Ever since I was a child and first saw Fess Parker as Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett I have been intrigued with the wilderness, adventure, hunting and all things outdoors.
As I grew older and had children of my own I introduced them to Fess Parker’s Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett in hopes to pass on to them my love for the great outdoors and wilderness adventure. If you haven’t watched any of the Daniel Boone TV episodes from the 1960’s you really are missing out on some great shows. I have included some links below for you to get each season. Enjoy!
(There was also the Davy Crockett movies of the 1950s.) The shows, of course, take great liberty with the adventures and characters, but we didn't really care we enjoyed them all. They talked of the Cumberland Gap, Fort Boonesborough and adventures in the Kentucky wilderness.
Fess Parker as Daniel Boone: Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5 Season 6
Fess Parker as Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier River Pirates
We loved to imagine our adventures in the wilderness as, at the time, we had access to a lot of woods for discovering. When my oldest two children were 8 and 9 we built a “fort” that we named Boonesborough in the woods at our home in Pinconning, MI a long way from the Dark and Bloody Ground for sure but it was our fort.
There is a series of books by Joseph Altsheler called The Young Trailers. These were written as historical fiction books about adventures on the American Frontier. The hero of the books is Henry Ware, he has four friends who are from Kentucky and they travel the frontier meeting historical characters and taking part in historical events. These are great adventure books and you will also learn history! The author took great pains to make sure the accounts were as accurate as possible (with the exception of his fictional characters of course). I found these books to be very fascinating and enjoyable. If you are interested in these books they have been resurrected and republished and you can get your copies by clicking the links below.
Volume 1 Contains 3 books: The Young Trailers, The Forest Runners & The Keepers of The Trail
Volume 2 Contains 3 Books: The Eyes of The Woods, The Free Rangers & The Riflemen of The Ohio
Volume 3 Contains 2 Books: The Scouts of The Valley & The Border Watch
If you enjoy a good book I would highly recommend these, they planted the seeds of adventure in my soul and the love of The Wilderness grew in me and I hope to pass this love of adventure on to the next generation.
In 2005 we planned a vacation to Kentucky (The Dark and Bloody Ground). Joshua was 3 and Jayden was 5. You can see in the pictures below of the differences in the years and age of our children. In 2009 we planned another trip and this time we coordinated it with an event at Fort Boonesborough. They were having a reenactment of the siege of Boonesborough that took place in 1778. The fort would be filled with blacksmiths, soap makers, candle makers, trappers and animals. Months before we went we bought all the Daniel Boone episodes on DVD and, with our children, had a Daniel Boone marathon. When we finally set out for The Dark and Bloody Ground the children were as excited as we were! We went to Fort Boonesborough, which is near modern Lexington, Kentucky. What a great time we had! The children we very familiar with Daniel Boone, Rebecca Boone, Jemima and Israel.
Fess Parker played a larger than life role in these shows and surely impressed me as a child.
Since these trips when our children were little Jayden and I have made several trips back to The Dark and Bloody Ground visiting different areas but always making time to hike the Cumberland Gap. If you have never hiked The Cumberland Gap I would recommend it, it is moderate hiking and does not take very long. As you are walking through The Gap think of all the people who used it as a passage to get beyond the mountains for thousands of years! Incredible to think about!
Spring of 2023 Jayden and I set out for The Dark and Bloody Ground once more, we headed first to The Cumberland Gap for another hike of our favorite spot. We spent the afternoon hiking and exploring our favorite spots. The cave, the river and the Daniel Boone Trail marker. After the hike we followed the Wilderness Road making our way to Fort Boonesborough! We arrived late in the afternoon and set up our tent in the campground within walking distance of the original site of the fort. Our camp was primitive as we slept in a tent and cooked our dinner over the fire, just like when Jayden was little. One item that we took with us proved to be very helpful, we did some research about an LED Light and found one that we really liked, very bright, dimmable and rechargeable. It worked great for the campsite and to have in the tent.
I walked to the original site of the fort to sit in the dark and think of all the things that happened there and all the people who must have trod that ground. I pictured in my minds eye Chief Blackfish standing outside the fort wanting to talk to Daniel Boone. I pictured the fort and could see the Indians besieging the fort. I could see Jemima Boone floating down the river in the boat with her friends and getting grabbed by the Indians and all the settlers running after them to rescue the girls. I saw all the trading that went on, the trappers coming and going, the herds of buffalo! What a wonderful thing to behold!!
I have put a slideshow of all the pics we took with captions. Enjoy!
Great family fun!!