Countdown to Christmas

astoriaNobody likes to think about Christmas in July (except maybe my mom), but I can’t wait this year. That’s because that is when the movie The Revenant comes out, based on the book of the same name by Michael Punke. When I saw the trailer my head almost exploded. I bet I’ve watched it twenty times. It’s one of those movies that feels like it was made specifically for me. Trailer linked below, if you dare….

The story is a fictionalization of the true life of mountain man Hugh Glass. I first heard of him in my friend Matt Mayo‘s book Cowboys, Mountain Men, and Grizzly Bears: Fifty Of The Grittiest Moments In The History Of The Wild West. Not a lot is known about his life, but that he was attacked by a grizzly bear, severely mauled, left for dead, and essentially crawled back to “civilization” (a remote fort) where he recovered and lived to roam the wilds again is true.

I’ve also been listening to Peter Stark‘s excellent book Astoria: Astor and Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Tale of Ambition and Survival on the Early American Frontier. It is, as is everything of Stark’s I’ve ever read, excellent. I love all this stuff about the exploration of the frontier back in the day.

When I finally get to go see The Revenant, you know I’ll be wearing this hat my mom got me for Christmas last year, as seen in this photograph from January.


Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Missoula, MT.

11 thoughts on “Countdown to Christmas”

      1. Bring your lifestyle to the 1st annual Hugh Glass Rendezvous! Taking place on the very ground where Hugh Glass met with the grizzly that helped propel him into infamy in our legends of Western history! August 27-30, 2015, on the Shadehill Reservoir at the Hugh Glass Park.

        1. This might be the greatest comment I’ve ever gotten on this blog, heh. I would love to go, but I’m going to be in Polebridge, MT, that weekend. Off the grid, in a ramshackle cabin, in country where one can still be maimed by a grizzly bear and live to tell about it! But thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate it. I will definitely make it out to Hugh Glass Park at some point, even if I have to drag myself to get there!

          1. Ha! I’ve actually been to Polebridge, MT. Many years ago, I drove south through the Flatheads, from British Columbia down to Polebridge to go through Glacier Park from the west entrance…in a Ford LTD with 4 young boys & not much sense!! (Just my sense of adventure, obviously!) I can remember having to stop a few times & make sure my tires lined up over wooden planks that stretched over ravines. I never claimed to being lost – I just told the boys we were taking the “scenic road in life”! I still have the t-shirt from Polebridge to prove we made the trip! 🙂

            1. That’s great. Truthfully, the only bear claws I intend to get close to up there are pastries made with huckleberries, available — in bulk — from the Polebridge Mercantile.

  1. I’ve had Astoria around for a while and just haven’t had time to get to it. I may push it up the queue since you’re enjoying it so much. The Mayo book also sounds like tons of gritty fun, thanks for putting it on the radar!

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