In the spring of 1832 a privately financed expedition left Fort Osage, Missouri, bound for the Rockies. The trip was a major experiment, a test to see if wagons could really be taken over the Continental Divide and on to the West Coast. There were twenty wagons. The expedition planned to stay out for two years. The experiment succeeded. But it had other purposes – fur trapping and spying. It was led by Captain Benjamin Louis Eulalie de Bonneville.