The Wagon Train
“The Fearful Crossing” wagon train and trail ride aims to re-enact (without the
death and starvation part!) the Westward Migration Experience through the
most brutal and deadly stretch of the Old Pioneer Trail, the infamous "Forty
Mile Desert" between modern-day
Lovelock and Fallon, Nevada.
We pick up The Old California Trail just outside Lovelock, Nevada, where the Humboldt River begins to sink into the desert. We then travel over "The Forty Mile
Desert" between the Humboldt Sink & the Carson Sink - a desolate and
unforgiving area with absolutely no potable water (but some tantalizing but
deadly alkali and arsenic-laden pools).
The total trip is approximately 70+ miles, which we travel over 3 1/2 days.
Although camp is "primitive" we do have showers, which are SO refreshing
after a dusty day on the trail, as well as clean outhouses.
Many friendships are formed along the trail and in camp - generally we aim
to have just a great time for all participants.
What kind of wagon can you bring? What do
IF your rig has historical value, that's ideal. However, we
realize that you may have some other type of rig, and that's
fine, too. Wagons and carts with modern wheels and suspension
are welcome, and we know the pioneers would have used them is
they could have!
PIONEER TRAIL HISTORY
Our Wagon Train travels the "Humboldt to Carson"
branch of the California Trail
|It is important to remember that well over a quarter of a million people risked all they had on this route, in an effort to better their lives and the lives of their family members. We should be
a bit humbled as we travel over a trail that proved to be very difficult and in many cases impossible for them.
While we travel we will pass many unmarked and unknown graves. We may see items they lost or left behind along the way. Please remember that we want to leave this famous desert as we found it. We should not pick up items or damage anything as we pass.
For many families this desert is a holy place where family members were strengthened or lost forever.
Click to enlarge: The California Trail forked at
about the spot where we camp on Day 2. Either way, you had a long
stretch of desert ahead, before reaching a river with potable water.
The Truckee Route went to the Truckee River and over the Sierras
along what is now I-80. Our route roughly follows, or parellels,
US-95 South to the Carson River at modern-day Fallon.
We will travel in comfort
with supplies that they could only dream about.
Our trip will only last a few days... they spent many months on the trail. As
we look at what was one of the most famous, or infamous, deserts that proved to be very deadly to both men, women and animals, we should try to remember the struggle they had in just getting to this place.
We must remember that they could only eat or drink what they had left on their wagon or pack animal, or what they could catch or kill.
We will have it much better, and at the end of our trip we will go home to our nice warm house with some great memories and new friendships. The pioneers, however, still had a long journey ahead of them, including crossing the High Sierras, and many more challenges.
- Bill Adams, Wagonmaster