Revisit the past with covered wagons


DCIM100GOPRO14th Annual Wagon Train in Lone Pine- Sierra Wave

By Charles James

This weekend local residents and visitors are invited to attend the 14th Annual Corral #14 Wagon Train Celebration at the Lone Pine Film History Museum Grounds to meet with covered-wagon owners and enjoy a Cowboy Deep Pit Barbeque dinner. 

Wagon Master Norm Noftsier says, “Visitors are invited to stroll around the wagons and the equipment, and talk to the drivers and passengers on the challenges and the history of wagon trains beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday. We’ll answer questions on the drive, the role of wagons and pioneers, and what it was like to live out of a wagon.”

DCIM100GOPROThe wagon train will be traveling 65 miles from Lone Pine to Bishop. 

Their schedule is:

  • Saturday, May 10 and Sunday, May 11−Lone Pine Film Museum Grounds. (Don’t forget the Saturday Cowboy Deep Pit BBQ!)
  • Monday, May 12− Drive 16 miles to Mazourka Road Campsite in Independence starting at 8:00-8:30 a.m. 
  • Tuesday, May 13− Drive 17.5 mile to Taboose Creek Campground, 14 miles north of Independence. 
  • Wednesday, May 1− Layover at Taboose Creek Campground.
  • Thursday, May15− Drive 15.8 miles to Stewart Ranch. 
  • Friday May 16− Last day of drive is to Mann Ranch on East Line Street in Bishop. 

Covered wagons would become a cultural icon of the American Old West as emigrants from the east moved westward with the promise of gold, looking to ranch or farm, or to start a new life.

According to Corral #14’s website, an estimated 11,512 people migrated overland to Oregon and California between 1840 and 1848. While the promise of gold brought many pioneers, others were looking for a better farm or ranch, or simply a better life. 

When the pioneers began arriving in the Owens Valley in the mid-1800s, they saw a beautiful place where they could make a new life. Many of the towns along the 395 Hwy corridor were spaced a comfortable travel distance apart (usually 15 miles or so) because wagons were the chief form of transportation used then. 

Travel in a covered wagon was a rough form of transportation without today’s modern conveniences and technology. They did not have rubber tires or shock absorbers, so it was not a “cushy ride”, but rather one that jostled every joint and made for one likely very sore rear-end. Many pioneers chose to walk or ride a horse (if one was available) alongside the wagon rather than ride in or on it.

The Cowboy Deep Pit Barbecue with “all the fixin’s” will happen from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday. Enjoy a great meal for only $10 per person ($7.50 for under 12) that includes Deep Pit Barbecue Beef, Ranch Style Beans, Cowboy Cole Slaw, Western Roll and Dessert with a choice of coffee or iced tea for a beverage. Proceeds go to the Film Museum.

For more information on the wagon group and the itinerary, please contact Wagon Master Norm Noftsier at (661) 220-0134 or visit their website at 



2 Responses to Revisit the past with covered wagons

  1. Roger May 11, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    Hey Bennet, can you tell us if “Donkey Mike” will be in this event? 🙂


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