2021 39th Annual OCTA Convention
Through the Lens of History - Preserving the Past - Focusing on the Future
The Oregon-California Trails Association and the California/Nevada Chapter of OCTA present “Through the Lens of History – Preserving the Past – Focusing on the Future” from Monday, September 13 through Thursday, September 16. The Elko Convention Center at 700 Moren Way in Elko is convention HQ, with additional events occurring at the California Trail Center and Great Basin College.
The convention will focus on the Humboldt River corridor as the main branch of the California Trail heading west from Missouri to California, including its usage by American Indians for thousands of years prior to usage by emigrants. The convention will explore each of these different eras via tours throughout the region, a premiere list of authoritative speakers, and events at other local sites.
Our host hotels, both within walking distance of the convention center, are:
- Gold Country Inn - $69/night - 775.738.8421
- Maverick Hotel and Casino - $79/night - 775.738. 2111
Ask for the special Oregon-California Trails Association room rate when placing your reservation. Hotels are about ¼ to ½ mile from the Convention Center.
OCTA Discount Name - OCTA Oregon California Trails Convention 2021
Rates do not include breakfast.
The two hotels share a single shuttle. They will provide shuttle service to/from the Convention Center during the convention.
There is a cutoff on the room held for this event – August 14, 2021. However as long as we have rooms available the rate will be honored.
NOTE: If anyone made a reservation at the High Desert Inn they will need to re-book the room. Red Lion Properties will honor the room rate previously quoted for the High Desert Inn.
RV Parks in Elko Nevada
1. Iron Horse RV Resort, 3400 East Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801
(103 sites, Wi-Fi, Dump Site, Electricity)
2. Double Dice RV Park, 3730 East Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801
(140 sites, Wi-Fi, Dump Site, Electricity)
3. Gold Country Inn & Casino RV Park, 2050 Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801
(26 sites, Wi-Fi, Dump Site, Electricity)
4. Elko RV Park, 303 Ryndon Road, Elko, NV 89801
(130 sites, Wi-Fi, Dump Site, Electricity)
5. Valley View RV Park, 6000 East Idaho Street, Elko, NV 89801
(75 sites, Wi-Fi, Dump Site, Electricity)
6. Cimmaron West RV & Trailer Park, 1400 Mountain City Highway, Elko, NV 89801
(100 sites, Wi-Fi, Dump Site, Electricity)
If you go on the tours, bring hats and windbreakers. Though we fully expect sunny skies and 75 degree temperatures, Elko weather can change suddenly in September. Remember, it is a high desert region so hydrate and let yourself acclimate! Most likely, it will be sunny and pleasant, so protect yourself from UV while out on tours. It is more intense at increased elevations.
If you're interest in being a book vendor or participating in Author's Night, please contact Kathy Conway at OCTA HQ at firstname.lastname@example.org or 816-252-2276.
Includes all of the speakers and receptions. There is an additional fee for tours and meals.
You can add family members to this order after the initial registrant registration is submitted. Select "Add Participant" after the SAVE REGISTRATION is selected.Includes all of the speakers and receptions. There is an additional fee for tours and meals.
Includes all speakers for Monday, September 13
Includes all speakers for Wednesday, September 15
Must provide proof of employment with a school or universityIncludes all of the speakers and receptions. There is an additional fee for tours and meals.
Must provide proof of enrollment at an accredited educational institution. Includes all of the speakers and receptions. There is an additional fee for tours and meals.Includes all of the speakers and receptions. There is an additional fee for tours and meals.
Check if you are an OCTA member.
Is this the first time you will be attending an OCTA Convention or Symposium?
Yes I am fully vaccinated.Convention Attendee Safety and Well-Being - VaccinesThe Oregon-California Trails Association Board of Directors and the Elko Convention Planning Team welcome you to the 39th Annual Convention. We wish you a lively, interesting and fun event with old and new trail friends.After considerable thought and discussion, the Elko Convention team recommended and the Board approved the recommendation at their May 4, 2021 meeting, that all members on the bus tours be fully vaccinated. This was done out of respect and concern for all convention attendees. Many of our members are seventy or older. Some may have immunocompromising conditions. Therefore, we request that if you chose to sign up for a bus tour, please be vaccinated. This requirement only applies to the bus tours.Recent guidance from the Center for Disease Control, which Nevada also follows, indicates that vaccinated individuals may resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance, and may resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel at this time. There are limited data on vaccine protection in people who are immunocompromised. People with immunocompromising conditions, including those taking immunosuppressive medications (for instance drugs, such as mycophenolate and rituximab, to suppress rejection of transplanted organs or to treat rheumatologic conditions), should discuss the need for personal protective measures with their healthcare provider after vaccination.
2021 OCTA Convention Schedule
(Schedule Subject to Change)
Saturday, September 11
Sunday, September 12
“California Trail Highlights” (Burley, ID to Elko, NV – 2 day tour on Saturday and Sunday
“Lamoille Canyon: Geology and Natural History" Bus Tour
OCTA National Board Meeting
Welcome Reception – Northeast Nevada Museum
Monday, September 13
Welcome and Opening Session at the Convention Center
Dr. James Armstead, Keynote Speaker
“The Socio-Political Origins of the Western Migration”
Visit the California Trail Interpretive Center CTIC
Dinner on your own
Tuesday – September 14
- Fort Ruby and Ruby Valley
- Guns and Ruts
- Long Canyon Mine Project
- Gravelly Ford
Private Vehicle Tour:
“The Humboldt is North of Us…So Let’s Go South”
“Ancient Pronghorn Antelope Van Tour”
Reception at the Western Emigrant Trail Collection at Great Basin College
Greenhorn Cutoff Hike
Wednesday, September 15
Dr. Sue Fawn Chung, Keynote Speaker: “The Chinese Railroad Workers on the Central Pacific
Activity Stations at Convention Center
Thursday, September 16
Repeat of Tuesday tours
Period Clothing Parade, Auction, and Raffle
End of Trail Banquet
All tours leave and return to the Elko Convention Center.
Pre-Convention Tour: California Trail Highlights, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM [2 remaining]
Burley, Idaho to Elko, Nevada. Two-day tour (September 11-12), high-clearance vehicle needed. Bring your own food and water. The tour consists of two days with an overnight stay in Burley, Idaho. This tour follows the California Trail from the City of Rocks (Idaho) to the Thousand Springs Valley (Nevada). The most interesting sites and those on private property are featured since they are not readily accessible to the public. Because there are simply too many sites along the route to fit into the tour schedule, not all will be included. Restroom facilities are non-existent for the first afternoon as well as the second day due to the location’s remoteness. The first day of the tour begins at Camp Rock in the City of Rocks Reserve. At this common camping area for California Trail emigrants, many wrote their names in axle grease on the rock where a sheltered alcove has preserved many of the names. In addition, several graves in the area discovered by members of the Idaho Chapter of OCTA in 2019 can be explored. The tour will then follow the California Trail up a gentle grade from the valley to Granite Pass, the summit of the Goose Creek Mountains. After lunch, the tour will follow the trail as it winds down the mountain to the creek below. This is where emigrants used ropes to let their wagons down the steep final descent. After exploring this area, the tour will head part way back up the west side of the mountain to intersect very deep ruts of the California Trail. The second day of the tour follows the California Trail up Goose Creek to Record Bluff, a volcanic pumice rock bluff where emigrants carved their names. The tour continues across the desert to the Thousand Springs Valley, and stops at several springs along the road. Once U.S. 93 is reached, the tour will continue another hour to Elko. Bring your own lunch and water. This tour is limited to 10 vehicles, first-come, first-served. $20/person for both days.
Lamoille Canyon Bus Tour (9:00 AM - 3:00 PM) [32 remaining]
Learn about the glaciation, animals, plants, and 2018 Range2 fire amidst the beautiful Ruby Mountains located southeast of Elko, NV. Regionally known naturalist Larry Hyslop will lead a never-to-be-forgotten bus tour of the Canyon. Gerry Miller will lead participants on a one-mile hike around the Nature Trail to look at vegetation. The heavily glaciated “Rubies” are a true hidden treasure in Northern Nevada’s desert environment. Box lunch and drinks included.
Opening reception at the Northeast Nevada Museum, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM [165 remaining]
Wine & beer, light hors d'oeuvres included, tip recommended.
Keynote Speaker (10:45 AM - 11:45 AM)
Dr. James Armstead, "The Socio-Political Origins of the Western Migration"Colonel James Holmes Armstead - Dr. James Holmes Armstead is a retired professor of Strategy and International law from the US Naval War College. He taught international law, strategy, and national security policy for over 40 years. Professor Armstead served on faculties at Stanford University, Pepperdine University, the University of California, the University of Nevada, Southern University, the US Naval Postgraduate School, Lewis University, the Virginia Military Institute, and Washington and Lee University. He lectured at the British Joint Services Staff College and taught as a visiting professor at the Universite d’Pau in France and as an exchange professor at Richmond College at the University of London. He lectured at senior staff colleges in Poland, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, and Malawi, the United Kingdom, the US Army War College, the United States Military Academy, and the South African Military Academy. Jim has served as a research associate at the prestigious RAND Corp, which sponsored his dissertation “Lightweight Power Projection in the Middle East,” and served as Chief of Staff to Vice Chair of the US House International Relations Committee. While working for the Department of Defense, he participated in negotiations enlarging NATO with the accession of Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Montenegro, Albania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Jim has assisted in drafting constitutional reforms in Montenegro, South Africa, Poland, the Congo, and Lithuania and was Counsel to the American Bar Association Office of Human Rights.As an Army officer earlier in his career, he served in Armor, JAG, Civil Affairs, Operations and IG positions, and held various command and staff assignments at Battalion, Brigade, Division and Corps levels. He also served as a special staff assistant for legislative affairs to the Secretary of the Army. Dr. Armstead was named the Bahnson-Stanley Distinguished Visiting Professor of International Law and Ethics at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in 2008.Dr. Armstead received his undergraduate education at the University of Illinois in history and anthropology and was graduated in 1968; he received his JD in 1975 from De Paul University and returned to the University of Illinois where he served as a senior research assistant at the Energy Resources Center and undertook graduate studies in urban and regional planning, public policy, international relations, and economics and was awarded a PhD in public policy analysis from Pacific Western University in 1981. Additionally, he holds an advanced certificate in International Law from the Instituto Superiori Internationale Criminali Science in Siracusa, Italy and is the recipient of three honorary doctorates. During his career, he served as a Legal Expert in the United Nations Secretariat, where he was the English language editor of the Treaty of Rome, which created the International Criminal Court at the Hague and assisted in drafting the ASEAN Extradition Treaty. He has also served on missions with the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as an international election observer to Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan.Dr. Armstead is a frequent lecturer and consultant on international legal matters and has served as a Distinguished Guest Lecturer at the University of Limpopo in 2014, was named a Fulbright Professor to Ukraine in 2016 and served on the faculty for Semester at Sea, Voyage, Spring 2018.
Lunch, Noon to 1:00 PM
Choice A: New York Steak Sandwich (served by Elko's premiere Basque restaurant, the Star Hotel)All four lunch choices include:Green SaladPotato OptionCold Bean SaladWine CakeCookiesBrowniesIced TeaCoke ProductsBottled Water
Choice B: Roast Chicken Sandwich (served by Elko's premiere Basque restaurant, the Star Hotel)
Choice C: Steak Salad (served by Elko's premiere Basque restaurant, the Star Hotel)
Choice D: Chicken Salad (served by Elko's premiere Basque restaurant, the Star Hotel)
Speaker 1 (12:45 PM - 1:15 PM)
Leah Brady, "The First Encounter"Leah Brady was born in Elko and graduated from Owyhee High School in 1973. She attended the University of Nevada, Reno, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in education in 1977. For 23 years, she taught in Fallon and Schurz.Wanting to continue the tradition of basketweaving, Leah learned from elders Elaine Christensen, Sylvia Dick, and Minnie Dick and specialized in Western Shoshone twined baskets and cradleboards.Leah became a Master Weaver for the Nevada Folk Arts Program and teaches at workshops around the country and at Great Basin Native Basketweaver Association gatherings. She also was invited to the Smithsonian’s Folk Life Festival in 2006.Leah also co-authored “Celebrating Nevada Indians,” a teaching curriculum distributed to elementary schools around the state.Today, Leah continues to demonstrate traditional basketry, foods, and arts and crafts, both traveling to promote the GBNBA organization.
Speaker 2 (1:15 PM - 2:15 PM)
Norm Cavanaugh, "Shoshone Sites in Northeastern Nevada"Norm is a member of the Dosa Wihii (white knife/flint) band of the Western Shoshoni that roamed throughout Northern Nevada and Northeastern Idaho, including the Boise Valley, prior to European settlements. His grandparents, James and Myrtle Cavanaugh, were among those forcefully moved from the Battle Mountain, Nevada area along with other Bands of Shoshoni to Owyhee, Nevada (Duck Valley) Indian Reservation under the Executive Order of President Ulysses Grant in April 1877.Norm was born in Owyhee at the old Indian Health Service Hospital in 1954. He later married Antoinette (Harney, Garate) Cavanaugh from Owyhee and has four grown children. The two girls are now a Sanitarian and a Dietician, while the two boys are a Pharmacist and an EMT. He also has six grandchildren.Norm's education began early as a child at home with Grandmother, sharing Creation stories about animals living on Mother Earth, Native Spirituality, respect for all living beings, and cultural beliefs.He earned his elementary and high school diplomas from Owyhee Combined Schools in 1972 and a Bachelor of Education from Boise State University in 1976. He later earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of California - Berkeley in 1979. He continued his education, earning a Hospital Administrator Certificate from the University of Alabama - Birmingham in 1985.Norm's career experiences include time spent as an Elementary Education Teacher at Owyhee Combined Schools in 1976-1977, the United States Public Health Service as a Commissioned Officer from 1979-2005, working at Great Basin College in the Indian Archives and as Fitness Director from 2005-2013, and then as an Independent Contractor and Educational Consultant with BARRICK Gold from 2005-2018.Today, Norm's interests include story telling of Shoshoni Creation stories and Cultural beliefs of the Western Shoshoni People, picking Natural Herbal plants in the wild for processing for food or medicine, and teaching Shoshoni Language to youth willing to learn. He also enjoys hiking, gathering of traditional foods, and gardening.
Speaker 3 (2:30 - 3:15 PM)
Peter Meyerhoff, "The Hastings - Semple Overland Party of 1845, and the Genesis of the Hastings Cut-Off.""Peter Meyerhof is a general dentist in Sonoma, California who has spent his free time over the last 25 years researching the early history of Northern California from the time of the Missions, through the Mexican period, the Bear Flag Revolt, the gold rush, statehood, to the Civil War. He has visited archives and libraries across the country to find primary sources for his many presentations and publications that deal in depth with his findings. Among these, he has written an extensive manuscript on the life of the important California pioneer (and dentist) Dr. Robert Semple. In researching this work, it became apparent that his immigration party led by Lansford Hastings in 1845, was itself unique in its purpose, its very late departure, and its route. It is very important, yet poorly known by most. Hastings' experience on and immediately after this trip provides us with valuable insights into his thinking and the Hastings Cut-Off.
Speaker 4 (3:30 PM - 4:00 PM)
LouAnn Speulda-Drews and Chimalis Kuehn, "Fort Ruby at the Crossroads"Chimalis Kuehn:Originally from Wisconsin, Chimalis has lived in northeast Nevada for almost twenty years. She graduated with a BA in Social Science from Great Basin College of Elko, Nevada in 2006 and later with an MS degree in Anthropology/Archaeology with an emphasis in Cultural Resource Management from Utah State University where she studied the Fremont archaeological culture. Chimalis began working for the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest as a seasonal in 2007 and has since been converted to a permanent position managing cultural resources on the Ruby Mountains, Mountain City, Jarbidge, and Santa Rosa Ranger Districts. She has the opportunity to work with a variety of historic and Native American site types in her position with the Forest Service today, including small sections of National Historic Trails and Fort Ruby. She has supported volunteer events, research, and public education associated with Fort Ruby since 2007.LouAnn Speulda-Drews:LouAnn grew up in Oregon’s Willamette Valley and graduated with BS and MA degrees from Oregon State University, majoring in History and Anthropology/Archaeology. She also took classes at the University of Oregon’s School of Historic Preservation and Architecture. LouAnn has been working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) since 1995 and travels widely throughout the five western states and the Pacific as part of her regional responsibilities, focusing on historical archaeology and historic architecture. Fort Ruby required the full range of her training with archaeological investigations and stabilizing the two remaining buildings. Prior to working for the USFWS, LouAnn worked for private consulting firms, the National Park Service, and the US Forest Service.
Speaker 5 (4:00 PM - 4:45 PM)
Pat Fletcher, "Cherokees Travel T.H. Jefferson's Valley of the Fountains in 1849 and 1850"Born and raised in Colorado, Pat Andersen graduated first from Aurora High and then from University of Northern Colorado with a B.A. in Social Studies and an M.A. in History and Geography. Pat and Jack Fletcher married in 1952 in Central City, Colorado. They live in Sequim, Washington and Tucson, Arizona.Following her graduation from UNC in 1963, the Fletcher family went to teach in Guam. Returning to the mainland for her Masters and Jack's doctorate, they went to British Columbia to teach, retiring in 1989 from Eastern Washington University.In 1980, on a Colorado visit to Jack's mother, they found the neighborhood about to go under the bulldozer and realized a history needed to be captured and written.Interviewing homesteaders and their families brought them to a study of early Denver. The results were three local history books: "Colorado's Cowtown, Part of Denver's Forgotten Past" in 1981; "The Historic Windsor Farm" in 1982; and "The History of Glendale" in 1983, the last funded by the City of Glendale.Those intensive investigations had revealed another, much larger story. The Cherokee Trail to the California goldfields passed right by the front door of Jack's house on Parker Road/Leetsdale Drive.Thinking that a few trips, calls, and letters would cast the definitive light on the Cherokee Trail, in 1983 the Fletchers wrote the first of their many letters to nationally recognized western history institutions inquiring about the Cherokee Trail.Eight years later, after thousands of miles criss-crossing the country working in local historical and genealogical societies from Cherokee Nation/Tahlequah, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas through Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California, the first of the Cherokee Trail diaries was found in private hands in Arkansas. More would surface.In 1993, the Fletchers joined OCTA in Baker City, Oregon. They presented their first paper on the Cherokee Trail at the 1994 OCTA convention in Salt Lake. This "new" route taken by a company of 140 Cherokee and non-Cherokee persons wasdocumented by two privately-held diaries. The part that expert Utah historian Roy Tea and the boys most wanted to know about was Fletchers' documentation of the Hastings Cutoff route taken by the 1849 and 1850 wagon and pack trains. Today's talk will expand on that desire.
Chapter meetings (5:00 PM - 5:45 PM)
All chapter meetings will be held inside the convention center. The location of each meeting will be announced during the speaker sessions.
Visit to California Interpretive Center (7 PM - 9 PM)
The California Trail Interpretive Center, located 8 miles west of Elko NV, interprets the story of some 250,000 people who traveled the California Trail between 1841 and 1870. Information is presented through videos, beautiful murals, replica objects, audio devices, maps and more. Travelers (visitors) begin at the Jumping Off Town(s) in Missouri and travel across the Great Plains, over the Rocky Mountains, along the Humboldt River, through the Forty Mile Desert and over the mighty Sierra. The exhibits about Native American life and the Donner Theater are highlights of the Center.
Guns and Ruts Bus Tour (7:45 AM - 4:00 PM)
There is minimal walking on flat ground on this tour.Participants on this tour will travel east from Elko to Wells on I-80. As the tour proceeds north from Wells on US 93, the tour will cross the point where the Thousand Springs portion of the California Trail crosses the highway. Time constraints on the tour preclude participants taking the one hour vigorous round trip hike to the Trails West Marker C-27A “California Trail – Fork to Humboldt River” which gives an excellent view of the valley and the east side of the Thousand Springs Canyon. Going south on U.S. 93 to Wells, the bus will travel a short distance on the frontage road north of I-80 where there is a view of “Humboldt Wells”. Here, at the origin of the Humboldt River, pioneers would rest for a few days as there was plenty of water and livestock forage. At the next stop, the Wells City Park, the tour will have lunch. Traveling south on U.S. 93 after lunch, the tour will pass Snow Water Lake (dry this time of year), continuing to Warm Springs Ranch, where the Hastings Cutoff Trail crosses U.S. 93. At this stop participants will see Flowery (Jasper) Pass where the Hastings Cutoff trail crossed the road at Trails West Marker HN-13 “Hastings Cutoff-Warm Springs to Ruby Valley”. On the north side of the highway, the tour will make a stop to see Trails West Marker HN-14 “Hastings Cutoff – Pass to Ruby Valley”. The tour will continue west to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) road. After turning south, participants will see Trails West Marker HN-15 “Hastings Cutoff – Ruby Valley”. Wagon tracks visible at this site point to Harrison and Overland Passes. Returning to SR 229, the tour will travel west and then north through Ruby Valley and over Secret Pass. Tour members will see why this pass was unlikely to be used by emigrant wagons. On the north side of Secret Pass, the tour comes to Trails West Marker PT-12 marking the “1845-46 Secret Creek Pack Trail”. Continuing on to Halleck and to Trails West Marker C-34 “California Trail Junction” participants can identify trails by Hastings/Clyman and Fremont/Walker. This is also the site of the Halleck Bar and Post Office. Traveling west on I-80 toward Elko, participants can see tracks going over the last hill before descending into the Elko area. At this point, the tour will leave I-80 for Osino and a visit to the Williams Family Gun Museum. The Museum includes an outstanding gun museum, a blacksmith shop and a gunsmith shop. More than 1200 firearms – many that were guns that were used to settle the American West – make up the extraordinary collection of Jeff Williams and his family. The museum boasts examples of almost every type of fire arm from the Revolutionary War to the present, and other historical artifacts.Box lunch and drinks included.
Long Canyon Bus Tour (7:45 AM - 4:00 PM)
The tour travels along I-80 from Elko to the Oasis exit. From there, the tour will proceed to the Long Canyon Mine, owned and operated by the Nevada Gold Mine Company. An overview of mining activities will be presented by a company official. Tour participants will be able to disembark at the Settler’s Cabin and learn about the ranch and cabin history. In addition, information will be provided about the relationship of mine permitting and the nearby Hastings Cutoff. The Cutoff was determined to be indirectly effected by the project. From here, the tour will proceed a short distance along I-80 to the Moor Summit exit and then to a gravel road paralleling the interstate and sections of the old Central Pacific railroad grade. Participants can disembark and hear a presentation about the Central Pacific. From this point, the tour will return to Wells for lunch and then return to Elko.Box lunch and drinks included.
Gravelly Ford Bus Tour (7:45 AM - 4:00 PM)
The Gravelly Ford tour will begin in Elko and travel to the hot springs , now known as the “Elko Hot Hole," a favorite camping site of the emigrants. It provided a place for bathing and washing clothes as well as water and forage for livestock. A short distance to the west, participants will see the carsonite markers of the Greenhorn Cutoff on the north side of I-80, as they travel toward Carlin. Southwest of Carlin, the tour will stop at the site of hot springs on the north bank of the Humboldt River. This is also the point at which wagons began the ascent of Emigrant Pass. Once topping the pass, the emigrants descended the slope to Gravelly Ford on the Humboldt River. Today, Class One trail ruts can be observed in this area. Depending on the road conditions, participants may need to walk 1/2 to 1 mile on a two track or cross-country to visit the graves.Box lunch and drinks included.
Fort Ruby Bus Tour (7:45 AM - 5:00 PM)
This tour includes an optional ¼ mile walk up a slight grade on a well-established trail to see Cave Creek Springs.This tour will begin in Elko and travel east on I-80 to the Halleck exit. After crossing Secret Pass, (first used by Hudson’s Bay fur trapper, Peter Skene Ogden in the late 1820s), the tour will proceed south down Ruby Valley, on the east side of the Ruby Mountains. The first stop will be near the headquarters at the Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge. There will be an opportunity to walk a short distance along a path to view Cave Creek Springs, a site mentioned in many emigrant diaries. From there, the tour will proceed to the site of Fort Ruby.Fort Ruby was a remote military outpost established in 1862 in Ruby Valley, Nevada to help police escalating conflicts between emigrants and Native Americans along the Central Overland Route. A compliment of about 100 military personnel protected the emigrants, stage and mail route through Overland Pass from this post. Fort Ruby soldiers were tasked with keeping the peace in the area until the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in 1869 and the Fort was disbanded.Between 2005 and 2014, archaeologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service, along with Passport in Time volunteers and local Native American Tribes, collaborated to conduct research and excavate Fort Ruby. Excavations revealed building foundations and artifacts that shed light on life at the frontier fort. Archaeologists LouAnn Speulda-Drews and Chimalis Kuehn will describe the history of Fort Ruby at the crossroads of culture and conflict, along with highlights from archeological investigations.Upon leaving Fort Ruby, the bus will retrace its’ route back to Elko.Box lunch and drinks included.
Ancient Pronghorn Antelope Trap Site Van Tour (7:45 AM - 4:00 PM)
You will want to reserve your spot for this tour early, as seating is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis. This tour includes a walk of .4 miles to 1.5 miles (depending on how adventurous you are) that will be required to see the trap(s). Native Americans were experts when it came to knowing the habits of wild game and how to best hunt, track and trap them. Some animals such as pronghorn were successfully taken during communal hunts where herds of animals were driven into corrals measuring as much as half a mile in diameter. The walls of the corrals were typically made of juniper limbs and trunks. Elko County has among the largest number of existing aboriginal pronghorn traps in the western United States. Evidence suggests that communal hunting in our area began as early as 3500 to 5000 years ago. The tour will be to one of the best preserved traps in northeast Nevada. Good walking shoes are required since there are no trails and access is down a gentle slope through sagebrush vegetation. A box lunch will be provided. Each of the two tours will be limited to 12 people each. Participation will be on first-come, first-served basis.Box lunch and drinks included.
"The Humboldt is North of Us....So Let's Go South!" Private Vehicle Tour [Sold Out]
This tour will examine two deviations from the 1846 Hastings Cutoff emigrant trail to get to the 1841 California Trail along the Humboldt River. Either would have required about ten days less travel than the Hastings route. In 1831 Hudson Bay's John Work led a pack train north up what is now Highway 93 to headwaters of Humboldt River near Wells - why this route was not known to Hastings, and others, is unresolved. Four years after Hastings established his Cutoff, James Denver led what is known to be the first wagon train over Secret Pass to the Humboldt River near Halleck. Secret Pass was generally thought to be just a pack trail; however, Denver proved this otherwise - regrettably something Hastings did not do. A map by Herman Zittel approximating the Work and Denver routes will be provided to the participants of this tour along with further details. The tour will take about 6 hours and covers about 150 miles. It is limited to 12 private vehicles. We may also visit the site of Fort Halleck, created in 1867.Box lunch and drinks included.
This is a six-mile hike up steep hills and through narrow draws in the high desert. It should only be attempted by those in good physical condition and sturdy boots or shoes. Interested hikers will meet at the Elko Convention Center at 8 a.m. Hikers will carpool to the starting location near Trails West GreenhornMarker 1. The hike will follow the trail up to the first summit and points of interest will be discussed along the way. After leaving the first summit, hikers will walk through the hills and canyons that caused the emigrants concern. The group will then follow the trail as it turns up to the second summit. During lunch, the hikers can view points of interest west towards Carlin and Emigrant Pass. From the second summit, the group will walk down Class 1 swales to Trails West Greenhorn 3, where they will meet up with return transportation. A brief stop will be made in Carlin Canyon at the interpretive display before returning to the vehicle at Trails West Greenhorn #1 marker. Bring your own lunch.
Reception at Great Basin College in recognition of the Western Emigrant Trail Collection (6:30 PM - 8:30 PM)
A reception is planned at the Great Basin College to feature the Western Emigrant Trail Collection. The BLM-owned collection of several hundred journals, diaries and other information about the California Trail is currently housed at the library at Great Basin College in Elko NV. Under a four-way agreement between OCTA, the BLM, the college and the California Trail Heritage Alliance, the collection was moved to the college a few years ago to facilitate greater use and access to the public.
Speaker 1 (8:00 AM - 9:00 AM)
Dr. Sue Fawn Chung, "Chinese Railroad Workers on the Central Pacific"Sue Fawn Chung received her bachelors degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, masters from Harvard University, and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley. Before arriving at UNLV, she taught at Harvard University, San Francisco State University, and the University of California, Berkeley. Chung began teaching in the history and art departments at UNLV in 1975 and was director of international programs (1985-1987) and chair of the history department (1994-1996). She has been active in various community organizations, including Nevada Humanities, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Clark County Asian American Commission, Nevada State Board of Museums and History, and the Comstock Cemetery Foundation. She is the co-founder of Preserve Nevada and serves on its Board. She has published numerous articles on Chinese and Chinese American history, co-edited a book with Priscilla Wegars, "Chinese American Death Rituals: Respecting the Ancestors"(Walnut Creek: Alta Mira Press, 2005) and completed a book manuscript on Chinese lumbermen in the American West. She received the 2013 Bancroft Honor Award for her book, "In Pursuit of Gold: Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West." She serves as a consultant for the U.S. Forest Service, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the National Park Service.Chung has received several awards, both locally and nationally, produced or consulted on several educational television programs, and worked on numerous museum exhibitions related to Asian Americans. She has worked for over twenty years in the movie industry in Hollywood, California before coming to Las Vegas. She is married to Alan M. Solomon, J.D., Pharm D., and they have two sons, Walter and Alexander.
Speaker 2 (9:00 AM - 9:45 AM)
Andrew Beckman, "The Studebaker Wagon: Hoosier Made, World Famed"Andrew Beckman has been with the Studebaker National Museum since 1999 and currently serves as Archivist. He previously worked at the Sheboygan County Historical Society in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, and the Wade House State Historic Site in Greenbush, Wisconsin. Mr. Beckman hails from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and holds a BA in History from the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay. In 2004, he completed the Modern Archives Institute at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. In 2009, he earned his mid-level certificate in Collections Preservation from the Campbell Center for Historic Preservation Studies in Mount Carroll, Illinois. Mr. Beckman is the author of "The Studebaker National Museum: Over a Century on Wheels," and "Studebaker’s Last Dance: The Avanti," and is a columnist for the Studebaker Drivers Club magazine, Turning Wheels.In addition to his duties at the Studebaker National Museum, Mr. Beckman is a member and Past President of the Society of Automotive Historians. He also serves as a commentator for The Henry Ford Museum’s Motor Muster and Old Car Fest, and has guested on NPR’s Science Friday, CNN Money, and WGN’s “Steve and Johnnie Show.” Mr. Beckman grew up in a family of Studebaker owners and currently owns a 1941 Studebaker President Skyway Cruising Sedan and a 1964 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop.
Speaker 3 (10:00 AM - 10:45 AM)
Dr. Sarah Keyes, "Sarah Winnemucca's Temporary Grave on the California Trail"Dr. Sarah Keyes is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Reno. She first became interested in the Oregon-California Trails while working at Fort Caspar in Casper, Wyoming in the early 2000s. Her first book, titled "Death’s Purchase: The Experience and Legacy of the Overland Trail," will be published soon by the University of Pennsylvania Press.
Speaker 4 (10:45 AM - 11:30 AM)
Frank Tortorich, "The Mormons on the California Trail"Frank is the author of the three books, "Gold Rush Trail," "A Guide to the Carson River Route of The Emigrant Trail" and "Hiking The Gold Rush Trail."His most recent book, finally published after ten years of research, is "John A. “Snowshoe” Thompson: Pioneer Mail Carrier of the Sierra."Frank has served as a volunteer historian working with the Eldorado National Forest, Amador Ranger District, on the Carson Pass segment of the California Trail since 1978. For the past 17 years, Frank has served as a seasonal employee for the US Forest Service as the Carson Pass Ranger.Frank is a Charter and Life Member of the Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA). In 1997, he was awarded OCTA's prestigious "Outstanding Educator for the Post Secondary Level."In 2005, he and his friend James Carman were recipients of OCTA’s coveted “Merrill J. Mattes Writers of the Year Award” for their article on the research of the Big Tree Road. A road built in 1856, from Hope Valley on Highway 88, to Murphys on Highway 4.On July 24, 2013 Frank was the recipient of OCTA’s highest award, The Life Time achievement award.On June 20, 2019 Frank was the recipient of an award from the Native Daughters of the Golden West, titled CALIFORNIA IMAGE AWARD, for his years in promoting California history.He has authored numerous other articles for various publications.He has appeared on Public Television System (PBS) with Tom Bodett on the "America's Historic Trails" series and on the “California Trail” produced by Little Big Horn Production in Salt Lake City.You can find an example of Frank's local research in the text on the newly completed Wall Mural at the gas station at highway 49 and 88 in Jackson.Frank, a native of Jackson, California, is a retired school administrator from the Amador County Unified School District.
Lunch, Choice A: Turkey
Lunch includes:Green SaladPotato OptionCold Bean SaladWine CakeCookiesBrowniesIced TeaCoke ProductsBottled Water
Lunch, Choice B: Ham
Lunch, Choice C: Roast beef
Speaker 5 (12:30 PM - 1:15 PM)
Bob Crowley and Tim Twietmeyer, "The Forlorn Hope: Surviving the Sierra"Bob is founder and managing partner of The Mustang Group, a Boston-based private equity firm established in 2003. Prior to that, he was a founder, CEO, and management member of numerous media, telecommunications, and software companies. Now he splits his time with non-profits and as a mentor to young entrepreneurs. In April 2020, he was elected president of Swiss-based International Trail Running Association (ITRA), the largest trail running community in the world.Bob is the recipient of several awards, including Entrepreneur of the Year, Young President’s Award, Information Week Top 10 Executive, Red Herring’s Top 100 Technology Leaders, and Info World’s Rainmaker of the Year. Before there were blogs and digital media – yeah, he’s that old – Bob was featured on the cover of Information Week, infoWorld as well as in numerous stories and profiles including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, Fortune, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Barron’s, Inc. and appearances on CNN, MSNBC, FoxNews, Bloomberg, and CBS News.Bob’s passion for risk taking extends to his athletic hobbies, most notably ultra-running. He’s completed more than 200 endurance events, including Western States and Hardrock 100 mile endurance runs, several 200+ mile mountain runs as well as the famed Tor des Geants in the Italian Alps and numerous self-directed wilderness adventures. He led and grew the Trail Animals Running Club, the largest trail running club in the country. Bob and his wife of 40 years, Marcy, live along the American River in Fair Oaks, California, whose tributaries include the North Fork of the American River. When not with their children (two sons) and grandchild, they travel the world and explore the U.S. in their small van, Sunvanir.Tim Twietmeyer is an ultra-distance runner and an engineering manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise in Roseville, California. He is best known for his five victories and unprecedented 25 sub-24 hour finishes at the 100-mile (160 km) Western States Endurance Run. He has also qualified and participated as an age-grouper (50+) at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.As an endurance runner, Twietmeyer is the only person to have completed the Western States Endurance Run 25 times, each in under 24 hours. His five WS100 victories came in 1992, 1994–1996, and 1998. In 2003, he completed an unprecedented 15 consecutive top-five finishes.Tim has served more than 20 years on the board of trustees and is a current vice president of the Western States Endurance Run Foundation.Beyond his WS100 exploits, Twietmeyer has won the Eagle 100-mile (160 km) Run in Canada, and completed the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc through France, Italy, and Switzerland. He has completed more than 200 marathon and ultra-distance races.Outside formal competition, in 2004 Tim led the first “winter crossing” of the Western States Trail, following the trail from Squaw Valley to Auburn as did many of the gold miners back in the day. He followed that in 2006, becoming the initial Fastest Known Time setter for the 168-mile Tahoe Rim Trail, arriving back in Tahoe City in 45:58. In 2008, following in the spirit of the 4-day Capitol-to-Capitol horse ride, Tim ran from Carson City, Nevada to Sacramento, California in 43:30.Tim and his wife, Kathy, have three sons and reside in Auburn, California.Bob and Tim were both members of the Forlorn Hope last winter, where they retraced the steps of some Donner Party members through the same winter snows of the High Sierra. They will be following about 125 miles of the Hastings Cutoff around the Ruby Mountains and into Elko just ahead of the convention.
Speaker 6 (1:15 PM - 2:15 PM)
Dave Vixie & students, "Teaching Students on the Trail"For centuries people have traveled rugged roads west towards a hopeful future growing up with the country as they went. These fading corridors are dusty scrapbook collections of ordinary people who faced life’s struggles head on. This dramatic environment with broadening horizon, is a powerful mentor that challenges muscles to forge strength from struggle and shapes the mind for courage and capability.David and Karen Vixie, both teachers, have given history a young voice as they immerse modern students into 19th century sights, sounds, and the wagon migration experience.Mr. Vixie and the students will relate the adventures, the challenges, and choices as well as the insights and inspiration they have acquired as they progress towards the future they dream to gain.David Vixie has received numerous awards for his teaching as well as his work with OCTA. He received the OCTA education award and the Gregory M. Franzwa Meritorious Achievement Award. He and Karen had a role in the creation of OCTA's feature-length and award-winning docudrama "In Pursuit of a Dream," and Dave served for many years on OCTA's Board of Directors. He was also the 2005 Disney Educator of the Year.
Activity Stations (2:30 PM - 5:30 PM)
Experience the thrill of meeting a mountain man, a member of the Mormon Battalion, or even Jim Bridger. Learn from Native Americans how they made rabbit fur blankets, willow baskets, cradleboards, flint napped or worked with buckskin. Or, let these “pioneer” impersonators talk about pioneer cooking, clothes making, butter churning, or starting a fire with flint and steel. You might want to learn about edible and medicinal plants, the science of phrenology, crafting items from rawhide or processing flax into linen thread, spinning or weaving. Experts at some thirty stations are ready to share their knowledge and expertise with you about the mid-nineteenth century world. It is seldom that so many experts are gathered in a single place at one time.
Author's Night/Awards Banquet
A Basque buffet that includes:PaellaRoasted VegetablesTri TipLomo (Pork Loin)Basque BeansGreen SaladFrench BreadCakeThere will also be a bar with beer, wine, and top shelf liquor for an extra charge. Basque dancers will provide entertainment.
Ruts and Guns Bus Tour (7:45 AM - 4:00 PM) [38 remaining]
Long Canyon Bus Tour (7:45 AM - 4:00 PM) [48 remaining]
Gravelly Ford Bus Tour (7:45 AM - 4:00 PM) [28 remaining]
The Gravelly Ford tour will begin in Elko and travel to the hot springs , now known as the “Elko Hot Hole," a favorite camping site of the emigrants. It provided a place for bathing and washing clothes as well as water and forage for livestock. From there the tour will go to the California Trail Center parking lot to view the junction of the Hastings Cutoff and the California Trail. A short distance to the west, participants will see the carsonite markers of the Greenhorn Cutoff on the north side of I-80, as they travel toward Carlin. Southwest of Carlin, the tour will stop at the site of hot springs on the north bank of the Humboldt River. This is also the point at which wagons began the ascent of Emigrant Pass. Once topping the pass, the emigrants descended the slope to Gravelly Ford on the Humboldt River. Today, Class One trail ruts can be observed in this area along with emigrant graves. Depending on the road conditions, participants may need to walk 1/2 to 1 mile on a two track or cross-country to visit the graves.Box lunch and drinks included.
Fort Ruby Bus Tour (7:45 AM - 5:00 PM) [23 remaining]
Ancient Antelope Trap Van Tour (7:45 AM - 4:00 PM) [10 remaining]
"The Humboldt is North of Us....Let's Go South!" [1 remaining]
End of the Trail Banquet
The End of the Trail Banquet will include:Pulled Pork SandwichFried ChickenRibsBaked BeansSaladCorn on the CobCorn BreadMini Fruit PiesBread PuddingIced TeaCoke ProductsBottled WaterThere will also be a bar featuring beer, wine, and top shelf liquor for an extra change. Entertainment will be provided by a cowboy poet.
Unisex, Khaki, One-size, 100% cotton, unstructured, slide closure with brass buckle.
Wide Brim Hat
UPF 30+ sun protection, insect repellant technology, concealable sun flap, moisture-wicking sweatband, foam brim keeps it afloat in water. 75/25 Poly/nylon Ripstop, Unstructured, Adjustable Crown, Adjustable Drawcord.
Button Down Shirt
Sturdy construction, generous cut, soft washed, 6.5-ounce 100% cotton, double needle stitched. Men’s left chest pocket with button down collar. Women’s, with open collar.
Silk Touch, 5-ounce, 65/35 poly/cotton, flat knit collar & cuffs, three button placket, side vents. Men’s with left chest pocket.
Unisex, heather blended, combed and ring-spun, 4.2 ounce, 52/48 cotton/poly. Side-seamed and shoulder taped.
Options for dietary restrictions (such as vegetarian or gluten-free) are available. Please use the space below or contact us at (816) 252-2276 or email@example.com to discuss your needs and reserve these options.
Please read the liability waiver and indicate your acceptance by checking the box.
Registration fee is $1.00 plus 3% credit card fee: