Thirty five years ago, Hafis Bertschinger, a native of Helvetia (Switzerland), came to Gardner – where the trails divide – and traveled the 2,170 mile Oregon Trail on horseback.
Last week, less than two months shy of his 85th birthday, he was determined to try the trip again, but this time he planned to undertake the journey by bicycle.
Unfortunately, Bertschinger got as far as Lawrence before cancelling the rest of the trip due to the intense heat.
He wanted to do the trip alone, like he did three and a half decades ago, but was happy when other bikers joined with him June 27 to begin the trip. He started his ride at Gardner Junction, and was met in Lawrence by a media representative.
After spending the night, he decided to cancel his trip until cooler weather – maybe in the Fall. In the meantime, he will take the opportunity to prepare and make arrangements to document his trip better.