As Seen on public TV and the Travel Channel
Tom Bodett, familiar to many for his work on National Public Radio and Public Television, hosts this fascinating series on the trails that extended America's frontiers. Follow in the footsteps and wagon ruts of rugged pioneers, dauntless home-steaders, reclusive mountain men and stop-at-nothing gold hunters as they explored, settled and worked the new land.
The California Trail
Visions of gold drove thousands to California in 1849. Eastern shop-keepers and Midwestern farmers dropped everything and headed west in pursuit of the American dream. Instead, many found hardship beyond belief.
After crossing the Rockies, they were confronted by the deadly 40 Mile Desert. Survivors of the desert trek then gambled their lives in the treacherous passes of the towering Sierra Nevadas. Tom Bodett recounts the stories of the Indian guide, Truckee;Sutter's Fort and Mill;Snowshoe Johnson, the snow-skiing hero;and the ill-fated Donner Party.
El Camino Real
Well before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, Spanish Conquistadores explored American Southwest on El Camino Real (The Kings Highway). Using a 300 mile trade route established by the Pueblo Indians, they traveled from El Paso to Santa Fe in the vain search for cities of gold.
Tom travels the lenght of the 400 year old trail including the Turquoise Trail and Jornada del Muerto (The Journey of The Dead) in the New Mexico desert. He also visits a mustang ranch, Las Cruces, Mesilla and Santa Fe.