The Oregon Trail: “See America Slowly”
The perfect book to add to a summer-reading list. It’s not so much a historical reflection of the Oregon Trail generically — although you will learn more tidbits than you did playing the old school computer game — but more about Missouri mules, which are more impressive than you likely imagined; the difference between a Conestoga wagon and a Peter Schuttler wagon; and, most engrossing, a modern and true-to-life reincarnation of the beautiful migration West.
Rinker Buck has the extraordinary ability to toss you back in time, while you get lost in an unmarked patch of prairie along the Platte River, imaging wagon trains as far as the eye can see. But Buck snaps you back to reality. Those imaginative flashbacks are quickly replaced by Buck’s own journey, including hold-your-breath treks up a hill that is nonchalantly crossed by any modern vehicle but is massively more treacherous in Buck’s covered wagon.
While Buck’s Oregon Trail trip occurred at a different time, his journey is eerily the same; an intoxicating revelation for any history buff, and prime motivator for a reader’s own once-in-a-lifetime trip along his or her own Oregon Trail.
Until next time.