My “Turnaround”

Categories: Countdown to the Trail | 1 Comment

Pony Express stations, equipment, and a word from our sponsor!

Lasting only 18 months, the Pony Express has left us with a memory of the Wild West……

An “old timer” just told me that the horses for the Pony Express were so wild that the Pony Express Station fences were shaped like a triangle instead of a square, so that they could catch the ponies in the corners more easily!

Categories: Missouri & Kansas, Nebraska, On the Trail | 2 Comments

Pedaling Pioneer on KFVS-12 & CNN’s website!

Check out the story our local news network (KFVS-12) did on Pedaling Pioneer! Click Here  CNN even linked KFVS-12′s report to their website for some time!

5 flats

Categories: On the Trail | 2 Comments

Rock Creek Station

One of the many “Road Ranches” and Pony Express Stations that served as re-supply for the Pioneers.

Categories: Nebraska, On the Trail | 1 Comment

Pony Express Home Station and wildlife on the Oregon Trail.

Learn about the Pony Express from “This day in History” from the History Channel.  On the 3rd of April 1860, the first Pony Express mail, traveling by horse and rider relay teams, simultaneously leaves St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California.

Check out the Pony Express National Museum in St. Joseph, MO.  Be sure to check out the info under the “About” tab:

Categories: Missouri & Kansas, On the Trail | 1 Comment

Cooking Over A Buffalo Chip Fire!

The buffalo was an essential part of Native American life, used in everything from religious rituals to teepee construction.  Watch and learn with this great video from the History Channel:

Since we are cooking with buffalo dung, lets learn about how buffalo were nearly brought to extinction with this History Channel video:


ABOVE: Even after the Oregon Trail era, settlers in Nebraska used buffalo and cow dung to cook with—because the dried chips burned so well. Read more about it here:

Read about what it was like at a pioneer campsite from around 6:00pm to 9:00 pm, which is when most crashed for the night:

Categories: Nebraska, On the Trail | 2 Comments

Cholera Cemetery Along The Vermillion River!

Traveling the Oregon Trail is not a “Walk In The Park”.

Learn About the Diseases of The Oregon Trail at

Learn how British Dr. John Snow helped to eliminate Cholera in 19th Century London by watching this VIDEO from the History Channel:

Categories: Missouri & Kansas, On the Trail | 3 Comments

Pedaling Pioneer Races a Train in Kansas!!!!

Care to learn about the Evolution of the Railroad? Watch this Modern Marvels video from the History Channel:

Is this the same type of train the Pedaling Pioneer raced in Kansas?

Too bad the pioneers couldn’t just take the train! Find out how the Transcontinental Railroad eventually connected the west with the rest of the nation:

Categories: Missouri & Kansas, On the Trail | 8 Comments

Hey Wife! Are Ya Ready?

It’s time to load up for the trip across the west on the Oregon Trail!  It’s hard for this pedaling pioneer to cram everything into one truck…Imagine how the real pioneers felt squeezing everything into a wagon!

Oregon Trail Supplies


Should the Pedaling Pioneer get himself an horse, mule, oxen,…or just a bike?

Categories: Missouri & Kansas, On the Trail | 4 Comments

Oregon Trail Quiz Question #1

Pioneers on the Oregon Trail built fires to cook food, ward off wildlife, and keep warm on cold nights on the prairie. Which of these did they use to fuel their fires?





Cow Patty #1

Buffalo Poo?

(Students, do not try this at HOME! I am a trained professional in the handling of Poo.)

Due to the unsanitary handling of feces, this video has been banned for younger audiences!

Categories: Countdown to the Trail | 12 Comments

Countdown to the Oregon Trail!

The Oregon Trail is out there waiting…and we can’t wait to show it to you!

From May 29th-June 20th, incoming 6th and 7th grade students at Jackson Middle School in Jackson, Missouri, will go on a virtual adventure with World Geography teacher Brad Haertling as he bikes the Oregon Trail!  Communicating and learning via posts on this website, students will make the trip with Brad and build on that experience with activities in the physical classroom.

But just because YOU aren’t in summer school doesn’t mean you can’t come along!  Follow our blog and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for fun facts and stories leading up to Brad’s departure from Independence, Missouri on May 29th.  Then, ride along as we travel the trail!

Follow this link to get a basic introduction to the Oregon Trail, “One of the ten most important events in American History?”:

Categories: Countdown to the Trail | 5 Comments

Q & A with the Pedaling Pioneer…a.k.a. Mr. Haertling!

Categories: Countdown to the Trail | 1 Comment

Oregon Trail Pioneers had fun too!

Moments on the trail when I may have lost my sanity…… 

Sometimes you have to laugh at the Elephant!

Categories: Missouri & Kansas, Nebraska, On the Trail | 3 Comments

Scottsbluff….. The gateway to the mountains!

Categories: Nebraska, On the Trail | 1 Comment

Stories from Gordon at Chimney Rock

Gordon Howard is a farmer that lives in the shadow of Chimney Rock. Here are some of his stories……


Categories: Nebraska, On the Trail | 1 Comment

Climbing Chimney Rock!

Categories: Nebraska, On the Trail | Leave a comment

Chimney Rock!

A local farmer, Gordon Howard takes me up to Chimney Rock, and tells me stories of the Oregon Trail along the way!

Thank you for the “tour” Gordon and Pat.

Categories: Nebraska, On the Trail | Leave a comment

A Big THANKS to Jackson R-2 School District

Categories: Nebraska, On the Trail | 1 Comment

Ash Hollow

The Oregon Trail Emigrants came down Windlass Hill and into Ash Hollow. Ash Hollow would have offered fresh water from the spring, wood, and a place to camp near the Platte River.  Near Ash Hollow, there was a large battle between Indians and the U.S. Cavalry.

Unfortunately, the visitors center was closed both times that I tried to visit! I was able to walk through, and read the headstones in Ash Hollow Cemetery.

Categories: Nebraska, On the Trail | Leave a comment

Courthouse and Jail Rocks

“We encamped early and several of the company went to it and I was one….. We didn’t supposed it to be more than one or two miles from the road. We went on foot, but as we found it to be at least four miles our was not as easy as we supposed. But like all the rest, we must see the Elephant and some of the party did see his back before they go to camp as some of them was out ’till 9 o’clock” John Lewis, 1852

“Twenty miles up you will see a Court House rock resembling a Missouri court house so much as to deceive many on their first trip”. Louis Dougherty, 1850

Categories: Nebraska, On the Trail | 1 Comment

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