Archive for November, 2014

November Announcement for the Utah Westerners

HOLE IN THE ROCK

EXPERIENCES ON THE TRAIL

OSCAR OLSON

Oscar Olson’s passion for southern Utah and its history began with a float trip down the Glen Canyon in 1962 before Lake Powell was formed. He saw firsthand where John Wesley Powell and his men journeyed down the Colorado, the Dominguez-Escalante Trail, where miners had worked, and the Hole-in-the-Rock Trail. Thus began his lifetime of exploring the many trails and running the rivers of southern Utah.

In late 1879, 250 Mormon men, women, and children in over 80 wagons, along with 1000 head of cattle, began one of the most grueling and astonishing treks in western history. They were answering a call by their leaders to colonize the southeastern part of the territory. Six months later, after suffering great privations under tremendously difficult circumstances, they had crossed and explored some of the most rugged terrain in North America and had constructed a trail that shortened travel distances over other routes by hundreds of miles.

Oscar Olson has explored probably 98% of the Hole-in-the-Rock Trail by boat, air, and foot. He has read almost everything written on the subject and has become an expert on the history of the expedition and the trail–he knows the trail as well as anyone alive today. Oscar will share with us not only this fascinating aspect of Utah history, but also his own experiences on the trail and what he has learned by exploring and reading.

Because of his passion for western and trail history, over the years Oscar has joined and participated actively (often in leadership roles) in several organizations such as OCTA, the Lincoln Highway Association, Old Spanish Trails Association (OSTA), Utah Rock Art Research Association (URARA), and the Utah Westerners. For many years he drove a bus for Greyhound and other companies and traveled over 4,000,000 miles in all 48 contiguous states in the USA and 19 Mexican states. Oscar says that he didn’t find the job as much as it found him because of his wanderlust and that “it’s been a good ride.” He was the driver on the first three Utah Westerners field trips in the 1960s and has been on 29 of the field trips, probably half of them as the driver. He has spent virtually his entire lifetime reading about and exploring the American West. In what promises to be an engrossing evening, fellow-Utah Westerner, Oscar Olson, will share a portion of what he has learned.

November 9, 2014 at 1:05 pm Leave a comment


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