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Interesting as a curio, this book really doesn't have a narrative structure to it. Bits and pieces of it detail the author's 1852 trek with his family on the Oregon Trail, but more of it offers bits and pieces of the reverse trip he made in 1906 re-tracing his journey FROM Oregon back across the country to drum up interest for the original pioneers. The overall general impression of the 1852 endeavor was that it was dusty, but not particularly interesting. The one thing I took away from his recollections was that the Trail never seemed particularly dangerous, since there were always so many other trekkers around at all times. This laid to rest the idea that Native Americans were a looming, scary presence in every pioneer's mind at all times, the way such things have been portrayed in countless movies since movies were first made. All in all Mr. Meeker comes across as earnest, strong, kind to his oxen and just a little boring.
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