E-News March 19, 2021

Picacho Peak to Nogales:

Trail Corridor of the Southwest

During last night’s Southern Trails Chapter presentations, Dan Judkins introduced OCTA’s newest YouTube video, Picacho Peak to Nogales: Trail Corridor of the Southwest. Please visit our YouTube Channel to enjoy this and other films. We have multiple new videos slated to debut over the next couple of months, so please subscribe to our channel to get email alerts the second the new videos go live. Help us reach 1,000 subscribers so that OCTA can earn advertising income from its channel. Thank you for supporting OCTA!


Lee Kroh Map Collection Now Available Online

Over the last two years, the Kansas State Historical Society partnered with the Kansas City Area Historic Trails Association (KCAHTA) to digitize the Lee Kroh collection of historic trail maps. Lee was a long-time OCTA member who donated all of his maps to Mid American Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas upon his death. The maps are now available online, just in time for the 200th anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail. The collection contains a valuable look at the historic frontier Santa Fe Trail, as well as the Oregon and California Trails, the Fort Leavenworth-Fort Scott Military Road segment through Johnson, Wyandotte, and Leavenworth counties, and territorial roads of the Kansas City region.



OCTA Needs Your Input on a Short Elko Convention and Membership Survey

OCTA is set to hold its annual convention in Elko, Nevada from September 13-16. Our contract stipulates that we need to make a final decision on whether or not to hold it by 90 days out. Please take our short survey so that we can assess the membership’s desire to attend a convention if it were held. You can take the survey at this link.



Colorado-Cherokee Trail Chapter Set to Host Zoom Presentation on Zane Grey on Saturday, March 20


Please plan to join us for the next Zoom event of the Colorado-Cherokee Trail Chapter, a presentation on Zane Grey.

Date: Saturday, March 20


  • 1:00 Pacific
  • 2:00 Mountain
  • 3:00 Central
  • 4:00 Eastern

This event is open to everyone and it is not necessary to pre-register. Please feel free to forward the Zoom link to others.

Zane Grey (1872-1939) was a popular author of more than eighty books, primarily Western novels. He rose to fame with his novel, Riders of the Purple Sage, published in 1912.  More than 100 movies were based on his novels.  After his death Harper & Brothers still had a backlog of his unpublished manuscripts and brought out a new title each year until 1963.

Grey based most of novels on his own travels, using the locations he visited and the people he met as his inspiration.  He was fascinated with historic trails throughout the West.  About fifteen of his books are set along these trails, including the Oregon-California, Mormon Pioneer, Santa Fe, Chisholm and Western cattle drive trails.

Terry Bolinger, President of  Zane Grey’s West Society, will provide an introduction to Grey and his novels, and describe the purpose and mission of the Society.

Kevin Blake will describe Grey’s connection with the historic trails and the settings of specific trail novels.  He will also discuss potential trail locations to visit that Grey used in his novels and describe how Grey brought these settings alive through his evocative narratives of people, places, and events.  His presentation will include images of maps, books and places that Grey wrote about.  Dr. Blake is a professor of geography at Kansas State University.

Topic: Zane Grey and Historic Western Trails

Time: Mar 20, 2021 02:00 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84738642851

Meeting ID: 847 3864 2851

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“Music on the Trail: Where American Folk Songs Meet Classical Art Music” Program on Saturday, March 20

Donna Gunn will present her program “Music on the Trail: Where American Folk Songs Meet Classical Art Music” in a virtual, online format on Saturday, March 20, 2021 at 1 pm Mountain Daylight Time. This presentation is made possible by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, the Black Hills Parks and Forests Association, and Scotts Bluff National Monument as part of the HN Speakers Bureau. Pre-registration is required. To register, please email Black Hills Parks and Forests Association at bhpf@blackhillsparks.org by 3 pm MDT on Friday, March 19, 2021.

From Westport, Missouri to “Oregon Blue,” join emigrants as they traverse the Oregon Trail. Experience the vastness of the open prairie, feel the energy from atop Scotts Bluff National Monument, and triumph in the accomplishment of fording the mountains to the Promised Land. Sing the American folk songs of the mid-1800’s and experience life on the Trail. Classical piano music inspired by the folk songs is interwoven into the canvas of the covered wagon way of life.

Those of you who attended the OCTA Council Bluffs Convention in 2017 will recall that Donna Gunn performed there as well.



NPS National Trails Office (NTIR) to Hold Free Zoom Workshop on Conservation Easements

The NPS National Trails office (NTIR) is planning a free Zoom workshop on protecting historic trails through conservation easements, to be presented on Thursday, May 27, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Central). If you are interested in participating, please email tboley@indepmo.org by Wednesday, March 17.

The workshop will be presented by Don Owen, who has over 23 years of experience protecting, managing, and stewarding conservation easements and national scenic and historic trails. Don has trained NTIR staff on this topic and his course is excellent!

Conservation easements are sometimes proposed as mitigation for adverse effects on trail resources, but many of us don’t how what’s entailed or how to start the process. NTIR has received numerous inquiries about conservation easements over the past few years, so this is a great opportunity.


Order Fresh Coffee and Help OCTA’s Bottom Line

OCTA member Richard Gibson reached out to us with a review of the coffee. He wrote:

“I wanted to say to the group and to the KC ROASTERS that I am thoroughly enjoying my OREGON TRAIL ROAST BLEND COFFEE. It is mellow but full of flavor and is easy to warm back up or drink when cold! Great Idea for whomever came up with this promotion for OCTA! THANKS. I still have another package unopened!”

OCTA Board Member Jean Coupal-Smith added:

“This is a wonderful brew! I love the rich, bold flavor, even though its medium roast and I usually drink dark roast. I rate it up there at the top with my favorite Starbucks blend of Cafe Verona. It is very smooth.”

We concur whole-heartedly with Richard and Jean, though this E-News editor is of the opinion that the Butterfield Bean Medium Roast is slightly better than the wonderful Oregon Trail Medium Roast Blend. We remain excited that KC Coffee Roasters created two specialty coffees with 10% of every purchase being donated to the Oregon-California Trails Association. They are currently featuring Oregon Trail and Butterfield Bean blends. Visit their website at https://www.kccoffeeroasters.com/order-online to order now.