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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 15 star ratings
3 reviews
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4.4 out of 5
15
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Hormel Chilli no beans

    What a wonderful journey that Rinker Buck and his youngest brother Nick have undertaken and completed. Their father took Rinker (along with some of his brothers and sisters) when he was a child, on a covered wagon trip across Pennsylvania. He enjoyed that trip immensely. In the course of his adult life, he decided that he wanted to buy a covered wagon and "Do" the Oregon Trail. He bought the wagon from a wagon builder, a Schuttler wagon that was built in the historical Oregon Trail style, so he would be period specific. He also designed a "Trail Pup" which was the equivalent of a wagon trailer to haul extra gear and food for the mules that he would purchase to pull the wagon. He researched and found an Amish farm in Missouri that would sell him three mules that were broke to harness that would pull the wagon. Conveniently situated nearby, was an Amish metal shop where they could make adjustments to their wagon and the pup to make them trail ready. The Amish man that sold him the mules, had a father in law that sold him his harnesses. Rinker was the fourth child out of eleven children. His brother Nick was the youngest. Nick was a construction worker who has recently broken his foot and was off work, convalescing. Rinker called or emailed Nick to let him know what he was up to with the trail drive. Nick said "You need me!" Nick was very mechanical and could fix anything. He also had a working knowledge of wagons and mules and all that goes with them. They talked about it and decided, that Nick would go on the trip. He had one last doctors appointment before he could go and also had a play that he was in that he felt he couldn't tell the other actors that something came up, so he would fly home from Nebraska and be in the play and come back and catch up to the wagon. Rinker was okay with that. He was relieved, because he was an obsessive compulsive, neat freak-with not much mechanical sense. He was concerned, however about Nick's Jack Russell terrier, Olive Oyl--who must have been the dirtiest dog on the planet. But, Nick said he'd keep Olive out of Rinker's way. The mules were named Jake, Bute, and Beck. Rinker liked Jake the best of all. He kept the mollies on the straight and narrow. The book has a lot of in-depth history and details, about the Oregon Trail, pioneers, mules, wagons, graves and other interesting things. The two brothers had very little by way of comforts with them. Rinker had a mattress for the wagon bed, which is where he slept. They had a couple of lawn chairs. Nick slept on the ground in many not so nice places and many uncomfortable places for the whole trip. Nick agreed to that, he didn't want to bring along a tent for more comfort. As they traveled from St. Joseph, Missouri to Farewell Bend, Oregon. They have many adventures along the trail. Many people come to see them on the road or at the places that they made came in the evening. Many people became "trail family" to them. This is a truly exceptional read. I greatly enjoyed it. No typos or errors in the book, which was fantastic for a 430 page book. I was skeptical because on the back of the dust cover, there were reviews and there was a misspelled word there.
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    Utterly fascinating

    I loved this book. I was quite disappointed to finish it because I wanted to read more. I really appreciated not only Rinker Buck's considerable writing skills , not only the narrative of the journey but also the enormous amount of research that so obviously went into the background of the writing of it. I had previously read Sarah Raymond Herndon's contemporary account ('Days on the Road') of her 19th century crossing with her family in a large wagon train so was the comparison between that and Rinker Buck's epic journey just with his brother was all the more interesting . I want to read it again.
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    The Oregon Trail

    Excellent, even more compelling the second time through! I enjoyed the in depth assessments and comments in parallel with the story line, such as with the Mormons, Tea Party , etc..
15

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