It's not as incongruous as it might appear.

Thursday, Ariel Rosas sat on the replica of a handcart at National Historic Trails Interpretive Center while her children William, Candidio and Layla played with inflatable light sabers at one of the Trails Center Foundation's fundraising events.

Ariel said William heard about the event through one of his teachers who knew he was a big Star Wars fan, especially a fan of Jawas -- the yard-tall humanoids in brown monk robes that scavenged Tatooine for scrap.

This Foundation fundraiser -- the first Thursday of May -- coincided with the Star Wars theme of "May The 4th Be With You," Foundation Executive Director Gena Jensen said.

The first week of May also coincides with National Travel Tourism Week, said Jensen, who took the Foundation job in 2020.

But what happened "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away" can teach some lessons about what happened 170 years ago in a place now known as Natrona County, Center volunteer Richard Bohman said.


Bohman, clad in fringe leather clothing, toted his own light saber in keeping with the spirit of the event.

He and his wife Trina in a 19th century prairie dress are finishing a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and will return to Palmer, Alaska, in the fall, he said.

While it seems like a stretch, the Rebel Alliance and the pioneers whose trails -- Pony Express, Oregon, California and Mormon -- merged and diverged in the mid-19th century at what is now Casper.

"We are all travelers," Bohman said, and travelers need faith to make the journey.

"It makes a modicum of sense," he said. "Pioneers coming west had to have faith."

National Historic Trails Interpretive Center

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