Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tuesday Intro: The Oregon Trail

I had known long before I rode a covered wagon to Oregon that naiveté was the mother of adventure. I just didn't understand how much of that I really had. Nicholas and I realized before we left Missouri with the mules that we would be the first wagon travelers in more than a century to make an authentic crossing of the Oregon Trail. But that was never the point for us. We pushed mules more than two thousand miles to learn something more important. Even more beautiful than the land that we passed, or the months spent camping on the plains, was learning to live with uncertainty.
The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey
by Rinker Buck

I purchased this book just before we left on our Great Western Adventure and now that we're back home, I'm even more interested in reading it. We passed through parts of the route and I have a better idea of the landscape and conditions the original travelers must have faced.

Here is a portion of the goodreads summary:
In the bestselling tradition of Bill Bryson and Tony Horwitz, Rinker Buck's "The Oregon Trail" is a major work of participatory history: an epic account of traveling the 2,000-mile length of the Oregon Trail the old-fashioned way, in a covered wagon with a team of mules--which hasn't been done in a century--that also tells the rich history of the trail, the people who made the migration, and its significance to the country. 
What do you think? Would you keep reading?


Every Tuesday, Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book she decided to read based on the opening. Feel free to grab the banner and play along.

30 comments:

  1. I'm not sure I would have picked this one up ever, but after you shared this, I am definitely curious,

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    1. Diane - We'll see how it goes...

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  2. Sounds like a fascinating story--I may give it a try.

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    1. Catherine - It's especially interesting to me after seeing the terrain myself.

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  3. I like the opening and would like to know more about those brave people who made that two thousand mile journey. This looks really fascinating, so I'd keep reading!

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    1. Monica - I think it sounds fascinating, too. Fingers crossed.

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  4. Admittedly, this isn't the type of book I would gravitate towards, but I do love history and might be willing to give it a try if it came highly recommended. I know my mom would really be interested in it though.

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    1. Literary Feline - This is a little out there for me, too, but it sure sounds interesting!

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  5. The title wouldn't have led me to pick this up, although I love the cover, which takes me back. Yes, on the farm when I was growing up, we had some mules and I remember riding in the wagon, pulled by mules, with my dad. That was a short adventure, around the neighborhood....but I always remembered it.

    I loved the excerpt....thanks for sharing and enjoy. And thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I would have loved to have horses or mules when I was growing up... always wished I lived on a farm. Guessing the reality would not have been what I was dreaming of though ;-)

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  6. It has great reviews! and I love a road trip book. I think you should keep reading!

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    1. Debbie - I'm a little worried it will be too dry, but am hoping for the best.

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  7. JoAnn: This one has my name written all over it. One of my favorite novels is A.B. Guthrie's Big Sky, so I've spent a lot of mental time on that trail. I have also physically traveled the area numerous times, but always on modern roads. Thanks for the recommendation. I'm off to buy it.

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    1. Margot - And I need to look into Guthries's Big Sky!

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  8. If it's at all like Bryson's writing I'd give it a go. I love road trips and especially ones where they try to recreate something from the past.

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    1. Ti - The comparison to Bryson is a plus for me, too.

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  9. This sounds like a fascinating book that both my husband and I would enjoy (which is rare).
    Thank you for stopping by my blog today and leaving a comment.
    Sandy @ TEXAS TWANG

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    1. Sandra - It's a rare book my husband and I can both enjoy, too. Hoping this will be one of them!

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  10. It would be so fun to read this after your trip! I've been hearing good things and it's a topic that I find super fascinating, so I'd definitely keep reading.

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    1. Shannon - The timing does seem perfect!

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  11. I can't even imagine taking that journey under those circumstances. I'd love to take that trip and then read the book!

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    1. Vicki - I could see driving the trail, but never in a wagon myself!

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  12. I understand that this book mixes a present day journey with history. I think that is great idea both for journey and a book.

    The Oregon Trail was such an important part of American History.

    I would definitely read this book.

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    1. Brian Joseph - This seems like such a fascinating approach to history and the timing couldn't be better. I'm very excited about reading this book!

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  13. I'd keep reading! It sounds interesting and I've always been fascinated by the whole concept of the Oregon Trail and the people who made the decision to go.

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    1. Katherine - I am in awe of the people who undertook that journey. Will be interesting to see how Buck fared in the 21st century.

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  14. I'm curious about how they traveled by wagon in today's world without getting run over by the automobile? Were they on pavement or private lands? I like old stories about the Oregon Trail.

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    1. Thecuecard - I've only read the first chapter but, from what I gather so far, some of it does coincide with modern roads. However, much of the trail is now private ranch land. Will be curious to see how he accomplishes the trek west.

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  15. I just put this on my wish list. It looks like a book I might love.

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  16. I really want to read this too--I used to fantasize about making this kind of trek myself. I love it when our travels parallel or intersect with the Oregon and Santa Fe trails.

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