A New Family Is Formed Along The Oregon Trail (Christian Western Wagon Train Romance)
Somehow we struggled but then we made it. Brett McKay : We have so much certainty in our lives and I feel like our pioneer fore bearers, like they really learned to manage, or live with uncertainty.
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Rinker Buck : Yeah, and many of them had moved their farms 3 or 4 times, but by the time he was 21 Abraham Lincoln had lived on 5 different farms and his experience was by no means unusual. People lived with uncertainty then. People would learn to live with uncertainty and I kind of feel sorry for our culture today, especially the millennials and the young kids because the whole system has been geared up and distorted to give them certainty. What are we? Our whole culture is based on knowing the outcome, predicting the outcome and what I learned on the covered wagon trip is there is no outcome.
The outcome is the journey itself, you know? All kinds of things and we had huge stretches of land to cross. It was just a new uncertainty everyday and nothing can break that spirit. Rinker Buck : Yeah, yeah … and sometimes there is no Plan B. You just figure out Plan B as you go along. Like we came to this place called Dempsey Ridge, it was feet and in a mile and a half, we had to drop down to feet along the Bear River in Idaho. It was sort of a big crossing of the Rockies and it was hugely dangerous. There was a foot cliff on the left side of this very narrow trail we had to follow.
We could easily have been killed because nobody knew, that was another big thing of the trip, nobody knows. Nobody can tell us. We just learned to live with uncertainty, but the big thing for me is, go ahead and make a decision and move forward, you could always reverse that decision tomorrow.
We had a ball. We spent 4 months crossing the Oregon Trail and I probably made a bad decision everyday and we got there. That morning. I think in the process, you take away something. Can you talk a little bit about that? Rinker Buck : Sure.
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Blah, blah, blah. What happened was, in the buffalo days, you know, the buffalo cross and the buffalo town … crossing along the Sweetwater River called South Pass. The wildlife knew for a millennial that that was the way to get across the Rockies to find other feeding grounds. The Indians followed the … the Shoshone, the Sioux, so forth followed the buffalo cross and they always knew about South Pass and in about , that period, a little later maybe, when historians were pioneering the fur roots, the fur trappers used in going to the Rockies.
They learned about it from the Indians. The covered wagon master learned about the roots of South Pass along the Platte River and the Sweetwater River from the fur trappers.
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There was this continuity along the way, but once they got to South Pass, well, first of all before South Pass in Nebraska people were on the north side of the river or the south side of the river 15 or 20 miles could separate them. There were all kinds of short cuts once they got to Wyoming, then once they got through South Pass, which pretty much everybody took the same route, between being there and the Idaho line, so central Wyoming to Idaho, the Trail was miles wide.
There was a land cut off which the federal government built. There was the sublet cut off, there was the Kinney cut off, there was a Salt Creek cut off, and then there were little main ruts that ran down to Fort Granger and the old rendezvous country which was the fur trapper route.
Then you get into Idaho and so forth and there were tons and tons of cut offs because if they Indians were ever not very hospitable during one year or another, they might go on the south side of the Snake River an so forth. We took a lot of them.
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We took the sublet cut off. A flood at a place called Willow Creek blocked us from going.
Most of the cut offs, the Seminal cut off, the Sublet cut off, the Lander Road were more traveled, were more heavily traveled after they were raised than the original Oregon Trail west as themselves. I explained all that in the book. I know equines. The other reason that mules were preferred by people who could afford them.
A mule travels at, you spend most of the day at what they call a fast walk. Oxen move at about 2. Brett McKay : Yeah, I thought that was one of the most interesting parts of the book because being in the south, people typically think of the mules for just like hick thing, right? Rinker Buck : Right, right. If you go back and look at the Canal Era which was this glorious, wonderful era in American history, up north, everywhere else, we actually had more canals up north than there were anywhere else in the country.
Of all the old pictures you see, of all the old mythologies, all the old Erie Canal songs and stuff that kids used to learn in school, show mules in the north pulling the canal boats. Mules were everywhere. Rinker Buck : Yeah the military actually has 2 separate locations for mules at this point.
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In fact some of our earliest attacks on the Taliban were done with the aid of mule packs so the American military still maintains them. People are breeding mules, fancy pets and walking mules and all this kind of stuff. What was your typical day like?
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Was it one of those things where days sort of bled into days, or was every day pretty much like you woke up and like something could happen today that could just completely throw this trip off? Rinker Buck : I think the days were a solicitous blend of monotony and then something beautiful or very funny would happen. We would wake up, I slept in the covered wagon and my brother slept in a bedroll on the desert floor.
We made 79 camps on the trip. All the places that the pioneers camped at, it turns out for the reasons that I explained in the book pretty much become state public parks. Patricia: The self-discipline.
I am a seat-of-the-pants writer, and I tend to live my life the same way. I enjoy fun, family, and friends as well as writing so at times the need to balance comes into play. Patricia: The Lord.
My Fascination with the Oregon Trail & a Giveaway!
He gives me the stories. I am amazed at how He has made sure I understand that. One time I had the opportunity to put a Christmas story in an anthology and had a weekend to write it as it was due Monday at noon. Now, I had bragged that if you just give me a name and a place, I will come up with a story. Well, after my haughty attitude, my friends gave me a name and place and my imagination heard crickets. No story. Now, that was a bit scary to me. So I figured I missed the anthology. But then at Monday morning I woke up with a picture in my mind of a cowboy on a horse pulling a Christmas tree and knew I had a story.
And I wrote it and turned it in before noon.
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You can find that story in my book Christmas in Texas. The Richest Christmas. So I will give the Lord all the credit for anything good that I do. Any mistakes are mine. Kaye: Your books obviously are portrayed in a western landscape, based on historical times and events. What kinds of research do you find yourself doing for your books? Patricia: Documentaries, books on the old west. I have always loved the west and westerns. Patricia: Yes, and I tell my friends anything may be used in a story.