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Hidden Gems of History

Susan Dragoo

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Susan Dragoo

From the southern border to the far north, the American West is interlaced with
historic trails. When you encounter them in the backcountry, do you ever wonder how to
learn more about the origins of these story-filled paths and the thousands of historic
sites scattered among them? One solution is a YouTube channel created by the
Oregon-California Trails Association (OCTA) which offers authoritative history in an
easily digestible format.
OCTA protects the legacy of historic emigrant trails in the West through
preservation activities and public awareness as well as research and education. Their
YouTube channel provides a highly accessible platform for achieving this with
entertaining video content in both short and long form by local experts with authentic
first-hand knowledge. From quirky stories illuminating the odd and obscure to in-depth
speaker series, the OCTA channel releases new content weekly with great ideas for day
trips or long vacations in the states of Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas,
Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and California.
A recent series covers cyclist Scott Alumbaugh’s journey across the country
while bikepacking the Pony Express trail from Missouri to California. Other videos
retrace the steps of the Donner Party, highlight “Can’t Miss” stops along the Oregon
Trail in Wyoming, and reveal what a “Hog Ranch” really was for frontier soldiers back in
the day.
Find these and more hidden gems of history at

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