The Nomad carries a small digital camera (see Gear List) with him to capture the people, places and breathtaking scenery found along the trail. Every couple of weeks he sends home his camera media card so online photo albums and videos can be created to share with you. Be sure to check back often to view these images and experience the journey through his eyes.
Nimblewill Nomad – Odyssey 2014: ONHT (Part 1)
April 29, from Independence, Missouri to May 10, Rock Creek Station, Nebraska
Follow the Nimblewill Nomad as he begins his trek on the Oregon National Historic Trail. This journey will be mostly a roadwalk to stay as near the trail as possible, and visit some of the wonderful landmarks along the way. Leaving from Independence Square, in Independence, Missouri, the Nomad quickly makes it to Minor Park, along the Blue River at Red Bridge Road, in south Kansas City. Not much further and he’s out of Missouri and into Kansas catching the Oregon Trail Road, west of St. Mary’s. Next stop he shares video of an Oregon Trail Memorial Garden dedicated to the memory of Gregory M. Franswa (author of detailed books and maps of the Oregon Trail), located at Alcove Spring Park, Kansas. Putting two states behind him now, the Nomad ends this video with a visit to a Pony Express Station (Rock Creek Station), at Rock Creek, Nebraska. Here you’ll hear an interesting story about the day Wild Bill Hickok shot and killed David McCanles.
Nimblewill Nomad – Odyssey 2014: ONHT (Part 2)
May 13, from Nelson, Nebraska to May 29, Courthouse Rock and Jail Rock, Nebraska
Come along with the Nomad as he interviews a local, Barb, at the Oxbow Motel in Nelson, Nebraska. She talks of the rich history and Trail lore, and how she (as a child) and her family have participated in reenactments about the history of the Trail. Then travel down the road just beyond Gothenburg, along US 30, to watch the busy tracks along the Transcontinental Railways, as the Nomad speaks of how the trains go one direction full of coal, then return the opposites direction as “empties coming back” (associated with a ditty written by Angelo de Ponciana), and recites a ditty of his own about that. Then on to historic Windless Hill, a landmark location the immigrants passed through, after crossing the South Platte River and descending California Hill, heading to Ash Hollow and on to the North Platte River. The video segment then ends with the Nomad taking us along to Jail Rock and Courthouse Rock, as a local family shared a visit to this landmark location with him, along the Oregon National Historic Trail.
Nimblewill Nomad – Odyssey 2014: ONHT (Part 3)
May 31, from Robidoux Trading Post, Nebraska to June 1, Scotts Bluff, Nebraska
Taking in the beauty of the surroundings, with a young couple (Jon and Annie) eager to share in the history of the area, we are provided with a narration and look at the Robidoux Trading Post, just east of Robidoux Pass, south of Scotts Bluff, in beautiful Carter Canyon, in western Nebraska. The next day, and not far down the road, we are treated to the scenic and picturesque landmark known as Scotts Bluff, towering 800 feet above the North Platte River. Rich with history of emigrants and settlers to the area, the Nomad finds someone, whose roots run deep in the history, to share information about his relatives that lived in the area near the Trading Post.
Nimblewill Nomad – Odyssey 2014: ONHT (Part 4)
June 3, from between McGrew & Melbeta, Nebraska to June 9, Fort Laramie, Wyoming
While recuperating from his dislocated shoulder, the Nomad was invited to stay in the Anderson home, in Gering, Nebraska, to rest and heal from his injury before taking to the Trail again. During that time he accompanied Rich Anderson to some of his bee hives, located between McGrew and Melbeta, Nebraska. Even the Nomad suited up with protective gear so he could give us a first-hand education in bee farming. After a few more days of recuperation, the Nomad is pack up and back on the Trail, putting the kind folks and beauty of Nebraska behind him and stopping to give us a 360 degree scenic view overlooking Fort Laramie, Wyoming.
Nimblewill Nomad – Odyssey 2014: ONHT (Part 5)
June 16, from Bessemer Bend, Wyoming to June 18, Independence Rock, Wyoming
Standing on a bridge crossing the North Platte River, located about 10 miles west of Casper, at Bessemer Bend, Wyoming, the Nomad points out that this was the last possible location the immigrants could safely cross the North Platte River (before it sharply turns south toward Colorado) to continue their journey onward to Oregon. Then from a lovely park alongside the river, the Nomad provides a view and narrative about the scenic red buttes and history at this location.
In this particular section of road the Nomad is on, the Oregon Trail is actually superimposed over the road, with swales all along. Here he interviews a fellow that talks about the annual re-ride of the National Pony Express Trail, by members of the National Pony Express Association. This location is about halfway between the red buttes and Willow Springs and we get to see the rider coming through (having left from Sacramento, CA and on their way to St. Joseph, MO).
The Nomad winds this video up at a rest area at Independence Rock, Wyoming, with panoramic sweeps and close ups.
Nimblewill Nomad – Odyssey 2014: ONHT (Part 6)
July 2, from Extreme Western Wyoming to July 6, Idaho State Line
In the extreme western part of Wyoming, just south of Idaho, the Nomad begins this video standing in one of the old Oregon Trail ruts, paralleling the road (which would have been another rut). He turns our attention to a piece of wire on the ground, which is a section of the old Transcontinental Telegraph system from around 125 years ago. As he walks further along he shows us that bits of this type of wire can be found randomly scattered along the trail.
After coming down off Bear River Divide, the Nomad pauses to show us his surroundings, and relate to us a story about getting a bit off trail and bailing off the side of the peak to butt-skid his way back in the right direction.
Moving on, he is now in the Bear River Valley, on US 30, still in Wyoming, and making his way north. Arriving the Idaho State Line , the Nomad is now four states down and only two more to go, Idaho and Oregon.
Nimblewill Nomad – Odyssey 2014: ONHT (Part 7)
July 7, from Montpelier, Idaho to July 10, Hudspeth Cutoff, Idaho
This segment begins in the National Historic Trails Museum in Montpelier, Idaho. A young guide named Dub takes the Nomad through the proper outfitting for being on the Oregon Trail. Then a view along US Highway 30, in the upper reaches of Bear River Valley, in Idaho. About 20 miles away from Soda Springs, we get a beautiful panoramic view of the rich agricultural land the Nomad is passing through.
A couple days later and the Nomad is standing on a golf course in Soda Springs, where many of the Oregon Trail swales/ruts are being well maintained. Then back on the road we are given a view of Sheep Rock, which the Bear River runs at the base of. The Nomad gives us a little history lesson about this river and the immigrants movements from the Bear River Valley. The Nomad will continue on US 30 through what is known as the Hudspeth Cutoff, heading for Lava Hot Springs.
Nimblewill Nomad – Odyssey 2014: ONHT (Part 8)
July 18, from Murtaugh, Idaho to July 24, near Immigrant Road, Idaho
Standing where the Old Oregon Trail came through, looking out at the Snake River, the Nomad pauses at the Milner Recreation Area, east of Twin Falls, Idaho, to share a little history lesson with us. Then video taping his own shadow as he hikes on down the trail, we get to trek along at his pace, before watching some crop dusting between Murtaugh and Hansen, Idaho. A little further along we get a panoramic pause of the high plains dessert he is crossing, pretty much the same as what the immigrants saw 150-175 years ago. Then we find him between Salmon Falls and Three Island Crossing, Idaho, not a lot of talking on the last part of the video because the wind is so bad he can’t be heard, so just pictures of the desert and the wind turbines as he walks toward the end of the Oregon Trail in Idaho, soon to cross over into Oregon and the final leg of the journey.
Nimblewill Nomad – Odyssey 2014: ONHT (Part 9)
From August 2, Tub Mountain, Oregon to August 10, Immigrant Springs State Park, Oregon
Standing in the high plains dessert, with only the sage brush and the Oregon Trail Road to keep him company, the Nomad is on the south planks of Tub Mountain, in Oregon. Heading to Farewell Bend, from there to cut northwest and head for the Columbia River, hopeful to put the dessert behind him. Next we catch up with him as he is departing Baker City, Oregon, climbing up the hill toward Flagstaff Hill, he video sweeps Baker Valley, which is watered by the Powder River, then a view to the west of the Blue Mountains. Next the Nomad is in the eastbound emergency lane of I-84, descending Ladd Canyon, heading into La Grande. Then, across the summit of Blue Mountain, the Nomad gives us a panorama of the Valley of the Umatilla, from Poverty Valley Road.
FINAL VIDEOS UNAVAILABLE
Although the last video was not the end of the Oregon National Historic Trail, unfortunately it is the end of what the Nimblewill Nomad has to share with you. He did continue to take photos and videos all the way to Oregon City but technology dictated a sad (and irretrievable) outcome. With his last two digital camera cards in the mail to his web administrator, the Nomad found himself in need of purchasing another SD card. In the location where he was at the time, the only choice was to buy a micro-mini SD card. It worked just fine in his camera and he was able to view the images before removing the card to mail, so had no idea there would be any problems. Once received, after trying everything possible (various computers, readers, recovery software, etc.) nothing worked to resurrect the images the card once held. A call to the manufacturer provided us with the only logical explanation, that the SD card had been demagnetized somewhere along its line of travel in the US Postal Service. With that being the case, they confirmed there was no way the images/video could be recovered. We’re very sad about this loss, and very sorry we could not share the Nomad‘s last days on the ONHT with you.
The Last Rose of Summer