California Trail Interpretive Center...

For the entire trip to Salt Lake we were on the California Trail, indicated by roadside markers like this one. 

The California Trail was an emigrant path of about 2,000 miles across the western half of the North American continent from Missouri River towns to what is now the state of California.
Located 8 miles west of Elko, NV, this museum was a treasure discovered about in the middle of nowhere.
Between 1841 and 1869, up to 250,000 people sold their belongings, packed wagons, and set out for California. Here we learned the stories of the pioneers who endured the trek; some seeking land, some gold, others seeking adventure, and some for reasons we may never know.

I love when I discover something new and this was rather intriguing and made a whole lot of sense. On the long trek, the pioneers who came in covered wagons used wooden odometers to measure their daily progress. The devices also allowed pioneers to mark the graves of loved ones who died along the trail.

"You had to know where you could get water and where you could get food. The best you could do on a really good day was 12 miles with oxen; you had to know so you could plan it." So clever!

Because we had a ten hour drive, we did not fully immerse ourselves in all there was to see because there was so much. The center showcased dioramas and interactive exhibits that immersed the visitor in the trail experience; costumed interpretation and demonstrations of daily life for both Native Americans and pioneers; a reconstructed Shoshone village and wagon encampment and numerous video and digital displays. We thoroughly delighted in all that we did experience and will return to continue our history lesson another day.

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Nesbit Library rocks! said...

I always wondering what exactly would be packed in a covered wagon - this looks like the place to find out!

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