Wagons Journey to Coloma 2001 (April-May 2001)  

image of Wagon Train Clothes Line

The 52nd Annual Highway 50 Association Wagon Train will begin May 26th in Dayton, Nevada and end June 10th at the gold discovery site in Coloma, California. This year the train will host many young scholars for a hands-on experience to supplement their study of California history.  

image of Highway 50 Association Wagon Train logo

Anyone interested in participating in the 2001 Wagon Train should send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Vi Tara.

Vi Tara, Highway 50 Association Event Coordinator
6940 Pony Express Trail, Pollock Pines, CA 95726
or call (530) 644-3761

image of Wagontrain Stops In Cameron Park 2001
This photo was taken during a lunch stop in Cameron Park in the field facing Sam's Town 2000
[Photo by Sharon Baldwin]  

May 25
The wagons will roll into Dayton, Nevada on May 25th to participate in the Dayton Founder's Day Celebration ~ Memorial Day Weekend

May 26
Highlight of the weekend will be a parade scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 26th. Highway 50's double hitched freight wagons drawn by the impressive 10 gray horse hitch driven by Red Wolverton of Tucson, Arizona, will be a featured entry, carrying Nevada dignitaries through the parade. The lead hitch will be parked in downtown Dayton for the weekend as a backdrop for living history demonstrations by Highway 30 Association members.

May 30
On Wednesday, May 30th, the official rendezvous takes place at the Dayton Rodeo Arena. Folks will check in and be assigned to their wagons or outrider positions.

May 31
Bright and early on May 31st, the wagons roll out heading for California, under the experienced direction of Wagon Master Diane Newborn. Wagon trains are nothing new to Diane. She has participated with The Highway 50 Association since the age of four, and for many years has worked alongside the longtime and legendary, now retired, Wagon Master, Black Bart.

June 1
After a stop at Fuji Park in Carson City, the train will climb the east slope of Spooner Summit, leaving behind the Nevada deserts for the cool alpine heights of the Sierras and that first breathtaking glimpse of Lake Tahoe.

June 2-3
Friday night, June 2nd, will find the train encamped at Spooner Lake, where it will lay over until Sunday, June 3rd. After breakfast on Sunday and some good gospel music, the train will move on along the shores of Lake Tahoe, through Zephyr Cove. By mid-afternoon the train will arrive at Stateline and the Horizon Hotel and Casino to join an in-progress "wild west event". Features of the afternoon will be a Bar-B-Que, open bar, fiddle players, square dancing, gunfighters, and free pony rides for the children, followed by an evening of cowboy poetry and music.

June 4
Monday, June 4th, the wagon train will move west to Meyers for an overnight stop at the Amacker Ranch ... long time wagon train supporters.

June 5-6
Tuesday morning, June 5th, the first group of students join the train for the exciting journey over Echo Summit and down to Strawberry Meadow where the students will set up an encampment and participate in Living History studies as part of their school curriculum. Wednesday will be a layover day at Strawberry featuring black powder demonstrations, tomahawk throwing, Native American dancing, and a children's program.

June 7
On Thursday, June 7th, the wagon train will again travel West stopping for lunch at Kyburz, and then on to Riverton for the night. A hearty meal at St. Pauli's is anticipated by many as a reward for the day's efforts.

June 8
After a chance to sleep in an extra hour, teams are hitched and readied for the long pull into Pollock Pines. This is an exciting day because Pollock Pines residents are such great supporters of the Wagon Train. Early in the morning folks start settling their chairs and coolers along Pony Express Trail, waiting for the wagon train to arrive. It is an emotional experience to turn the wagons off the freeway and hear the cheers as the first horses round the bend. It is a triumphal entry, sustained all the way to Sportsman's Hall, where the Wagon Train spends Friday night. Jay and Kathy Maggard of Sportsmans' host a great Bar-B-Que and dance along with an all day craft fair on Friday.

June 9-10
Saturday, June 9, at the crack of dawn (or maybe earlier), the bustle begins, to get people and animals ready for the longest day of the trip! Pulling out from Sportsmans Hall at 7:00 a.m., the train will travel through Camino and Apple Hill with stops at the Camino Hotel and Boa Vista Orchards. The Annual Wagon Train Parade through Historic Main Street in Placerville will begin at 11:00 a.m. The train will move through Placerville, across the freeway and down Cold Springs Road to its ultimate destination of Marshall Gold Discovery Park, in Coloma, for the Coloma Fest and California Heritage Days Celebration. This two day event will already be well underway by the time the wagon train arrives at about 5:00 p.m. Circling the wagons for the last time in 2001, in the meadow near the museum, will be the finale of the 52nd annual Highway 50 Association Wagon Train. The two-day Coloma Fest & California Heritage Days celebration will be in full swing at the Park. A Bar-B-Que and street dance, hosted by the Hangtown Posse and the Coloma Lotus Association of Merchants will round out Saturday night, followed by a Sunday morning Miner's Breakfast and Gospel Sing at the wagons, and a second full day of entertainment, hosted by the Park which will include exhibits by the Arts Council, historic demonstrations, music, games, and food for a wholesome family experience.

Sunday evening, June 10th, the wagon train riders will share their private "good-byes" and make-ready to return to their lives and labors in the 21st century, leaving behind, once more, their tangible re-enactment of the "great Western migration" that settled the West and ultimately led to California's Statehood.