2021 National Convention Registration Open!

Fill out the online registration form to save your spot.
Get a $20 discount if you register before July 31st.

Photo by  Jordan Thomas

Give me the convention details

Where: Elko, Nevada
When: September 13th-16th
Speakers: 13
Tours: 9 (vaccine required)
We are featuring the most diverse group of speakers we have ever had, and there are numerous new tours that will showcase pristine sections of trail all over northeast Nevada.
Learn more about the convention and register by clicking on the blue "Convention Website" button below.
Want to register by mail? Paper forms are being sent out, but you'll still want to check out the convention website for full details on tours and speakers.
Convention Website

In this issue

  • Gateway and Trails Head Chapter to Hold Joint Membership Meeting at Lone Elm Park
  • OCTA Partners with the Kansas City Royals on a Fundraiser
  • OCTA Photo Contest!
  • Trails Head Chapter to Co-Sponsor Bus Tour Along the Santa Fe Trail in Missouri
  • Third Thursday History with the Southern Trails Chapter
  • New Jim Bridger Book Now Available!
  • Order Fresh Coffee and Help OCTA's Bottom Line
Photo taken by Clarence Bennett

Gateway and Trails Head Chapter to Hold Joint Membership Meeting at Lone Elm Park

On Saturday, August 7, Trails Head Chapter of Kansas City area will be holding a joint membership meeting with OCTA’s Gateway Chapter, at Lone Elm Park at 167th & Lone Elm Road, Olathe, Kansas. We will have several impressive speakers talking about not only the history of the site,
which is nearly two decades old, but also the history of the trails that passed through the site. Lone Elm was a key camping site on the Santa Fe, Oregon and California National Historic Trails.

Gateway will car caravan from the parking lot of Remington Nature Center to Lone Elm. The trip takes about one hour. We will leave St. Joseph at 8:30 a.m. The program begins at 10 a.m. at Lone Elm. There will be a great lunch and some special activities. It will be a memorable event! We will return to St. Joseph by 3:30 p.m.

NOW is the time to make your reservation and reserve your lunch.  Attached is the form to order your lunch.  The paid reservation must be made by July 30.

Plan to attend this special event!
1) Send an email to let Gateway know you are attending and if you will meet at Remington Nature Center to join the caravan or if you will drive on down to Lone Elm on your own.  (Due to Covid, we are not arranging carpools. However, if you feel safe with a friend, go ahead and arrange your own carpools.)

2) Fill out the lunch form and send it and your $10 to Jean Coupal Smith of Trails Head Chapter by no later than July 30.


OCTA Partners with the Kansas City Royals
on a Fundraiser

Whether you live in Kansas City, near Kansas City, or have plans to travel to Kansas City this year, if a Royals baseball game is on your to-do list, your ticket purchase has the potential to help OCTA's bottom line. OCTA is partnering with the Kansas City Royals to make tickets available to a select number of games, with OCTA receiving $5 from every lower level ticket sold and $2 from every upper level ticket sold. Simply visit and enter the promo code "OCTA" to ensure that all tickets sold are credited to us. 

Games available include: 
  • Sunday, July 25 vs. the Detroit Tigers
  • Tuesday, July 27 vs. the Chicago White Sox
  • Tuesday, August 31 vs. the Cleveland Indians
  • Sunday, September 5 vs. the Chicago White Sox
  • Wednesday, September 15 vs. the Oakland A's
  • Saturday, September 18 vs. the Seattle Mariners
  • Wednesday, September 29 vs. the Cleveland Indians
  • Sunday, October 3 vs. the Minnesota Twins
Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium is located on Blue Ridge Cutoff, very near the route of the Oregon and California Trails. So come and soak in some baseball near the trail head!

Trails Head Chapter to Co-Sponsor Bus Tour Along the Santa Fe Trail in Missouri

“Following William Becknell in September 1821:
The Osage Trace/Original Santa Fe Trail.”
Trails Head Chapter President Lila Aamodt and Kansas City Area Historic Trails Association President Gary Hicks are co-sponsoring the bus tour.

Led by trail historians CRAIG CREASE and ROSS MARSHALL, you will travel the ORIGINAL Santa Fe Trail segments from Arrow Rock, MO. to Independence, MO. The bus will leave at 9:00 a.m. and return by 4:00 p.m. from National Frontier Trails Museum at 318 W. Pacific Avenue in Independence, MO.

To reserve your seat, please send $45 by August 27 (includes box lunch, water, handouts, maps plus two informative and entertaining tour guides) to:               
Lila Aamodt
5938 Reeds Road #202
Mission, KS 66202


Third Thursday History
With the Southern Trails Chapter

Join the Southern Trails Chapter the third Thursday of every month on Zoom. A new speaker will present on a historical topic related to southern emigrant trails each month.
Join for our next talk with Gil Storms:
Thur. Sep. 19th, 5 PM PDT (AZ)/ 8 PM EDT
Register by clicking on this link:

Traveling the Devil’s Road: Charles D. Poston and Raphael Pumpelly Escape from Arizona, 1861

In July 1861, Charles D. Poston, superintendent of the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company, and Raphael Pumpelly, mining engineer for the Santa Rita Mining Company, decided to abandon their mines in Arizona because of Apache raiding and escape to California. They did so by traveling over two of the most dangerous immigrant trails in the Southwest—El Camino del Diablo (“The Devil’s Road”) along the Arizona-Mexico border and the route pioneered by Kearney and Cooke across the Colorado Desert to the California coast. On the way, they endured brutal heat and lack of water and met bandits, murderers, and Mexican revolutionaries. Their adventures on these two legendary trails illustrate the risks of travel in the border region and the courage and resourcefulness needed to make the journey to California successfully.
Speaker Bio
Gil Storms has a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. He taught American literature and writing at Miami University (Ohio) and currently lives in Tucson, where he researches and writes on Arizona history and literature. His book Reconnaissance in Sonora: Charles D. Poston’s 1854 Exploration of Mexico and the Gadsden Purchase was published in 2015. His book Raphael Pumpelly’s Arizona will be available in December 2021.

OCTA Photo Contest!

An example of a member-submitted photo taken by Steve Voetsch. This one depicts Chimney Rock. Keep the submissions rolling!
OCTA needs your help with outreach on social media. Send us your favorite photos from visits on the trails with a caption of the places depicted. We’ll give you photo credit when we use your photos to accompany OCTA’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter posts. Your contribution will help OCTA grow its member base and promote awareness of our historic trails. You will also be included in a photo contest with prizes of free books, maps, and other OCTA goodies given out at OCTA's national convention next September in Elko, Nevada. Winners will be selected based on how many interactions each post gets.

Email your photos with a caption of where each was taken and include your full name.

New Jim Bridger Book Now Available!

Even among iconic frontiersmen like John C. Fr mont, Kit Carson, and Jedediah Smith, Jim Bridger stands out. A mountain man of the American West, straddling the fur trade era and the age of exploration, he lived the life legends are made of. His adventures are fit for remaking into the tall tales Bridger himself liked to tell.

Here, in a biography that finally gives this outsize character his due, Jerry Enzler takes this frontiersman's full measure for the first time--
and tells a story that would do Jim Bridger proud. Born in 1804 and orphaned at thirteen, Bridger made his first western foray in 1822, traveling up the Missouri River with Mike Fink and a hundred enterprising young men to trap beaver. At twenty he "discovered" the Great Salt Lake. At twenty-one he was the first to paddle the Bighorn River's Bad Pass. At twenty-two he explored the wonders of Yellowstone. In the following years, he led trapping brigades into Blackfeet territory; guided expeditions of Smithsonian scientists, topographical engineers, and army leaders; and, though he could neither read nor write, mapped the tribal boundaries for the Great Indian Treaty of 1851.

Enzler charts Bridger's path from the fort he built on the Oregon Trail to the route he blazed for Montana gold miners to avert war with Red Cloud and his Lakota coalition. Along the way he married into the Flathead, Ute, and Shoshone tribes and produced seven children. Tapping sources uncovered in the six decades since the last documented Bridger biography, Enzler's book fully conveys the drama and details of the larger-than-life history of the "King of the Mountain Men." This is the definitive story of an extraordinary life.OCTA HQ has ordered a limited supply of Jim Enzler’s book.  OCTA membership discounts do apply!  Retail $29.95 plus S/H. 

To order:  Call – Kathy Conway at OCTA Natl HQ at 816/252-2276. If she's not in, leave a message and she will call you back as quickly as possible. This book is not yet available on our website but hope to have it added to our online store next week. 

Order Fresh Coffee and Help
OCTA's Bottom Line

OCTA member Richard Gibson reached out to us with a review of the coffee. He wrote:

"I wanted to say to the group and to the KC ROASTERS that I am thoroughly enjoying my OREGON TRAIL ROAST BLEND COFFEE. It is mellow but full of flavor and is easy to warm back up or drink when cold! Great Idea for whomever came up with this promotion for OCTA! THANKS. I still have another package unopened!"

OCTA Board Member Jean Coupal-Smith added:
"This is a wonderful brew! I love the rich, bold flavor, even though its medium roast and I usually drink dark roast. I rate it up there at the top with my favorite Starbucks blend of Cafe Verona. It is very smooth."

We concur whole-heartedly with Richard and Jean, though this E-News editor is of the opinion that the Butterfield Bean Medium Roast is slightly better than the wonderful Oregon Trail Medium Roast Blend. We remain excited that KC Coffee Roasters created two specialty coffees with 10% of every purchase being donated to the Oregon-California Trails Association. They are currently featuring Oregon Trail and Butterfield Bean blends. Visit their website at to order now.
Copyright © 2021 Oregon-California Trails Association, All rights reserved.

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