A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lemmon, South Dakota

Hugh Glass Memorial

Thirteen miles south of the town Lemmon which sets on the South and North Dakota border, the Grand River forks into the north and south branches (unfortunately it is now under the water of a reservoir).  In August of 1823 fur trapper Hugh Glass, a habitual loner, was hunting by himself when he was attacked and horribly mauled by a Grizzly Bear.  Two men, one being a young Jim Bridger later to become an historical figure in early mountain men lore, were left with him while the rest of the fur trapping party continued on. Hugh’s condition was so grave that the two men had thought he was dead.  They took his gun and possessions and left him where he lay.  But Hugh was not dead.  When Glass came out of his coma and in terrible pain having been slashed from head to toe by the griz, maggots were already eating the rot on his back.  With a broken leg he dragged himself to a stream where he sustained himself on berries and meat from a wolf kill of a buffalo calf after he drove off the wolves.  Fever and infection was his constant companion as he literally crawled the 200 miles to Fort Kiowa, a trip that took him over two months.  Glass eventually met up with Bridger but let him live.  For all Hugh Glass had endured, he met his fate in an Indian ambush 10 years later along the Yellowstone River. 

I've come across the story of Hugh Glass several times in books I've read and I just had to see where it all took place.  Not what I had imagined for this is grassland and I had in my mind mountains and forest.

This is what I endure in bringing these stories to you.  That is 40c to you metric folk. 

It really wasn't as bad as the evening before along the Missouri River where the humidity was over 50% at 9 in the evening.  Rivulets of sweat was running off of me while doing nothing but reading a book.  I was miserable.  How do people live in this?  Hugh Glass I am not.


  1. i was not familiar with that man and his story of survival.

  2. What an amazing story of endurance! I can always count on you to bring something interesting to us!

  3. Steve loves reading about mountain man lore, so I'm familiar with Hugh Glass. It's an amazing story!
    Wow, 104 is way too hot. Hope the rest of your trip is cooler.

  4. Great story, I've never heard of him. I'm surprised he lived thru that. UGH 104 degrees. Be careful.


  5. That's an astonishing story. I'm one Englishman who would NOT be going out in the midday sun.

  6. I appreciate that story more knowing the amount of sweat involved. Too hot for me.

  7. such a sad story; what an endurance! I dread seeing the mercury reach that, it usually happens around early New Year here..have had it upto 46 degrees. Enjoy the rest of your journey John


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