Category Archives: Trails

Trails across the west.

Will Braddock, Fort Bridger, and Christmas

Will Braddock spent his first Christmas in the far west in 1867 at Fort Bridger, which at that time was still Dakota Territory. I reveal in Chapter 1 of Bear Claws, The Iron Horse Chronicles–Book Two, that Will had wintered-over at the fort with … Continue reading

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Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming

On September 11, 2016, I spent the day at Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming, touring the interpretive center, walking the remains of the old fort, and tromping the nearby battlefields. I had this opportunity because I was attending the annual meeting … Continue reading

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Dale Creek Bridge, Wyoming

[media-credit name=”A. J. Russell” align=”aligncenter” width=”485″][/media-credit] The Dale Creek Bridge in southeastern Wyoming figures in the first two books of The Iron Horse Chronicles. The Union Pacific Railroad completed the timber trestle in the spring of 1868. The bridge was the highest … Continue reading

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Orphans Preferred

Wanted. Young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. So read an 1860 poster advertising for riders for the Pony Express. As many of the readers of this blog are aware, … Continue reading

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Virginia Dale Station, Colorado

In Eagle Talons, The Iron Horse Chronicles–Book One, Jenny McNabb buries her mother behind the Virginia Dale stagecoach station in northern Colorado. Virginia Dale served as one of the “home stations” on the Overland Trail. When Jenny passed through in 1867, the … Continue reading

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Julesburg—A Tale of Four Cities

Julesburg, Colorado, has the unusual distinction of existing in four different locations. The current and fourth Town of Julesburg, advertising itself as the “Gateway to Colorado,” is a pleasant community of about 1,200 persons. It is located on the South … Continue reading

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Upper California Crossing, Julesburg, Colorado

[media-credit name=”William H. Jackson” align=”aligncenter” width=”900″][/media-credit] The Upper California Crossing, where Lodgepole Creek joins the South Platte River near Julesburg, Colorado, served wagon train travelers as the principal place to cross from the south to the north side of the wide … Continue reading

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The Covered Wagon

Jenny McNabb and her family travel west in a covered wagon in 1867 in Eagle Talons, The Iron Horse Chronicles–Book One. Will Braddock first encounters Jenny when the family’s Conestoga wagon breaks a wheel when crossing a swollen creek near Julesburg, Colorado. … Continue reading

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Locomotive Substitution

Like the starter in a sporting event, the locomotive that begins the game may not be the one at the finish. The two famous locomotives that touched cowcatchers at Promontory Summit, Utah, when the golden spike was driven, were both substitutes. … Continue reading

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Western Historical Trails

The Western Historical Trails Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, located not far off I-80 where it crosses the Missouri River, provides an educational and informative introduction to four important trails that passed through this region before the transcontinental railroad made travel easier. … Continue reading

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