The first caravans lumbered across two thousand miles of dangerous, inhospitable wilderness in 1843, the year of the Great Migration. To a surprising degree it’s still possible to follow something very like their route.
A couple of miles south of Marysville, Kansas, not far from the east bank of the Big Blue River, lies one of the most moving places on the Oregon Trail. Back in a shadowy sanctuary of oak and ash and cottonwood trees, just a few hundred yards from where the emigrant trail used to run, a cold black spring sparkles from the ledge of a little rock alcove and pours into a stony basin ten feet below. It’s a beautiful place, impressively quiet and a little gloomy.Read more »