My brother recommended that I read “The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey ” by Rinker Buck. I figured that I should read it simply because I loved the author’s name. The name Rinker is German in origin although the author defines himself as Irish, and it means “buckle maker.”
Rinker Buck is a journalist as well as author, having written for several publications and winning a few journalism awards during his career.
A few years ago, Mr. Buck decided to follow, in a covered wagon, the Oregon Trail which was traveled by thousands of settlers looking for a new start in the 1800’s. He invited his brother, Nick, to join him, then got to work pulling together what he needed for the trip. They hooked up three mules to a replica 19th-century wagon and rode from St. Joseph, Missouri to Baker City, Oregon.
The trip tested and refined the relationship of the two brothers, whose differences occasionally irritated, but more often complemented each other. Their adventures were challenging, but the brothers continued on in the spirit of the pioneers who went before them. They made many friends along the way, many who just wanted to hear the store and many who also provided much needed assistance, as when wheels rotted, wagons broke, or the mules ran away.
I learned much about the history of our country as well as of the Oregon Trail. Books like this make history come alive for me. Perhaps it will for you as well.