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Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ …

May 7, 2014

Corral No. 14 Wagon Train will be at the Lone Pine Film History Museum, celebrating its 14th anniversary, this Saturday. Residents are invited to stop by the museum at 2 p.m. to learn about the train and what life was like for pioneers migrating west 1800s. Photo courtesy Corral No. 14 Wagon Train

Ever wondered what life on an old Western wagon train must have been like traveling from the East in the mid-1800s?
There were no smooth, level roads as we know of them today, let alone luxuries such as air conditioning, stereos, shock absorbers or rubber tires.
Curious residents and visitors can find out more this weekend at the grounds of the Lone Pine Film History Museum Grounds when the Corral No. 14 Wagon Train holds its 14th annual celebration and public meet-and-greet.
“Visitors are invited to stroll around the wagons and the equipment, and talk to the drivers and passengers on the challenges and the history of wagon trains beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday,” says Wagon Master Norm Noftsier. “We answer questions on the drive, the role of wagons and pioneers, and what it was like to live out of a wagon.”
Noftsier hopes that everyone will join them later for the Cowboy Deep Pit Barbecue with “all the fixin’s” on Saturday from 4-8 p.m. For only $10 per person ($7.50 for those under 12), diners will enjoy deep-pit barbecue beef, ranch-style beans, cowboy coleslaw, Western roll and dessert with a choice of coffee or iced tea for a beverage. Proceeds support the Lone Pine Film History Museum.
The wagon train consists of horses, mules, ponies, riders, drivers and walkers. The Corral No. 14 group has participated in wagon trains all over the west and they were part of the California’s Sesquicentennial (150th) Celebration in 2008. The Sesquicentennial was a celebration of the state’s Sept. 9, 1850, admission into the Union as the 31st state.
Corral No. 14, formed in 1967, is a group of people that wanted to recreate the trail of the first pioneer families taking what was supposed to be “a shortcut” across Death Valley in search of the California gold fields. That group will be traveling 65 miles from Lone Pine to Bishop over the weekend and into next week.
According to Corral No. 14’s website, in the years between 1840 and 1848 an estimated 11,512 migrated overland to Oregon and California. The promise of gold brought many pioneers, but some were looking for a better farm or ranch. When they arrived in the Owens Valley they saw a beautiful place to make a new life. Mode of travel during that time between the small towns that are now along U.S. Highway 395 was a team and wagon. The towns are spaced a comfortable travel distance apart partially because of those wagon days.
For more information on the wagon group and the itinerary, contact Wagon Master Norm Noftsier at (661) 220-0134 or visit

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