of the most noted captures of American Indians by the U.S. Army
in Western history has been almost completely retraced for a third
time by club members of Idaho's Appaloosa Horse Club.
year's annual trail ride will complete the entire route taken
by the Nez Perce Indians while fleeing the U.S. Army in 1877.
Nez Perce flight started in Wallowa Lake, Ore, and stretched to
the Bear Paw Mountains in north-central Montana.
2003 trail ride marks the 39th anniversary and the 13th year of
the third circuit through the ride," said Anne Stott, the club's
public relations coordinator.
trail ride will begin on July 27 in James Kipp Park near Lewistown,
and will end on Aug. 2 in the Bear Paw Battlefield, near Chinook.
Joseph, Chief Looking Glass, Chief White Bird, Chief Ollokot, Chief
Lean Elk, and numerous others led nearly 750 Nez Perce men, women,
and children and numerous horses over 1,170 miles through the mountains,
on a trip that lasted from June to October in 1877, according the
trail ride organizers.
trail riders started on the Nez Perce route 12 years ago in Wallowa
Lake, Ore., then headed northwest and crossed the Snake River at
Dug Bar, the riders entered Idaho at Lewiston and cut across north-central
Idaho near Lolo Pass. The riders continued on through the Bitterroot
Valley, after which it re-entered Idaho at Bannock Pass and traveled
east back into Montana at Targhee Pass to cross the Continental
the riders bisected Yellowstone National Park, then followed the
Clark Fork of the Yellowstone out of Wyoming into Montana.
year the riders will head north to the Bear Paw Mountains, ending
40 miles from the Canadian border.
trek takes 13 years to complete and covers 1,300 miles," said
Stott. "As a progressive system, the camp will move daily,
covering 15-20 miles per day."
June of 1877, U.S. Army Generals Howard, Sturgis and Miles attempted
to force the Nez Perce to the Lapwai Reservation. Reluctantly, the
Nez Perce fled in hopes of peace in Canada, but fell short of reaching
the border by 40 miles.
today's trail riders are such special guests as Grammy-nominated
singer/songwriter Ken Overcast, and performer Tim McNeil. Both will
entertain the participants in evening performances throughout the
week. Also, the Chief Joseph Foundation sponsored 12 Nez Perce youths
and six adults to participant this year.
awards ceremony will be held to honor Don Johnson of Walla Walla,
Wash., and Anne Mischel of Amity, Ore., for their 39 years of participation
in the trail ride.
ceremony for Johnson and Mischel is on Aug. 2 beginning 2 p.m.
trail ride began in 1965 with 40 participants. Since then participation
has grown to nearly 400 participants.
Appaloosa club organizers said that only Appaloosa horses are allowed
on this trail ride and must be at least four years of age. All horses
must also be registered with the club. In addition, the organizers
said that Montana Livestock Inspectors will be on hand to inspect