The tale of a couple's 2,000 mile covered-wagon trek
during the time of the California gold rush
Joshua Martin wanted to strike it rich!
Miss Nellie Hoffmann wanted to "see the elephant!"

While the Martins are fictional, winnow away the whimsical and their exploits accurately mirror diary and journal accounts. Their story is history flavored with humor and disease, death, tedium and terror. Dressed like they did in 1850, they reminisce about:

picture of the Martins

  --Both yearned for adventure,     neither sought romance...
  funny how things work out.

35min. run time

  • when they first met in St. Joseph, Mo
      --a major "jumping off" site to the California Trail

  • her near death experience
      --cholera seized her in its demonic grip

  • following the serpentine path of the Platt River
       --"bad to ford, destitute of fish, too dirty
          to bathe in and too thick to drink"

  • the depressing number of trailside grave markers
       --hungry wolves had rooted up shallow-buried bodies

  • thousands of buffalo, a culinary godsend for Argonauts
       --some claimed that fueling the cooking fire with
          buffalo chips, "improved the aroma of the coffee"

  • tossing out heavy cargo to lighten the load
       --it broke Joshua's heart to abandon his
          genuine Leavenworth patented gold washer

  • scaling to the top of the Rockies
       --good news: almost half-way to Sacramento;
          bad news: over a 1,000 miles to go

  • ...and more!
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