June 8-12, 2016

Ft. Henry Rendezvous

Ft. Henry Rendezvous Tents and Trader’s Row: Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens. Most rendezvous close down “to the public” at around 6:00 pm. After that time, all people in the camp are supposed to be wearing “period” clothing. They have skillet throwing contests, tug of war games, and people sit around listening to people playing banjos, guitars, and other instruments. I have “the gear” but didn’t take it with me this time. Someday I’d like to stay late and see if all of them would let me put a small flashlight in each tent, then do a shot just before it gets dark.

Earlier in the year, I created this page: An Upcoming Year of Wishes. Since then, I’ve been faithfully working my way through my list…and going to a few Rendezvous was on the list! This site is beautifully situated next to the Henry’s Fork with ample space, level land and considerable privacy. Photographically speaking, I think this is my favorite rendezvous because of missing telephone lines and fences, and the parking areas are completely out of sight. This rendezvous is held during the first full week of June.

Black Powder Shooter

Black Powder Shooter: A shooting range is part of this Rendezvous, along with an archery course, and a “hawk and knife” area. The Idaho Hawk & Knife competition is held during this rendezvous. Most shooters will allow you to take their photos. I took this one a split second after the shot and you can see a bit of the smoke and powder leaving the barrel of the gun. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens.

Lee Fears

Lee Fears: Lee makes leather goods is always gracious to let me photograph him. Check out Hombre Leather.  For quite a few of the portrait shots, I used a Nikon SB-910 strobe, hand held to the side and controlled by a Nikon SU-800 controller. Just to make sure everything fires in the broad daylight, I added a pair of RadioPoppers. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens and Nikon SB-910 Strobe.

John Jolly

John Jolly: I’ve been seeing John and his wonderful wildlife paintings at the rendezvous for quite a few years. Without the strobe for the fill flash, this would have been a terribly difficult shot at about lunch time. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens and Nikon SB-910 Strobe.

Many Strings

Tony Messerly goes by the camp name “Many Strings”. He’s a wonderfully entertaining singer and always friendly. I took this shot from ground level and aimed up to get some of the approaching clouds. Check out Many Strings if you’re interested in picking up some of his CDs. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens and Nikon SB-910 Strobe.

Turtle Engraver

Montana Turtle: Turtle is an engraver and jeweler—working in silver and gold. I found him to be quite photogenic and very friendly. I set the strobe on a table to the right to add just a touch of light onto his face. He’s looking through a large magnifying glass as he works on an engraving. Check out Montana Turtle. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens and Nikon SB-910 Strobe.

Black Kettle

Black Kettle: BK lives near Haley, ID and is usually at the Ft. Henry Rendezvous. He’s very photogenic and always willing to have his photo taken. This was taken in broad daylight. I underexposed the scent by a lot, then added some fairly harsh light with a strobe. One of the kids held the strobe for the few shots…cost me a dollar and young Quinn ended up with a soft drink. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens and Nikon SB-910 Strobe.

The Conversation

The Conversation: John is Quinn’s father. His tent was next to Black Kettle, so he and Quinn were always somewhere nearby. He was having a conversation with BK at the time. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens and Nikon SB-910 Strobe.

Two Wild and Crazy Girls

Two Wild and Crazy Girls: Kids often run around the camp dressed in period garb. The boys especially like it because they get to throw tomahawks and knives, stir fires and run around without much supervision. It struck me the first time I went to a rendezvous that many of the people participate in much the same way we did with out kinds when they were young. We met friends and camped together in our campers. These people are “camping with a purpose” or theme. These two little sisters were having a grand time all bundled up in a quilt. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens and Nikon SB-910 Strobe.

Harry Harpoon

Harry Harpoon: Over the years, Harry has played with various musicians and acts in many of the Jackson Hole venues. This is another daylight shot taken well underexposed and lit with an off-camera strobe. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens and Nikon SB-910 Strobe.


Buttons: Merchants have all kinds of wares for sale inside and outside the tents. All I have to do is ask and they all say yes to me taking photos. I took this one at a slight angle, but the new “auto upright” feature in Lightroom straightened out the distortions in one simple click. Nikon D800 and Nikon 24-70mm lens and Nikon SB-910 Strobe.

Bison Fur

Bison Fur: A Rendezvous is a “texture paradise”. I asked if it was okay, and even with a puzzled look on their face, they said, “Sure, go ahead”.

In April of 2014, created this Feature Post called Mountain Man Rendezvous. I’ve since updated it with most of the regional rendezvous for 2015, so if you’d like to go to one, check out the schedule.

Photo Comments

I typically like to process all of the images on a page like this in a similar fashion so the entire page has a unified look and feel. The 1825-1840 period portrayed in the shots just scream for some sort of sepia toning, similar to Montana Turtle. I chose not to do that in all of these photos, just to give you a better idea of what you might be actually “seeing” if you were to go to one. The participants at a rendezvous almost always love to have their photos taken, but I like to ask first. I didn’t do it on this rendezvous, but I occasionally like to take a telephoto lens and shoot from farther out. Those photos are typically more casual than the ones where they know I am taking them.


I included a few photos on this blog page. You can see more, and even purchase prints at my main web site. Here’s the link to the Mountain Men images at Teton Images.

If you like what you see here, please share the page with your friends by clicking on any of the social media icons below. MJ


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Comments (2)

  1. Al and I were so sad we had to miss this rendezvous this year, it is one of our favorites. Great shots Mike!

  2. Mary, I looked for you and Al…expected to see you there! Unless I have a trip scheduled, I’ll try to go to Pinedale in July.

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