Jim Bridger was a scout, guide and trapper. But he is perhaps best known for his exploits as a mountainman and for his tall tales.
He was born in Virginia in 1804, an infant at the time of the Louis and Clark Expedition.
His family moved to St. Louis and his parents died when he was 13, leaving him an orphan. He’d never been to school and would never learn to read. But he was apprenticed to a blacksmith and earned a living that way, until, at the age of 18 he signed on with the Upper Missouri Expedition—a group who were seeking to get into the fur trading business. He made friends with Jedidiah Smith and other men who gained skills in living on the frontier.
Beginning at age 18, Bridger would spend thirty years exploring the west, trapping and guiding others.
He was part owner of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, which competed well with John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company.
And he was counted (with some dispute) to be the first white man to see the Great Salt Lake.
Bridger married three times, twice widowed, to a Flathead woman and to two Shoshone chieftain’s daughters.
He was also one of the men who assured the Donner Party that the new trail they wanted to take would be fine. (Apparently HE never had any trouble getting through that pass! WTG Jim!)
But it was as a guide that he really changed the world. Jim Bridger
explored extensively in the mountains and found a pass that cut 60 miles off the Oregon Trail. It was named for him, Bridger Pass and the Union Pacific Railroad and later Interstate 80 would use this same trail.
He also found an alternate trail when the Bozemen Trail became too dangerous with the Indians hostile to the invasion of settlers. It because known as the Bridger Trail
He was so well known for his tall tales that when he talked of the wonders of the geysers in Yellowstone, no one believed him.
He was personal friends of Jedidiah Smith, John C. Fremont and Kit Carson, among many other well-known mountain men.
When age made living in the rugged mountains difficult, he headed back to St. Louis. He lived there from the age of about 50 until his death at age 77. So many of these rugged mountainmen lived short lives. But Jim Bridger, a man who opened the west in huge and important ways, would live to see his trail chosen for the Transcontinental Railroad…the Union Pacific.
The Fight for the Cimarron Ranch Has Just Begun!
When Cimarron ranch patriarch Chance Boden is caught in an avalanche, only the quick actions of hired hand Heath Kincaid save him. Before leaving by train to receive treatment to save his leg–and possibly his life–Chance demands that Heath read the patriarch’s will and see its conditions enforced immediately. If Chance’s three bickering adult children, Justin, Sadie, and Cole, don’t live and work at the home for an entire year, ownership of the ranch will pass to a despised distant relative.
Before long, however, Heath discovers that the avalanche may have been intentionally set–and that more danger lurks ominously. Finding his own future–and a desired future with Sadie–locked up in saving the Cimarron Ranch, Heath and the Boden siblings must work together against outside forces that threaten them all.