Pioneer Stueve Prepares
For Oregon Trail Ride
By TERESA HAMMOND
Local businessman and longtime Oakdale resident Lloyd Stueve has a passion for pioneering.
Stueve, however, isn’t an enthusiast that passes his time simply reading books on the old west or attending trade shows. He hitches his wagon, travels to a starting point and hits the open road with other members of the Golden State Draft Horse and Mule Club out of Corning.
“I have to tow everything up there,” he said of the starting point on a typical ride. “I just take two horses. The more animals you take, the more you have to care for them.”
Now at the age of 73, Stueve has been active with the pioneering hobby for a bit over a decade. His wife Nancy has accompanied him on many of the trips, as she shares his love of the outdoors and the sense of community the activity offers them.
“We’ve lived here almost 50 years now,” Stueve said of their current Oakdale rural home, “and we’ve always been connected to cattle and horses. You know it kind of grows on you.”
Wagon Train Trips are exactly as one might imagine from the days when the pioneers made their way across the country. Everything happens in and around the wagon. They travel by wagon, they eat as a community and they sleep in the wagon.
Depending on the mileage and the terrain, a trip can take as long as 30 days, averaging as little as 10 miles or as many as 30 miles per day. Once the team stops to set up camp the work begins, as they care for their horses, prepare the meals and settle in for the night.
A future trip the pioneer is most excited about is one planned for this July on the Oregon Trail. Stueve, along with his club and fellow members, will travel 500 miles from Casper, Wyoming to Fort Hall, Idaho.
“The Oregon Trail ran from St. Joseph and Independence, Missouri to the Willamette Valley in Oregon,” Stueve said. “This is a National Historic Trail. We will be on 500 miles of original wagon ruts, (made) fifteen years before the Civil War.”
As Stueve prepares for the trip, he has a special interest in Oakdale families who may have had family members come through the Oregon Trail.
“It’s interesting to Oakdale pioneering families,” he said. “Fort Hall was the turning point on the Oregon Trail taking you southwest to California gold fields. I would like to locate some of those pioneering families here in our area.”
Stueve can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 209-605-4958.