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Rinker Buck: Oregon Trail 

Who doesn't love a road trip? Sometimes you have to climb out of the ditch of the stifling same-old-same-old and into new scenery, new and reinvigorating states of mind. So, say you want to drive from Missouri to Oregon's Willamette Valley. That 2,000-plus-mile trek on smooth interstates will be long but mainly free of lethal hazards, and comfortable too. Now imagine making that journey via covered wagon — that's what frontier settlers did throughout the 1840s on the Oregon Trail, nothing more than parallel wheel ruts traversing dangerously endless prairie, sagebrush desert and eventually mountains. In 2011 author Rinker Buck and his brother did the same improbable thing, in the same conveyance. Buck's new book, The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey, recounts the adventure. Hear him read from it at 7 p.m. tonight at Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank.com). The event is free.
Wed., Aug. 5, 7 p.m., 2015

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