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“The Oregon Trail” by Rinker Buck

• CATEGORIES: Books, Features

My son bought me The Oregon Trailer: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck for my birthday. I just finished reading it and really enjoyed it.

The book’s author, Rinker Buck, is a New England columnist who decided he wanted to do a crazyass (his description) thing: drive the Oregon trail in a covered wagon. To my surprise, it turns out that, despite all the Oregon Trail re-enactments, there had been no documented drive of a wagon from Missouri to Oregon since 1910 when Ezra Meeker did it at the age of 80 (Ezra’s credited with igniting interest in saving the trail back in the early 1900s). So, in 2011, Rinker and his brother Nick (along with Nick’s Jack Russel Terrier Olive Oyl) set out for Oregon with a 3-mule team, a wagon, and a trailer.

As Rinker shares the success and failures of his adventure, he also delves into the history of wagons, pioneer emigrants, famous landmarks, and important events that have shaped the trail.

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