49th Wagon Train hits the trail | TahoeDailyTribune.com

49th Wagon Train hits the trail

Denise Sloan

There’s an odd, colorful band of historians riding horses and wagons down U.S. Highway 50 dressed in peculiar looking clothes.

They are the men, women and children of the Highway 50 Association’s 49th Annual Wagon Train and they’re headed over Echo Summit today.

Moving along at the brisk speed of 3 mph, Wagon Train departs Sunset Ranch this morning and snakes over the precarious cliffs of Echo Summit on it’s way to Strawberry Lodge. The group will get a great parting view of Lake Tahoe as they climb Echo Summit.

For those traveling in the more modern fashion, expect slight traffic delays as the California Highway Patrol escorts the Wagon Train along Highway 50. The road is closed one lane at a time, in alternating directions, creating motorist delays of about four to eight minutes.

“Wagon Train is not just a show or a fun trip but it’s an important re-enactment of history,” said Black Bart, the train’s Wagon Master. This bearded mountain man has led hundreds of modern pioneers each summer since 1981 over the Sierra Nevada.

“The history is really the main thing. It’s the only moving historical event recognized in both California and Nevada,” he said.

On Monday the travelers were in the heart of the South Shore as they traveled from Zephyr Cove to Sunset Stables.

On Wednesday evening at Strawberry Lodge, the “Annual Wagon Train Barbecue and Dance” takes place where the public is invited to join the party and meet the men and women of this historic moving event.

Thursday the train travels to Riverton, near Whitehall to spend the night.

Friday’s trek takes the wagons and riders into Pollock Pines where an old fashioned parade, barbecue, dance and crafts fair celebrates it’s arrival.

On Saturday, The El Dorado County Hangtown Posse hosts it’s annual Wagon Train Street Dance and Barbecue in historic Placerville. A barbecue provided by the Elks Desperados, music and dancing are some of the activities scheduled. The parade begins at 6 p.m.

Family events are also scheduled for the June 28 at El Dorado Hills and again on the final day of the trek June 29 in Folsom.

People who wish to join Wagon Train for a day or two must register by Saturday can call (530) 644-3761.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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