Sylvan Ambrose Hart was born in the Oklahoma Territory in 1906. In the 1930's, while still a young man, he walked into the Rocky Mountains and designed a unique life for himself in the wilds - hunting, fishing, trapping, panning gold, crafting his own tools, weapons, shelter, and clothes. For almost fifty years he lived the life of a reclusive mountain man --eventually gaining national fame as "Buckskin Bill, Last of the Mountain Men."
In 1973 another young man, studying philosophy in a private college back east, found that he could no longer abide being shackled by the conventional wisdoms of our culture. To the dismay of all who knew and loved him, he dropped out of college and headed for the mountains. He caught a train cross-country to Montana, then hopped a bus southbound skirting the Rocky Mountains. At one point he simply stepped off the bus and walked into the mountains with only a backpack, machete, and knife (no food or gun) determined to learn what the mountains offered to teach --or die trying.
After a few months of eating rattlesnakes, ants and field mice, this struggling newcomer to the mountains (the author) discovered the now old and grizzled "mountain man" living not only successfully but quite flamboyantly in the depths of the Rocky Mountain wilderness on the "River of No Return."
Buckskin was an extraordinary man. Anyone who ever met him walked away with stories and memories to be cherished for a lifetime.
Here are my favorite memories of the Last of the Mountain Men.
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I bet it is a good book