The Murdock Site of the Mormon Trail, south of Alda, Nebraska, is one of the very few sites preserving the original trail. From 1847 until 1868 when the railroad was completed into Utah, tens of thousands of pioneers walked and rode the Mormon Trail. Originally beginning in Nauvoo, Illinois, the beginning of the trip across the continent of more than 1300 miles, moved slowly west with the building of the first transcontinental railroad. There are volumes of stories about experiences on the trail. This is a small part of the trail where it lies between Grand Island and Kearney in Nebraska. In Nebraska, there are several roads and the railroad that follow the path of the pioneers and other trails wind through the same area such as the well-known Oregon Trail. Recent development, including planting a whole lot of corn, have erased visual evidence of most of the trail. There is a sign on the site that reads, in part, “About noon on Thursday, April 29, 1847 Brigham Young and his first pioneer company crossed this site on their way to Salt Lake.”
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.