Wagons Ho!

Joseph Meek and Robert Newell knew the landscape of the West by 1840, since both had been working beaver streams throughout the Rockies and beyond for more than a dozen years. They would make their own history by taking the first wagons to Oregon late that fall,

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Wyoming at 125: Still Bucking

Wyomings-125th-AnniversaryThose of us who are Wyoming-born residents relish the fact that we live in the least-populated state in the nation. As our former governor Mike Sullivan often said, we are a medium-sized city with really long streets. We have far more antelope, deer and elk than people,

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Exploring the Old Oregon Country

Invermere-Aerial-Columbia-River-ValleyDavid Thompson was fourteen when he began his life in North America as a clerk’s apprentice with the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). He may have been in HBC’s employ for decades if he had not had a chance to do a bit of exploring across Canada.

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Steinbeck’s Trail

John-Steinbecks-TrailAt a book signing a while back, legendary Western writer Max Evans (The Rounders, The Hi Lo Country, Goin’ Crazy With Sam Peckinpah and All Our Crazy Friends) was asked to name his favorite writers. The first one he mentioned was John Steinbeck.

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The Valiant and Brave

Henry-Flipper-first-black-graduate-of-US-Military-AcademyFrankly, I don’t get re-enactors. Like that overweight, redneck Civil War buff I saw years back, firing his musket, then yelling at advancing Yankee re-enactors: “Eat [bleep] and die!” I can’t see a Reb in 1863 being so plump.

These guys, however, I understand and like. But they’re not “re-enactors.”

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Idaho Celebrates 125 Years of Statehood

Shoshone-Falls-and-Snake-River-CanyonIdaho marks a century and a quarter of statehood in 2015 and while much has happened to define the state during the past 125 years, the landscape remains much the same. The mountain ranges and rivers that form the northern half of the state mean it can still be a challenge to travel from Bonner’s Ferry or Sandpoint to Boise or Pocatello, but the journey on sometimes-circuitous routes is as important as any of the destinations.

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The Toughest Man West of the Pecos

John-Chisum-Ranch-New-Mexico"Chisum! John Chisum! Weary. Saddle worn.”

Sorry. Every time I think of John Simpson Chisum, I think of the 1970 John Wayne movie Chisum, and Andrew J. Fenady’s theme song.

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Lincoln’s Western Past

Abraham-Lincoln-out-westAt first, I think I’ve made a wrong turn somewhere, because this doesn’t feel like the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. It’s more like…Disneyland.

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Trail of Tragedy

Sand-Creek-RR_Imdian-delegation-Sand-Creek-Massacre_colorado-history-centerI’ve waited until May to come back, figuring that a late fall or early winter trip would be too depressing. Besides, driving across rural southeastern Colorado in November can be deadly.

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True Westerners

Rick Wallner

Rick Wallner

The best book on Bent’s Fort is David Lavender’s Bent’s Fort , although Mark Lee G...

Justice for Jack

Justice for Jack

Pioneer Jack Swilling should be remembered for his many contributions to Arizona...

Liberty, Not Death

Liberty, Not Death

Children soothed their thirst by scraping their fingernails on barrack windows t...

MAY 2015

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