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Bill Williams Mountain Men ride in the 1998 Fiesta Bowl Parade in Phoenix

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The Bill Williams Mountain Men of Williams, Arizona
A Local Legacy

What would you do to keep a legend alive? Would you dress up in old-fashioned clothing and follow old trails, sleeping under the stars? That's exactly what the Bill Williams Mountain Men do as they explore the mountains, canyons, and deserts of Arizona during their annual spring 200-mile Rendezvous Ride.

The group is named after "Old Bill Williams," a legendary fur trapper who was born in North Carolina and traveled to the mountains of the West for adventure and to preach. It is believed Old Bill was killed in Southern Colorado in 1849.

The Bill Williams Mountain Men wear buckskin outfits, hats and moccasins. They sleep under the stars and re-enact the rides of the early trappers who made their trips in the spring to sell their furs. These "Mountain Men" are businessmen, doctors, judges, and ranchers who do this to raise money for charities and scholarships for students. They also visit schools and hospitals to bring the story of Arizona's Western heritage to youth. They often take part in parades or presidential inaugurations, all in the effort to keep alive the memory and romance of an adventurous group of mountain men, particularly Old Bill Williams.

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