For over thirty years, from the time of Lewis and Clark into the 1840s, the mountain men explored the Great American West. As trappers in a hostile, trackless land, their exploits opened the gates of the mountains for the wagon trains of pioneers who followed them.
In Give Your Heart to the Hawks, Win Blevins presents a poetic tribute to these dauntless "first Westerners" and their incredible adventures. Here, among many, are the stories of:
* John Colter, who, in 1808, naked and without weapons or food, escaped captivity by the Blackfeet and ran and walked 250 miles to Fort Lisa at the mouth of the Yellowstone River;
* Hugh Glass, who was mauled by a grizzly in 1823, left for dead by his trapper companions, and crawled 300 miles to Fort Kiowa on the Missouri;
* Kit Carson, who ran away from home at age 17, became a legendary mountain man in his 20s and served as scout and guide for John C. Fremont's westward explorations of the 1840s;
* Jedediah Smith, a tall, gaunt, Bible-reading New Yorker whose trapping expeditions ranged from the Rockies to California and who was killed by Comanches on the Cimarron in 1831.