Travel: Exploring The Real Old West

Beyond the highways, the frontier is alive and vivid

Signs of America's Old West start as far east as Adair, Iowa, where an old railroad wheel marks the spot on which Jesse James held up his first moving train in 1873. Sweeping along the interstate at a sedate 65 m.p.h., a westward-bound traveler may then dally at Omaha's splendidly revitalized Old Market, which evokes gold seekers and prairie pioneers heading out aboard the Union Pacific railway circa 1865. But by the time you reach Al's Oasis at Oacoma, S. Dak., on a bluff over the glistening Missouri River, all doubt vanishes as quickly as adherence to the speed limit on...

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