Manual The Trail West

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Start by marking “The Trail West (The Trail West, #1)” as Want to Read: In , Dooley Monahan, son of struggling Iowa pioneers, went off to to pick up a new milk cow. William Wallace Johnstone was a prolific American author, mostly of western, horror and survivalist novels.
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None of these characters except Monahan have any subtlety, nuance, complexity or layers. They are all cardboard cut-outs. That does not make a good story. They are not memorable, other than Monahan, and I don't care what happens to them. That is a problem as Monahan is the main character but he is sharing the stage with the girl and the young cowboy. I do like Alf but again, I feel I know nothing about him. He just has an annoying brother with a disability and wants to kill Monahan. I am giving up on this novel and moving on to the next Dusty Richards book.

I need Western novels that weave stories with complex characterizations. Oct 10, Rob Smith rated it really liked it Shelves: This is clearly being written by a writer outside of the typical Johnstone Clan. The entire drive of the book is so very different from Johnstone books. I really liked it.

This book is very much a character study and his adventures. This Johnstone volume is head and shoulders above most Johnstone books. Thewre are many places throughout the book where I realized a typical Johnstone book would have had a simple, often poorly written, bit in it. This one not only gives more complexity, but it's als This is clearly being written by a writer outside of the typical Johnstone Clan. This one not only gives more complexity, but it's also entertaining reading.

The Trail West

The weakest parts of the books are the front and end pieces. Otherwise this is a great book. I recommend this book. Mar 14, Grant rated it it was ok. I saw someone else's review that said this reads like a collection of short stories that were stitched together and I'm inclined to agree.

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There isn't much of an overarching plot line, and the culmination of most of the conflicts are anti-climactic, and in one specific case a bit lazy. The writing is readable, but the story is weak if that makes any sense. Jul 09, Tanner Cremeans rated it liked it. Three stars is generous. Sep 15, Nancy Higgs rated it liked it Shelves: I haven't read a western in awhile.

It was more feeling than a true western. I might try another by this author. Jul 23, John Meitner rated it liked it. Some good spots, a few confusing spots. Oct 02, Jeff added it.


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Good but weak ending. Feb 05, Randy rated it it was amazing. Less a shoot-em-up western, more a character study of an aging cowboy. Dooley Monahan was sent by his father in to pick up a milk cow for their Iowa farm. Dooley was just twenty. After making arrangements for the cow, he fell into bad company and never returned.

It's nearly thirty years later and Dooley is not old, but a life time of broken bones, the occasional gun wound, and his foggy memory that takes odd moments to cut out has left him feeling old. He's also built up something of a reput Less a shoot-em-up western, more a character study of an aging cowboy. He's also built up something of a reputation, most of it untrue, but you know how people embellish. Of course, the outlaw he killed only added to that. For three years now, he'd been on the move, the voucher for the reward in his wallet, knowing the man's two brothers were looking for him also.

He'd had a dream for a couple of years, fueled by the newspaper reports of gold in Alaska, of going up there and making his fortune. Life keeps getting in the way though. Apaches slaughter a family just before he gets lured there by the family dog. He buries them and the dog goes with him.

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He runs into a young man who's life he'd saved a few years before from the hooves of a bucking stallion. The dog finds a young girl, abused by an "uncle," who'd ran away. Suddenly he had a family of sorts when all he wanted to do was head north. He keeps nudging west though to avoid the outlaw brothers, along the way meeting an assortment of characters, both old and new, not to mention Apaches. I kind of liked this one. Not sure if it's the beginning of a series, though, as other reviewers assume.

Oct 24, Steph rated it really liked it. Good and interesting read, a bit different than the usual Westerns - as it follows a rag-tag group of individuals who are less 'shoot 'em up" and more so trying to find a place to belong. I enjoyed all the characters and the good character development. There were a few parts that made me laugh out loud, which always endears a book to me.

Oct 17, B marked it as to-read. Aug 10, Mickey Gregory rated it really liked it. I will look for more by this author. Do wish I could find them in larger print though. Connie rated it it was amazing Mar 24, Tom rated it it was ok May 23, Jay rated it really liked it May 09, Susan rated it liked it Jun 18, Karenb rated it really liked it Oct 24, Ester rated it liked it Oct 02, Rudy Ogden rated it it was amazing Sep 09, Cynthia rated it really liked it Apr 04, Badboybrody rated it really liked it Mar 19, James Rother rated it did not like it Feb 15, Richard Astle rated it really liked it Feb 20, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

Louis and Santa Fe following an 18th-century route pioneered by the Spanish Empire. During the twenty-five years —, , to , people "pulled up stakes," and headed west along these trails. About one-third immigrated to Oregon, one-third to California and one-third to Utah, Colorado, and Montana. Although it is often stated that the Northern trails began in certain cities on the Missouri River , emigrants following any of the three trails typically left from one of three "jumping off" points on the Missouri's steamboat serviced river ports: Once known as Kanesville, Iowa until ; after river dredging in the early s, the latter town at the Missouri-Platte confluence became the most common departure point since it was close in proximity to the River Platte—along which the eastern trails ascend to South Pass above Fort Laramie.

The trails from these cities and several others converged in the mostly empty flatlands of central Nebraska near present-day Kearney , in the vicinity of Fort Kearney. From their confluence there the combined trails followed in succession the Platte , North Platte , and Sweetwater rivers westward across the full widths of Nebraska and Wyoming , and crossed the continental divide south of the Wind River Range through South Pass in southwestern Wyoming.

The most common vehicle for Oregon and California-bound settlers was a covered wagon pulled by a team of oxen or mules which were greatly preferred for their endurance and strength over horses in the dry semi-arid terrain common to the high plains in the heat of summer. In later years, following the advice of Brigham Young, many Mormon emigrants made the crossing to Utah with handcarts.


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For all emigrants, the scarcity of potable water and fuel for fires was a common brutal challenge on the trip, which was exacerbated by the wide ranging temperature changes common to the mountain highlands and high plains where a daylight reading in the eighties or nineties can drop precipitously to a frigid seeming nighttime temperature in the low 40s.

In many treeless areas, buffalo chips were the most common source of fuel. It crossed what was then the northernmost part of Mexico until the Gadsden Purchase. In the south the forty-niners used the Cooke Wagon Road, until some found a short cut, the Tucson Cutoff. In , as part of an improvement of the route as a military road, a cutoff was built to Cooke's Spring from Mesilla , part of Mexico until This route became the Southern Emigrant Trail.

During the Gold Rush era it was these routes by which many herds of sheep and cattle were driven to California and the goldfields. With the passes of the Sierras and the Rocky Mountains blocked in winter, another winter route, the Mormon Road between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles was developed by a Mormon expedition from their new settlements at and around Salt Lake City, and by some Mormon Battalion soldiers returning to Utah in — The first significant use of the route was by parties of Forty-Niners late in , and by some Mormon trains, to avoid crossing the snow bound Sierra Nevada Mountains by linking up with the Old Spanish Trail in southern Utah and closely following it, with alterations to the route of the mule trails only to allow wagons to traverse it for the first time.

Soon afterward it was the route Mormon colonists followed to settle southwestern Utah, a mission in Las Vegas and a colony in San Bernardino, California. This wagon route, also called by some of its early travelers the Southern Route , of the California Trail, remained a minor migration route and in the early s a mail route. After some alterations of the route between Cajon Pass and the border of California and in southern Utah, in , it became a significant seasonal trade route between California and Utah, until , when the transcontinental railroad ended Utah's winter isolation.

Up to 50, people, or one-tenth of the emigrants who attempted the crossing continent, died during the trip, most from infectious disease such as cholera , spread by poor sanitation: Hostile confrontations with Native Americans , although often feared by the emigrants, were comparatively rare, prior to the American Civil War. Most emigrants traveled in large parties or "trains" of up to several hundred wagons led by a wagon master. In the government published a guidebook written by Captain Randolph B. Marcy , called The Prairie Traveler , in order to help emigrants prepare for the journey.

Pioneered in by William Becknell, it served as a vital commercial highway until the introduction of the railroad to Santa Fe in The route skirted the northern edge and crossed the north-western corner of Comancheria, the territory of the Comanches, who demanded compensation for granting passage to the trail, and represented another market for American traders.


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Comanche raiding farther south in Mexico isolated New Mexico, making it more dependent on the American trade, and provided the Comanches with a steady supply of horses for sale. By the s trail traffic along the Arkansas Valley was so heavy that bison herds could not reach important seasonal grazing land, contributing to their collapse which in turn hastened the decline of Comanche power in the region. The Trail was used as the U.

Westward Expansion Trails - Wikipedia

A highway route that roughly follows the trail's path through the entire length of Kansas, the southeast corner of Colorado and northern New Mexico has been designated as the Santa Fe Trail National Scenic Byw. From central Utah the trail trended southwest to an area now shared by Utah, Nevada and Arizona. The Oregon Trail, the longest of the overland routes used in the westward expansion of the United States, was first traced by explorers and fur traders for traveling to the Oregon Country.

The main route of the Oregon Trail stopped at the Hudson's Bay Company Fort Hall , a major resupply route along the trail near present-day Pocatello and where the California Trail split off to the south. It was the only practical way for settlers in wagons without tools, livestock, or supplies to cross the mountains and usually thought critical to the colonization of the American West.

Some of the first to travel the Oregon Trail were Christian missionaries, members of the Methodist Episcopal Church who established the Methodist Mission in Even though they didn't make many converts, they were impressed by the short amount of time needed to reach the Pacific Coast. Rumors about how the sun always shone there and wheat grew as tall as a man attracted American settlers. The journey to the west was pleasant, but there were dangers and challenges along the route.

Children were crushed under the covered wagon wheels, people drowned in rivers, were lost, starved, killed by Native Americans very few pioneers , froze to death, trampled by buffalo, or shot by accident. With these accidents, many pioneers died. About 20, to 30, died on the Oregon Trail along the way in 40 years. American settlers began following the trail in , with the first recorded colonist wagon traingroup being the "Great Migration" of about colonists, led in part by Marcus Whitman.

The Territory of Oregon was established shortly afterward, in , and over 12, American settlers made the journey there during the decade. Families usually began their journey at Independence, Missouri, near the Missouri River with the best time to travel is from April to September.

Settlers often had to cross flooded rivers. Indians attacked the wagon trains; however, of the 10, deaths that occurred from to , only 4 percent resulted from Indian attacks. Cholera, smallpox, and firearms accidents were the chief causes of death on the trail.