We're on our road trip now, after eight months of saving and planning. I write this from a motel room in Boonville, Missouri. Just across the Missouri River from here in New Franklin is a plaque honoring William Bucknell, the father of the Santa Fe Trail.
In 1821, Bucknell--facing bankruptcy--took a load of goods and camped out on the border with Spain, which at that time was the Arkansas River. He had heard a hint that Mexico might soon gain independence. Under Spanish rule, the borders had been sealed from American aliens--and all men trying to trade in Santa Fe had been imprisoned or had their goods confiscated.
Bucknell was lucky. He scooted across the border just as he heard the news, and he returned to New Franklin with bags full of silver dollars. An important new trade route had been opened: the 950-mile-long Santa Fe Trail.
I'm shooting some video on this trip. It's not much, and I'm shooting it with my Canon digital camera. Let me know what you think of it (below).