From yesterday’s Tulsa World: Earlier this week, Ron Cooper (43), a native of Lawton, Oklahoma and member of the Comanche Nation, completed an 835 mile hike that retraced the Trail of Tears.

Ron researched the route using 19th century diaries, historic maps, as well as help from the National Park service. He spent a year and a half planning it.

The Trail of Tears is most famously associated with the Cherokee, who were forced from their ancestral homelands in North Georgia, and traveled the route to Oklahoma with thousands dying along the way (and extensive documentation from soldiers and others, including Alexis de Tocqueville, as to the heartbreaking scenario, from which the name was taken). Between 1831 and 1838, several tribes including the Seminole, Creek, and Choctaw were forced to relocate, often in winter conditions without appropriate footwear, food, or supplies.

Much of the trail exists as an auto-route. For more information, please visit National Park Service.