During the early 1800s, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Kit Carson and Jeremiah Johnson lived in harmony with American Indians. They came together several times a year and traded goods at what was called a rendezvous.
That era will come alive again Jan. 30 during the ninth annual Fort Dade Mountain Man Rendezvous. Vendors will offer tanned skins and leather clothing similar to what mountain men and Native Americans traded many years ago. People can view and buy handmade goods, utensils, implements and clothing.
People from all over the state will camp in primitive settings with no electricity or running water, tell stories by campfire and cook on an open fire.
Contests include a frying pan toss, knife throwing, pie baking and bow and arrow.
Among the crafts will be candlemaking, soapmaking, sewing and flaxmaking demonstrations.
Even the food is reminiscent of a bygone era: homemade root beer and fry bread.
"You can walk through history that you read about in history class," said Samuel Scarborough, park ranger. "See, feel, touch or taste what it was really like."
_ MICHELLE JONES
Fort Dade Mountain Man Rendezvous
WHERE: Withlacoochee River Park, 12449 Withlacoochee Blvd., Dade City. The park is north of Dade City off U.S. 301
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 30, 31 and Feb. 1
DETAILS: (352) 752-5014