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Several forts are established to support the trading and trapping operations that are extending west. Mountain men traded with First Nations people from whom they learned hunting and trapping skills. They are the first Europeans to cross the Great Plains to the Rocky Mountains and endure the remote region’s winters.


I’d been warned of where I was headed
A fool to leave my countrymen
For the icy woods of the western barrens
For the frozen tundra hinterland

But oh, for the feel of the wind biting through me
Oh, for the brush with lonely death
Ne’er an eye has seen such longing
That could drive a man to so vast a wild

‘Neath the shadow of treacherous mountains
Untamed frontier, barely touched
A home I find among faithful adversity
A home to satisfy a wanderer’s lust

But oh, for the glance of a wild eye watching
Oh, for the tree’s heavy shudder and sigh
I’ve driven a stake, a steel jaw round me
I’ve driven a stake to fetter me fast

I have an unfeeling numb in my fingers
I bear a wanton pulse in my blood
The foreign tongues bid me due warning
Of winter’s hard and unfaltering stare

But oh, for the view from the peaks of mountains
Oh, for the misty veil at dawn
Ne’er could I have known the depths of
Caledonia’s great lonely wild

No one knows what I carry with me
No one has seen my frozen heart
I’ve buried it ‘neath a brow desideratum
I’ve buried it à la façon du pays


from The West Beyond The West, released November 9, 2012



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Great Lonely Wild Vancouver, British Columbia

Original roots and folk music about the 19th Century Pacific Northwest.

The sounds of mandolin, banjo, concertina, violin, guitar and vocal harmonies will expose you to the tales and stories of those who came before us in Canada's West. ... more

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