The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey

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 madeIn 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 Spanning 2,000 miles and traversing six states from Missouri to the Pacific Ocean, the Oregon Trail is the route that made America In the fifteen years before the Civil War, when 400,000 pioneers used it to emigrate West historians still regard this as the largest land migration of all time the trail united the coasts, doubled the size of the country, and laid the groundwork for the railroads The trail years also solidified the American character our plucky determination in the face of adversity, our impetuous cycle of financial bubbles and busts, the fractious clash of ethnic populations competing for the same jobs and space Today, amazingly, the trail is all but forgotten Rinker Buck is no stranger to grand adventures The New Yorker described his first travel narrative, Flight of Passage, as a funny, cocky gem of a book, and with The Oregon Trail he seeks to bring the most important road in American history back to life At once a majestic American journey, a significant work of history, and a personal saga reminiscent of bestsellers by Bill Bryson and Cheryl Strayed, the book tells the story of Buck s 2,000 mile expedition across the plains with tremendous humor and heart He was accompanied by three cantankerous mules, his boisterous brother, Nick, and an incurably filthy Jack Russell terrier named Olive Oyl Along the way, Buck dodges thunderstorms in Nebraska, chases his runaway mules across miles of Wyoming plains, scouts than five hundred miles of nearly vanished trail on foot, crosses the Rockies, makes desperate fifty mile forced marches for water, and repairs so many broken wheels and axels that he nearly reinvents the art of wagon travel itself Apart from charting his own geographical and emotional adventure, Buck introduces readers to the evangelists, shysters, natives, trailblazers, and everyday dreamers who were among the first of the pioneers to make the journey west With a rare narrative power, a refreshing candor about his own weakness and mistakes, and an extremely attractive obsession for history and travel, The Oregon Trail draws readers into the journey of a lifetime.
The Oregon Trail A New American Journey 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 mile length of the Oregon T

  • Title: The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey
  • Author: Rinker Buck
  • ISBN: 9781451659160
  • Page: 221
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey”

    1. This was such a fun travelogue. Rinker Buck got the wild idea to buy some mules and a covered wagon and ride halfway across the country, following the old Oregon Trail route that hundreds of thousands of pioneers crossed in the 1800s. He started his nearly 2,000-mile journey in Missouri, crossed into Kansas and Nebraska, trekked across Wyoming and Idaho, and finally arrived in Oregon.It was a completely lunatic notion. Except for the occasional faux reenactments staged for tourists by Wyoming ou [...]

    2. The Oregon Trail makes me immediately think ofbut let's be serious. It was a big deal to earlier settlers. A lot of them didn't even make it to the end. Fast forward hundreds of years and two brothers embark on a great journey. Covered wagons, mules and nothing but history awaiting them. Reding about their trip across the same trail settlers took and stopping to soak in the rich history was an excellent read. I learned a great deal, I had no idea about and the pictures of some of their stops was [...]

    3. Didn't die of dysentry, but nearly died of boredom. As someone who, yes, played that 'Oregon Trail' game, I was so looking forward to this book. Man decides he wants to travel along the Oregon Trail? In an actual wagon pulled by mules? Sure, why not? Sadly, this book really, really, REALLY needed a better editor. It's a story of the journey, the history of the Oregon Trail, a memoir of working with his brother (who came on the trip), various reminisces of his father (who used to do somewhat sim [...]

    4. This entertaining, often enthralling, mix of history, humor, travelogue, family memoir, and no holds barred social commentary reminds me of my favorite Bill Bryson books--especially A Walk in the Woods about Bryson’s (mis)adventures hiking the Appalachian Trail. When Rinker Buck discovered that large stretches of the Oregon Trail still exist, he had romantic visions of a back to basics journey across the western half of the continent and began obsessively and meticulously preparing for a mule- [...]

    5. I should be upfront and say that this review of “The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey” may be skewed because the author, Rinker Buck, did something in writing it that I have always wanted to do. He took a piece of history, researched it, and then set out to live it. This is basically a historian’s dream.There are actually two parts to the book: the journey itself and the history of the Oregon Trail. I’ll begin with the journey. The time and effort Mr. Buck took in researching and dev [...]

    6. 2.5 stars - It was alright, an average book.I mostly enjoyed the author's account of his journey along the trail, especially the parts about the mules and dog, but the multitude of tangents varied greatly with how interesting they were (or were not). Also could have done without the author's numerous political and societal opinions, which make you question his ability to intelligently research and assimilate other material used for the book. If read as a light-hearted memoir instead of a factual [...]

    7. I had thought this book would be as enjoyable as A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, with both authors challenging themselves to complete two very different historical trails along with their similarly crazy and risk-taking cohorts.  I am a walker,  so I could somewhat empathize with Bill Bryson, and he's at least  entertaining.  ButI can't begin to imagine Rinker wanting to spend $30,000 to get together a three-mule team and a covered wagon to make all the p [...]

    8. Well into middle age Rinker Buck, his brother Nick and his dog Olive Oyl decide to see the American West in a covered wagon. That's correct, just like the pioneers did back in the day. I found this book to be fascinating, entertaining, informative and funny. What a wonderful way to learn American History! I know some readers found it boring, not me, I felt like I was on a great adventure. Traveling 2000 miles at age 60 is unimaginable for me, you have to be tough! Mr. Bucks writing lets you expe [...]

    9. Historically fascinating and sense of adventure enthralling! The journey of a lifetime, for Rink and his brother Nick. Oh to have been the fly on the canvas flaps But one would have to be quite a boldly brazen, uninhibited, longsuffering, hardy horsefly (or rather, mulefly) to sojourn with the Buck Brothers. Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for awarding me a free copy of The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey through giveaways. Equally appreciative, thanks go out to friend Charlie for his [...]

    10. No offense, but, MY GOD, I wanted this book to end. And it just wouldn't. It went on and on and on and on. I listened to it on Audible and the reader was just fine. Initially I really liked the book. As minutes turned to hours and hours turned to days, though, I just really started to dislike (intensely) the author. The information on the trail and wagon travel is mostly interesting and well researched. If that's what the book stuck to, I probably wouldn't quibble. However, there were several th [...]

    11. A man sets out in modern day America, accompanied by his brother and a dog, to travel the Oregon Trail pioneer style in a wagon pulled by mules. What is there NOT to love about this kind of tale? It is the adventure of a lifetime, complete with perils and victories, and the opportunity to let something new and strange seep into your soul, and to live history in a way that few people are able to.In the hands of a more thoughtful person, perhaps the book that comes after such an epic journey as th [...]

    12. 3.5 A detailed account of a modern trip on the Oregon trail, with a lot of historical info sprinkled along the way. The descriptions of life on the trail both now and in the past were fresh and fascinating. I could feel the tension in the more difficult parts of the trail. I would have given this a full four stars except for chapters 20-22 which the author describes as "a long section expressing ambivalence about the Mormons." He gives a decidedly biased history of the Church of Jesus Christ of [...]

    13. This book is a lot of fun. Two brothers take a mule driven covered wagon from MO to OR. It's like Prairie Home Companion's Dusty and Lefty come to life.

    14. Could not be more in my wheelhouse! A stunt memoir! Set in the American West! Bringing to mind tales of Laura Ingalls Wilder! And it's funny with a cranky old guy as the author's companion a la Bill Bryson! I knew this book would be a hit with me from the moment I heard about it.Rinker visits an Oregon rail museum and decides to travel the full length of the original trail (which, granted, has many spurs and shortcuts and alternates so it's hard to figure out exactly which route is the "official [...]

    15. In the spirit of recreating historic journeys, like David Grann does in Lost City of Z, Rinker Buck traveled the two thousand mile stretch famously known as the Oregon Trail. (No, it wasn't just a computer game.) It may sound easy to traverse a trail with today's automation, but Buck and his brother did it the authentic way: in a covered wagon. Along their journey they encountered many of the same problems as the settlers back in the nineteenth century, such as wandering mules, driving rainstorm [...]

    16. This book starts out slow. Not too slow - it's the build-up process of the Oregon Trail. I usually don't like all this build up stuff. I wanted to get into the meat of the 1840s and 1850s trek to Oregon by covered wagon. But as I read the story all this build up made sense. It's about the OLD trail and the OLD-NEW trail. This journey is about Rinker Buck and his brother Nick. They travel the whole course by a replica of the old covered wagon, that they built and had basically the same problems a [...]

    17. Rinker Buck has been "crazyass" passionate for years about wagon travel and the Oregon Trail. In fact, he took a wagon trip with his father and several siblings when he was a kid. They had a sign affixed to the back of the wagon stating, "We're Sorry For The Delay - But We Want The Children To SEE AMERICA SLOWLY". What follows in this book is Buck's actual wagon journey he takes on the original Oregon trail.Buck, along with his brother Nick, a custom built wagon and three mules make the trip beg [...]

    18. In 2011, author-turned-mule-skinner Rinker Buck decides to emulate his father to “See America Slowly” in crossing of the Oregon Trail by covered wagon. Back in 1958, his father had taken the family on a similar briefer journey through Pennsylvania, leaving a lasting impression on his son. His relationship with his father is a recurring theme. Fortunately, Rinker is joined by his brother, Nick, and his brother’s dog, Olive Oyl, who make critical contributions to the journey. Buck researches [...]

    19. Buck is a journalist and author who replicated (to the extent possible in modern times) the covered wagon crossing of the old Oregon Trail, much of which still contains the original wagon ruts. A creature of the Pacific Northwest myself, I thought I had the whole Oregon Trail story down cold, but I learned a lot from Buck’s wonderful memoir, which threads his own experience with the historical information he gleaned from a variety of sources into a fluent, fascinating, accessible yet hyper-lit [...]

    20. So having grown up in Portland, this book of 2 modern day brothers crossing the Oregon Trail together was an easy add to my list. It got a 5 for historical writing, sentimental brotherhood, humor, general pioneer enthusiasm, and childhood stories. It got a 3 for the 96 excessive and unnecessary f-words. Still I stuck with it and would have suggested it to others until he got to the Mormons. Admittedly I don't read anti-Mormon literature, which I would surprisingly characterize this as. I expecte [...]

    21. “Crazyass passion is the staple of life and persistence its nourishing force. Without them, you cannot cross the trail.” “Seeing America slowly was, in a way, like eating slow food-I wasn't covering much ground in a single day, but I was digesting a lot more.” Looking for the perfect end of the summer reading adventure? Boy, do I have a pick for you. Rinker Buck decides to ride the entire 2,000 mile Oregon Trail, in a covered wagon, pulled by mules. Something that has not been attempted [...]

    22. I'm a pushover for a road trip saga. The Oregon Trail: An American Journey is a combination road trip/harebrained scheme story. As it turns out, I'm also always up for a good harebrained scheme. Rinker Buck, a sixty-ish writer who tends to be neat and a tad fussy, discovers that the Oregon Trail, which was the preferred path for thousands of pioneers heading west in the 19th century, still exists, mostly intact. Wouldn't it be great to take a covered wagon from beginning to end, St. Joe, Missour [...]

    23. I was a first reads winner of this giveaway book. I was so glad to have the chance to read this very interesting book by Rinker Buck. In 2011 Rinker decided he wanted to travel by covered wagon the 2000 mile Oregon Trail. He went with his brother Nick for the journey across the Oregon trail. Mr. Buck writes about getting his team of mules together. Buying the covered wagon and the equipment for this long journey. I like how he also writes about how other settlers went on this trail in the mid 1 [...]

    24. nobody died of dysentery. two stars.i wanted to like this book so, so much. i love oregon trail history! and there was a lot of great information about pioneer life and tidbits from old journals and stuff. i actually liked the part about the history of mule breeding. but it read very, very slowly, and Buck is not a great storyteller. i also suspect he is an unreliable narrator. his rants were super condescending, there's a part where he talks about how Americans could benefit from turning off th [...]

    25. Audiobook Two brothers, Rinker and Nick Buck set out to travel the Oregon Trail on a mule driven covered wagon over a hundred years later. What an experience they had: Unruly mules, dangerous mountain passes, storms, shortage of water, a few technical wagon difficulties, and numerous other dilemnas. Nothing, I would ever contemplate doingr, ever! Rinker is a self confessed manic with O.C.D and several other disorders thrown in. It shows. He has researched and read probably every historical novel [...]

    26. The Oregon Trail by Rinker Buck provides an interesting look at two brothers who decide to recreate a journey across the Oregon Trail in today’s world. They construct a wagon and a cart and get three mules and with his brother’s dog set out across the Oregon Trail. While a meandering book at times it is a fun story filled with anecdotes of modern America (RV’s) to the trials and tribulations faced by those who embarked upon the Oregon Trail. The idea of See America Slowly is a wonderful no [...]

    27. If it was possible to do so, I'd give The Oregon Trail 7 stars. This deeply moving and beautifully written memoir tells the story of Rinker Buck making a modern day 2,500 mile ride with his brother on a mule driven covered wagon along the path of the Oregon Trail. In addition to this story, Buck shares the history of the Oregon Trail, Mormons in the West, the pros and cons of mule trading, the pitfalls in wagon purchasing from the Amish, the kindness of strangers in the American West, why so man [...]

    28. A chance encounter with some of the original wagon ruts from the Oregon Trail sparks Rinker Buck’s curiosity. Not one to spend a few hours going quickly down the interstates, he has a covered wagon and small trail wagon built, and buys 3 mules. With the help of his brother, Nick, a great mule driver and mechanic and Olive Oyl, Nick’s dog, they set out to cover 2000 miles of Oregon Trail. This is an adventure like non-other. No one has crossed the entire length of the Oregon Trail in over 100 [...]

    29. I loved this book.Rinker Buck could have written another book about the Oregon Trail without doing what he and his brother did. They did more than write about the Oregon Trail. They traveled the entire 2000-mile trail the same way as they did many decades earlier - in a covered wagon.It's one thing to imagine what the hardships were and what those settlers experienced. It's a whole different thing to do it yourself. Kudos to them. I wouldn't want to do it as I prefer indoor plumbing, heat, elect [...]

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