Tough Trip through Paradise

by Andrew Garcia

Andrew Garcia

Andrew Garcia was born in El Paso, Texas, on September 13, 1855. He first came to Montana at the age of 13 to help his uncle run a herd of pack mules. He returned to Montana Territory in 1876 to work as a civilian packer and herder for the Seventh Cavalry. And so it was that in 1877 he witnessed the Nez Perce surrender in the Bears Paw Mountains.

Tough Trip through Paradise, 1878-1879 narrates what happened when he established a trading company centered on the Musselshell River. As Garcia tells it, he spent the next nine years living the life of an Indian, primarily with the Pend d’Oreilles. The emotional highlight of his memoir is his return to the Big Hole Battlefield with In-who-lise, his Nez Perce wife, who was wounded during the battle and lost her sister and father.

While the settings in Tough Trip through Paradise, 1878-1879 clearly reference actual locales, it is understood that the book—including its places—is ultimately the product of the author's imagination. The intent of this literary map is to enrich the reading experience by interpreting those places, not to render them literally or definitively.