"" Writer's Wanderings: On The Bucket List - The Oregon Trail

Monday, September 10, 2012

On The Bucket List - The Oregon Trail

While international travel is exciting and adventuresome, there are still lots of places that need to be explored closer to home. In researching some interesting ideas for travel in the USA (remember Dinah Shore singing "See the USA in your Chevrolet"?) I came across a The Oregon Trail. While we may not drive it in a Chevy and definitely not a Conestoga wagon, we could fly to Independence, Missouri where it starts, rent a car, and follow the trail as the National Park Service has identified it.

There are several interpretive maps and brochures available through the NPS that will help with directions and  stops along the way. The Trail goes from Independence, Missouri, through Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Idaho to Oregon. The 2,000 mile journey would take about a week if you broke it up into 300 mile segments, stopping to enjoy the history and the sights along the way.

Sights to see include Courthouse and Jail Rocks and Scotts Bluff in Nebraska, Independence Rock near Casper, Wyoming, where many pioneers carved their names, and Lava Hot Springs in Idaho. I'm sure there are many more and the researching will be fun.

Spring seems to be favored as the best time to visit out west when it is all at its greenest and freshest. And unless you are extremely adventurous, it is suggested you make reservations for your overnight stays well in advance. Some accommodations may be few and far between in a few spots along the way.

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