Friday, July 03, 2009

USA: Western States Trail Documentary Film

Now Available on DVD

The Western States Trail Foundation, sponsors of the world-renowned 100-Mile Tevis Cup Ride, is proud to announce the DVD release of They Crossed the Mountains: The History of the Western States Trail. The 52-minute documentary covers the usage and history of the famous Western States Trail by Native Americans to Gold Rush miners, and by horseback endurance riders and runners — a history spanning thousands of years. This poignant film portrays a wide scope of history, from John Fremont’s discovery of Lake Tahoe to firsthand stories about Indian relatives who traveled this path. Tales of brave pioneers, both historic and contemporary, punctuate the film. Twelve historians were interviewed, giving the documentary a richness and depth about the trail route that traverses the Sierra Nevada Mountains from Carson City, Nevada, via Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley to Auburn, California.

A portion of the documentary includes excerpts from a 1931 black-and-white silent film that features a group of Auburn men who traveled the trail on horseback, carrying the American flag along the route to the Sierra crest, marking it along the way so that this original Emigrant Trail did not fade into the wilderness. The documentary also highlights a background of how the Tevis Cup 100 Mile Ride and the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run evolved and became such integral parts of the trail’s history.

The documentary’s producer and director, Ginger Kathrens of Taurus Productions Inc., Colorado Springs, Colorado, is an Emmy award-winning producer, filmmaker, cinematographer, writer, and editor. Recently aired on PBS are her latest documentaries: “Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies” and “Cloud’s Legacy: The Wild Stallion Returns.” She has written two award-winning books about Cloud. Kathrens was also the co-producer and cinematographer of a two-hour special, “Spirits of the Rainforest,” for The Discovery Channel, for which she earned an Emmy Award for Best Informational and Cultural Documentary. Other projects for Discovery include “The Ultimate Guide: Horses” and “The Ultimate Guide: Dogs,” as well as producing segments for "Wild America" and filming for National Geographic and the BBC.

They Crossed the Mountains film documentary was produced by the Western States Trail Foundation and was underwritten by the Ellen Browning Scripps Foundation, the Josephine Stedem Scripps Foundation, the Placer County Historical Foundation, and the Western States Endurance Run Foundation. DVD copies of the They Crossed the Mountains: The History of the Western States Trail may be purchased from the Western States Trail Foundation by calling 530.823.7282 or by visiting The website will also indicate when and where future showings of the documentary will occur.

Contact: Kate Riordan 530.333.2002 /

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