Tag Archives: SoDak

Hugh Glass Rendezvous

Hugh Glass Rendezvous

I’ve written about Glass before, but his tale deserves to be revisited.

With the return of Hugh Glass to the silver screen, the town of Lemmon, SD will be taking advantage of the recent publicity and plan on staging the First Annual Hugh Glass Rendezvous August 27-30.  Being a rendezvous, period attire is required, except for the 29th which is the only day civilian clothing is acceptable.

In 1822, Hugh Glass joined General Ashley’s expedition ascending the Missouri River.  Also joining Ashley’s Hundred, as the expedition was known, were John Fitzgerald, Jim Bridger and Jedediah Smith, among other notables of the era.

Glass was on a side expedition up the valley of the Grand River in what is now South Dakota, when he ran into a female grizzly and her two cubs.  Before Glass could raise his rifle, the mauling was on.  Glass managed to pull out his knife and fought back as the grizzly tore him apart.  Finally, Glass along with Fitzgerald and Bridger managed to kill the bear, but Glass was severely mauled.

Convinced Glass would die from his wounds, Fitzgerald & Bridger took his rifle, knife and belongings and left the man to die.  Mutilated, with a broken leg and no gear or provisions, Glass set his own leg and started to crawl the 200 miles to Ft Kiowa on the Missouri River.  It took 6 weeks to make it to the Cheyenne River, where Glass made a raft and floated the rest of the way to the fort.

Leonardo DiCaprio is set to play Hugh Glass in the upcoming film “The Revenant”.  Tom Hardy is slated to play John Fitzgerald, and Will Poulter as Jim Bridger.  I’m not sure what to make of 2/3’s of the casting, but I’ll hold out hope that it works.  The film is scheduled for a Christmas 2015 release.

Lemmon, with its population of 1227 people, lies in the northwest corner of South Dakota.  It’s beautiful country, and well worth exploring.

Logo courtesy of http://www.hughglassrendezvous.com

SoDak in B&W

Route 12

Grand River

Hugh Glass


6 May 2013

Just a short ways from where I was camped south of Lemmon, SoDak was the Hugh Glass Monument. Even in this day & age, the plaque sits in the middle of nowhere, overlooking the Shadehill reservoir, which was once the Grand River.

Back in August of 1823, Glass was out hunting for the Ashley Fur Party, when he came across a mother grizzly and her cubs. The grizzly charged so quickly that Glass could not get off a shot, although he did repeatedly stab the bear with his hunting knife.

Badly mauled by the bear, Glass was left behind with two men who were to bury him once he died. The two men were Fitzgerald and a young Jim Bridger. Unfortunately for Glass, Bridger & Fitzgerald packed up all their arms & gear and set off leaving Glass alone & unarmed in Indian territory.

Hugh Glass regained consciousness and dragged himself along, traveling mostly at night to avoid hostile Indians. Eventually, it is believed he made it to the Cheyenne River, where he fashioned a raft and floated downstream to Ft Kiowa. Glass traveled 190 miles, as the crow flies, from where he was mauled by the bear to the fort.

In the end, Glass did retrieve his rifle from Fitzgerald, although he claimed he didn’t kill the man because Fitzgerald was now a member of the US Army and that would have been a capital crime.

Aricara Indians killed Glass on the ice of the Yellowstone River during the winter of 1832-33.

I can’t help but wonder when was the last sighting of a grizzly in South Dakota? Personally, I don’t think SoDak is better off with the loss of the big bruins.

Pointless Departure


It was an uneventful drive across SoDak after leaving Minnesota today. In fact, I think we shared the road with more pheasants than automobiles. At one point, I started to aim for tumbleweeds as they crossed U.S. Route 12, just for something to break up the monotony.

As I cooked up some venison brats on the grill tonight, I had the sound of pheasants squawking in the fields surrounding me. I did enjoy seeing pheasants again. In fact, I found myself wanting to shout “Hen” everytime The Rover flushed a female.

I also heard that Fairbanks is suppose to get more snow next week. That’s just wrong.