WATCH RECORDING: https://youtu.be/-LkW0gr5r-I
A talk about Linda’s book “Life Along the Applegate Trail“, a compilation of events and characters that may or may not be fictional. It is however, based on a very real trip westward by the immigrants that settled in the Oregon Territory, if they could make it that far.
The writer of this book, Linda Lochard, traveled by wagon for 31 of a 51-day reenactment of the Applegate Trail in 1996. Starting the trip in the deserts of Nevada and finishing in Independence, Oregon, gave the pioneers a partial idea of what settlers experienced in 1846, the beginning of the settlement of the Oregon Territory. A constant companion to the Author was a diary with real accounts of a family that made it to Oregon and settled.
Life Along the Applegate Trail is a novel that chronicles the grit and determination that the pioneers displayed, some living to the end but many suffered catastrophic losses. Some were able, by sheer will, to make it to “Eden” but not always with everyone and everything in-tact. The monotony, accidents and illness claimed many.
About Linda Lochard:
I was raised to “get involved, give it everything and finish what you Start.” My story is about a true test to the grit of the westward movement and the settlers that “finished the job”.
The diaries from 1843 and the 1996 Applegate Wagon Train reenactment I participated in, gave me a glimpse that I needed of these brave pioneers who settled the Territory of Oregon. Just as it was to the settlers in 1846, the re-enactment trip was life altering for me. It took us 51 days in 1996, nothing at all like the six months it took on the trail of 1846.
We knew where our food and water were coming from and didn’t worry about Indian attacks every day. Those traveling 150 years before us did not have that luxury. Every minute was done by faith and guts. The re-enactment, for us, became our own reality and we made our own history. After all, how could we have known that that this trip was wrapping us in the westward movement as we “loaded up and stepped out.”
I invite you to prepare yourself for another time with these brave souls. Step into the story, smell the dust and walk until your shoes are no longer. Whatever you do, whatever happens, keep moving.
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