Follow YOUR dreams… no matter how far you must roam!

That’s the Spirit!  The Pioneer Spirit of America!!

Discover how a four-month long Journey with a Wagon Train along dusty old Historic Trails from Fort Kearny, Nebraska to Coloma, California could, and would, change YOUR Life forever!

THIS STORY IS TRUE!

It is the story that nobody knows… a story that needs to be told!

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way, 

by April L. Whitten

“The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.” -Willa Cather, O Pioneers!

This is Our Story… It is a story about us, about our History, and our Heritage.

In 1999, a few folks from different walks of life and far away places, signed up to travel along the Overland Trails with the California Trail Wagon Train in commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the California Gold Rush.  They journeyed together, across windswept terrain through all kinds of weather, from St Joseph, Missouri, to Coloma, California, for more than four months… in search of adventures and GOLD!

Yet, what they found was most treasured of all…

by April L. Whitten

A book of trails, for children-of-all-ages

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way, by April L. Whitten, is a contemporary journal which delivers this Living History story of the author and her fellow pioneers right into the hearts and minds of the reader.  The journey was a life-changing episode for the author and, as she traveled, this story crystallized within her mind.  Expressed through the author’s artistically enhanced photography and lyrical storyline, it conveys her personal impression of their adventures along the Overland Trails.

REVIEW:  Nebraska State Historical Society, Lincoln, Nebraska;

Geo-archaeologist April Whitten traveled with the 1999 California Gold Rush Sesquicentennial Wagon Train.  Her knowledge of things scientific, her passion for history, and her actual experience on the trail itself gave her a perspective of this history that is quite rare.

In her book ‘Are We There Yet?’ she invites the reader to follow the trail with her on an emotional level.  She wants the reader to feel the land, history and experience of the wagon train.

The plain, easy-to-read text is primarily aimed at children, but the images in the book also give the adult reader a strong impression of the power of the land on the events of history.

This would be a good book for parents to read to their imaginative children.  -Deb McWilliams.

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way… eBook for Everyone is a one-of-a-kind adventure book of tall tales about a contemporary journey by wagon train along our historic trails.  This is a TRUE STORY… an idyll for “children of all ages” and illustrated with 110 full-page full-color photographs.  Now available for just $10!

Download onto your iPad, Kindle Fire, Playbook or PC today!

Remember when… You dressed up in old clothes and played “Pioneers” while hollering, “Wagons Ho!”

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way leads you along dusty old trails through the middle-of-nowhere and right into history.

“‘Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way’ by April L. Whitten, puts a fresh face on the westward movement in a way that is both informative and engaging.  Her account of a modern-day trek along historic trails traveling in mule-drawn wagons is illustrated with descriptive words and amazing photographs.  You find yourself drawn onto the trail with the others, wondering what lies ahead on the next page.  What a remarkably educational and entertaining way to walk through a bit of history.”  -Jean Fitch Justice, Teacher & Genealogist, Bella Vista, Arkansas.

Did you ever… Long to hitch up your wagon and head West to a new life, to follow your dreams no matter how far you must roam?

Are we There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way is a book of trails, for children-of-all-ages.  It is a story which unfolds over many months of time and covers a great many miles.

“It was my good fortune to have joined the California Trail Wagon Train in 1999 for part of this journey.  The adventure precipitated my continued involvement with wagon trains, serving as Trail Boss on the Bozeman Trail, as well as portions of the Cherokee Trail and Overland Stage Trail.  Trailslady April has done an excellent job of condensing a four-and-a-half month travel into an easily read and understood book.  The experiences we shared on the trail, and relayed by April in her book, ‘Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way,’ are meant to be an awakening call to our ‘young pioneers’ to search, for themselves, some of the lessons of life.  Learning of the pioneers’ life experiences helps one to better appreciate what we have today.  Reading this book brought back a lot of memories of people, places and things… it was a great adventure!”  -Rod Henderson, Trail Boss and Wheelwright, Johnstown, Colorado.

Remember when… You watched old westerns and wondered about the pioneers’ story of westward emigration?

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way relates the stories of our pioneers to the lessons they learned along the trails.

“As a retired elementary school teacher, I found ‘Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way’ to be a wonderful tool for educating students at all levels about what our pioneers saw and experienced on the way to the West Coast and California Gold Rush.  The photography is extraordinary.  The concise wording on each page is easily understood and very informative.  Students will have a deeper appreciation for the early settlers and what they endured while making this trip.  The lessons learned by the author are very important for all of us.  I LOVED THIS BOOK!” -Carol Carlisle, Retired Second Grade Teacher, Granbury, Texas.

Did you ever… Ask your parents, or yourself, “Are we there yet?”

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way is about the journey of a lifetime, one of which we all must embark upon in pursuit of our own dreams and destinations.

“‘Are We There Yet?’ was, and is, a question asked by children, and adults, during any long distance travel…  By car, train or plane the speed is much faster, and the distance traveled in a day far greater, than the 15-20 miles a day achieved by the emigrants crossing the continent with a team and wagon, dependent not on gas stations, but on available grass and water.  In this series of pictures and text, you get a feel for the country the pioneers traveled through, and the beauty of the empty, quiet and seemingly barren wastelands.  There still are many miles of two track trail left by the pioneers, some survive as ranch roads, some as little used public roads, some have been graded and paved over.  In some places you find that the trail is just a couple of slight depressions on the prairies and hills, grown over and undisturbed for more than a century-and-a-half.  Those of us who traveled these trails together with April and others have, like the pioneers before us, made friends with each other and with the country we traveled through.  I believe you will enjoy this trip in pictures while reading ‘Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way,’ and when you have the chance to travel, look for the beauty of the countryside, and watch for the signs of the trails that are part of our history and heritage.  And if you get a chance, try it at four miles per hour!”  -Carl Jones, Chairman of the Historic Preservation Committee, Teamster, Mule Skinner, Historian and Archaeologist with a mere 5,000 miles of trail experience, Midway, Utah.

Remember when… You searched for the Pot of Gold at the end of every Rainbow?

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way reveals that the real Gold which we find is far more precious than the gold we mine.

“‘Are we There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way’ is a virtual point-to-point trek along the Overland Trails.  There are many pictures, enabling it to be enjoyed on many levels, by youth and adults alike.  The manner in which the scenery changes gradually allows one to realize the enormity of such a journey.  It is a book that I recommend highly to anyone interested in this topic.”  -Charles St Lucas, Chair, Department of Astronomy and Curator, Hooper Planetarium, Roper Mountain Science Center, Greenville, South Carolina.

Did you ever… Wonder what it would be like to live life at four miles per hour?

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way brings you back in time when the pace of travel was slow, whether by foot, wagon or horseback, and when horsepower actually meant about four miles per hour!

“I love western movies and have watched ‘Wagon Train’ on TV since it started… When the local paper wrote about a Bozeman Trail Wagon Train taking on greenhorns like me to join them for the adventure of a lifetime, I jumped at it.  I had no idea what to expect and didn’t know anyone who was going.  We all met up at Ft Laramie, Wyoming where the journey began.  Everyone dressed like folks did back in the 1800s.  To make a long story short, ‘Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way’ brings back memories which will last me a lifetime…  At times I felt as if no other person had ever stepped foot where we were as it was so remote and open.  Sitting in a wagon going at a slow pace, you can’t imagine all the little things you see and hear that most people never get the chance to see and hear.  I wish the younger generation of this great nation would take one month out of their young lives to relive the past as we did.  April’s book shows everyone some of the wonders which we discovered.  The United States of America has beauty and hidden secrets in this land, and to see it you must slow down to a mule’s pace and just look around.”  -SFC Jean Voldseth US Army (Retired), Lightening Lady, Walker, Shotgun Rider, Bozeman Trail Adventurer, Columbus, Montana.

Remember when… Your heroes always were cowboys?

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way reminds us of bygone days when a cowboy’s horse or mule was his trusted friend.

“April Whitten’s eBook, ‘Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way,’ documents for young and old alike her amazing 1999 trip with a wagon train.  Joining the cross-country trek at Ft Kearney, Nebraska, she had the experience of a lifetime, traveling the rutted trails that “49ers” had traveled more than 150 years earlier.  Her images give a startling introduction, especially for school children trying to grasp the scope of the pioneers’ journey, to the vastness of the West, the hardships of those daring and determined wayfarers, and the thrill of arriving, eventually, at the promised land of California.”  -Ron Stewart, Retired Newspaper Editor, Publisher and Corporate Manager, Boulder, Colorado.

Did you ever… Look yonder at the distant horizon and wonder what was out there just beyond your imagination?

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way awakens your senses to the awareness that there is more to life than what meets your eyes.

“Immigration trails throughout the world are fascinating.  In the United States, the Overland Trails that led settlers westward are a part of our cultural heritage and collective history as a nation.  As a homeschooling family living in Oregon, a state directly affected by the emigration of the 19th Century, we were thrilled to have ‘Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way’ as part of the learning materials available for our history lessons on westward expansion.  This book puts a face on the geography of the journey that confronted the emigrants.  It helps bring the concept of an overland trail out of the dusty pages of history and into the present, in a manner that is easily accessible to the student.  It is surprising for the children to see that for all the changes in our world, there are still vast open spaces in this land of ours.  ‘Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way’ is also a story that encourages challenging ourselves to become a stronger person.”  -Kirsten Shockey, Mother, Writer, Educator and Farmer, Applegate, Oregon.

In closing… What is it about the Pioneer Spirit that so captures our hearts and minds, worldwide?

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way engages the reader to learn life’s lessons well, and to look to the Past to understand the Present.

“April, your book sent me back to the year when we were emailing each other… when I was absorbed in your adventure, the wagon train journey across your incredible nation, and in the tales of your pioneers.  I was fascinated by your book, and deeply touched by your beautiful ‘lessons.’  What life is all about is so succinctly expressed in your wise maxims…  I was deeply touched with the kindness, warmth and love for your fellow trail-blazers, animals and country which you expressed throughout the whole story, in your inspiring photographs, and especially in your maxims and epilogue.  This book will inspire many readers to live their dreams and experience the joy you have now realized.  ‘Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way’ deserves to be available in every school, and in every public and church library interested in preserving and promoting the American Pioneer Spirit or in bolstering Community Spirit.  This eBook is extremely well done.  To everyone interested in America and American pioneering history, I highly recommend it.”  -Thomas R. Lovett MBA (AGSM), Change Advisor, Author, Broadcaster, Mt Victoria, NSW, Australia.

Dear Readers,

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way causes one to contemplate that which is so compelling regarding this historic time of westward emigration, when approximately 500,000 men, women and children dared to cross the continent, with nothing more than a vision of a better life, a few possessions in their wagons, and the clothing on their backs.  This book was written because I learned that the pioneers’ story of westward emigration is so much more than just an odyssey that happened long ago.… a lesson learned which changed the direction of my life.

I aspire to share my story because of the more than 5,000 miles of original trails trod by the footsteps of our pioneers, less than 100 miles of our trails are intact today. It is my intent to preserve our historic trails and western heritage for the sake of our progeny, One Tall Tale at a Time… because whenever a portion of our trails are lost, we lose a piece of our history and heritage forever.

Thank you for viewing my site.  I sincerely hope reading Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way inspires each of you… to follow your dreams no matter how far you must roam!

Happy Trails Always,

April L. Whitten

Trailslady, Geoarchaeologist, Photographer & Author  Wimberley, Texas

PS:  Go see my blog Trailslady Tales which is fun, factual, informative, and relates contemporary wagon train journeys to those taken by pioneers of long ago, thus bridging the gap between History and Living History adventures!

And Remember…

Are We There Yet? and Lessons Learned Along the Way… eBook for Everyone is a one-of-a-kind adventure book of tall tales about a contemporary journey by wagon train along our historic trails.  This is a TRUE STORY… an idyll for “children of all ages” and illustrated with 110 full-page full-color photographs.  Now available for just $10!

Download onto your iPad, Kindle Fire, Playbook or PC today!

PPS:  When it comes to books, “Go GREEN!  Buy ‘E!’”

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