Saturday, November 8, 2008
(Photo: Mountain man reenactor wearing Buckskins. Licensed under Creative Commons.)
As America expanded westward in the 1830s, mountain men (fur trappers) often served as advance scouts for the government. A group of mountain men visited Monterey Peninsula in 1833, ordered by Washington D.C. to study this Mexican-owned land. The mountain men loved it here – the pleasant climate, huge cattle ranches, beautiful señoritas, sweet guitar music, continuous fiestas, abundant beefsteak, and excellent mission-grown wine. When the mountain men decided to head back east (a harrowing journey), several of the company deserted, and made new lives for themselves in the golden land. Perhaps their descendants are still here.The ranchero lifestyle of Central California, circa 1833, was "one of the most delightful ways of life the world has ever known," writes historian Bernard DeVoto.