Rinker Buck, author of "The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey”, to speak and sign books Wednesday, June 15, at the Kearney Public Library at 7:00 p.m. The presentation is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase and signing
With a team of mules, a replica 19th century wagon and life's bare essentials, two 21st century brothers made the journey of a lifetime traveling the Oregon Trail.
In 2011 journalist Rinker Buck and his brother Nick traveled the 2,100 miles of the Oregon Trail, a journey Rinker has chronicled in his New York Times best-seller "The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey”. In an NPR interview, Rinker described his book as "...sort of an amalgam of history and what happened to us."
Rinker and his brother set out on their trip from St. Joseph, MO in May and arrived in Oregon four months later - having traveled the Oregon Trail through six states. The last documented travel on the Oregon Trail was in 1909. It took 29 days to cross Wyoming, which Rinker described as "perilous”. It was in Wyoming that a wheel broke on the wagon. "We had no motorized support”, Rinker said. "Nobody was following us in a pickup supplying us."
This is the second book Ricker has written about cross-country travel. In 1997 "Flight of Passage" was published. That book tells the story of a flight he and another brother made on their own from New Jersey to California and back in a Piper Cub the two had restored. He and his brother Kern were ages 15 and 17, respectively, which made them the youngest aviators to fly coast to coast. The story is the subject of a short film, which was screened in Los Angeles last April.
Other books by Rinker include: "Shane Comes Home" (2006), "First Job: A Memoir of Growing Up at Work" (2002) and "If We Had Wings" (2001).