It has been over 150 years since pioneers first went west from Missouri, across Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Nevada into California, across the vast plains, formidable mountains, and desert. Although the route known as the California Emigrant Trail is mostly unmarked today, much evidence remains. Photographer Greg MacGregor has researched the trail and traveled it for thousands of miles. He has photographed the eroded ruts, emigrant graves, pieces of burned and abandoned wagons. He has also photographed what has sprung up over the trail: KOA campgrounds, golf courses, housing developments. The images are poignant, sometimes amusing, occasionally downright terrifying, and always fascinating in what they reveal about pioneer overland travel.
Showing these photographs with excerpts from emigrants' diaries and advice from nineteenth-century guidebooks, Greg MacGregor presents us with a vivid and intimate picture of what the journey was like for those with no idea of what lay ahead. At the same time, he captures the ironies in the landscape of the late-twentieth-century West.
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