Imagine you’re an Oregon Trail settler who just spent six months on the dusty, bumpy and downright grueling journey west. Mt. Hood appears in the distance, a glowing beacon that seems to proclaim, “you’re almost there!” Flash-forward 175 years to downtown Portland, where a covered wagon waits to take you for a lift, courtesy of Travel Oregon and Lyft Portland. For a limited time, passengers can pay tribute to the historic Oregon Trail – and the classic video game it inspired – with a one-of-a-kind wagon experience in the Rose City.
August 28-31 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., people can set out on their own Oregon Trail with a ride through downtown Portland in a traditional covered wagon. The Oregon Trail Experience begins outside the Oregon Historical Society building on SW Park Avenue.
Unlock limited-edition, Oregon Trail-inspired wagon icons in the Lyft app, and get a free ride up to $10 to the Oregon Trail Experience by entering promo code OREGONTRAIL175 in your Lyft app. The Oregon Historical Society is providing free entry to the museum that day for anyone who takes a wagon ride. Each ride travels a pre-determined route for a total of 15 minutes. Not in Portland? You can still play along by simply entering code OREGONTRAIL to turn the cars in your Lyft app into covered wagons.
“The Oregon Trail is so deeply rooted in our state’s history. While it wasn’t necessarily a glamorous experience for many, it’s still a journey that we want to recognize on its 175th anniversary,” said Linea Gagliano, Director of Global Communications at Travel Oregon. “By partnering with Lyft Portland we’re able to bring a piece of history to life and treat the public to this unique opportunity.”
Wagon rides are free, but Travel Oregon and Lyft ask that people bring two or more cans of nonperishable food to be donated to Sunshine Division. And if you can’t make it downtown, you can still get on board and experience the Oregon Trail by playing Travel Oregon: The Game.
“We look forward to partnering with Travel Oregon to bring this unique experience to the community,” said Nathan Lawless, Lyft’s Oregon Market Manager. “We believe it’s important to commemorate the past in order to look ahead and shape a better future.”
The classic pioneer model wagon is operated by Vickie Leonard, of Wagon Train Excursions out of Pendleton, Oregon. Though moseying through downtown Portland is a first for Vickie and her wagon (along with mules, Gene and Mary), she’s been working with the Pendleton Round-Up for a number of years, where she is the president of the famed Pendleton Round-Up Wagon Train.