The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck
(Simon & Schuster, 2015, 464 pages)
The Oregon Trail is the true story of brothers, Rinker and Nick Buck, crossing the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon pulled by three mules. Over 400,000 pioneers made that same crossing in the 1800’s. Rinker and Nick made their 2000 mile crossing from Missouri to Oregon on the trail in 2011. One day, Rinker was in a museum along the Oregon Trail and decided that he wanted to make the cross-country trek in a wagon. Rinker’s brother, Nick, found out about the proposed trip and insisted that he and his dog, Olive Oyl, accompany Rinker on his journey. The brothers made the crossing with no support vehicles and no support personnel waiting for them at each stop.
The Oregon Trail is a history lesson, a modern-day tale of what can be accomplished if you want something enough, and the personal story of Rinker Buck and his father. It is also a lesson on wagons, mules, and the kindness of strangers. I was also interested to learn that the Oregon Trail is not a single set of ruts following the same route. The trail can be miles wide and there are alternate routes.
I enjoyed this book. At some points in the book, you feel like you are there along the trail with Rinker and Nick. My only complaint about this book is that I had to do a little research to find out when Rinker and Nick made the trip. I recommend this book for history buffs or anyone interested in the American West.