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VanFleet Wagon Train

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“Wagons Roll” – Westward Ho! Van Fleet Covered Wagon Train Rolls Through the West Following the Pioneer Trail

A covered wagon train traverses the Mormon Pioneer Trail as a re-enactment of the wagon train of 1847. The wagon train will travel over 350 miles the month of June from Ogallala, Nebraska to Casper, Wyoming

Casper, WY, June 20, 2010 --( Travelling over 350 miles during the month of June by covered wagon train, the VanFleet Wagon Train will passage a portion of the historic Mormon Pioneer Trail. Danny VanFleet, organizer and Wagon Master is leading a group of over a dozen covered wagons, 50 head of horses and mules, and as many people on the ride of a lifetime. The Wagon Train is a reenactment of the early Pioneers as they made the incredible and painstaking journey west from Nauvoo, Illinois to ultimately settle in what is now Salt Lake City, Utah. This year’s trek marks the third year in a four year journey to highlight the accomplishments of the Mormon Pioneers.

This year’s expedition began on June 4th in Ogallala, Nebraska and will follow the trail more than 350 miles into Casper, Wyoming by the end of June. The VanFleet Wagon Train is one of the only organized wagon trains in North America to re-enact such a lengthy and difficult passage. Individuals and families are invited to participate along the way whether for a day, week or the entire journey. VanFleet notes that there are many families who have been a part of the wagon train since the first leg that left Illinois in 2008 and are committed to be a part of the final journey in 2011 into Utah.

The final leg of the wagon train’s re-enactment of the Mormon Pioneer’s trek will take place during the summer of 2011 when the VanFleet Wagon Train will traverse the final 450 miles from Casper, Wyoming into Salt Lake City just in time to be a part of the Days of 47 Pioneer Celebration and Parade commemorating the year the first Pioneers entered the Utah Valley.

This is a great opportunity for young and old alike to relive a part of American history which highlights the spirit, resolve and bravery of our amazing ancestors who helped create and build thriving communities throughout the rugged and uncharted western territories.

To learn more about the VanFleet Wagon Train go to

History of the Mormon Trail
The Mormon Migration from Nauvoo to Utah in 1846 was the largest human migration in United States History. The Mormon Church, organized by Joseph Smith in 1830, settled in Nauvoo, Illinois where, between 1839 and 1846, the Mormon citizens built an attractive and economically successful community. Political and religious pressure from their neighbors, however, forced them to leave Illinois in 1846.

This time they decided to found a new community far to the West, near the Great Salt Lake. After wintering in what is now Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs Iowa, they set out on the long trail to Salt Lake. A small group, led by Brigham Young, made the trek in 1847. About 70,000 other followed the trail over the next twenty years.

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VanFleet Wagon Train
Heidi Herriott

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