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Oregon Trail

Day 1

Independence, Missouri

Husband decides to move to Oregon (with or without wife's advise). Wife

obeys, and pregnancy or illness is not an excuse to not go or to postpone

the trip. Meet at the courthouse in Independence, Missouri. Explain your

feelings and expectations.

Day 2

First Night - Crossed Blue River

Describe your first day of travel by wagon, plus crossing a river. You are

camped near the flour mills that run by river power, buy flour from either

Blue Mill or Fitzhugh Mill. Someone on your wagon train is bitten by a

rattle snake and dies a few hours later.

Day 3

Crossed Kansas River

Used the Pappan Ferry run by two brothers who used two canoes with poles to

carry the wagons over. They coil rope around a tree to lower the boat/wagon

into the water. The river was 200 yards wide, with a rapid flow and a deep

current. Animals swim. It costs $4/wagon, .25/mule, .10/man. One of

your children falls off the wagon and is swept away by the current and


Day 4

Ash Hollow

This is the first steep grade you've encountered, and it was so scary that

people did not even talk for the last 2 miles. You lost several hours

holding the wagons back with ropes (to keep them from racing down the

canyon), so you choose to camp in the grove of ash trees at the bottom of

the canyon.

Day 5

Courthouse Rock and Chimney Rock

You pass several huge rock formations that look like castles, jails, or even

chimneys. They stand alone on the prairie and you watch them for days. The

ground has changed from lush greens to browns and tans. In fact, it is so

dry that your lips and nose are cracked and parched. It is so hot that

boils bother you on the back of your unwashed neck. But that evening relief

came with a thunderstorm that lit up the sky with all the lightening. Your

animals became frightened, and you have to clam them down.

Day 6

Scott's Bluff

On the south bank of the Platte River, you pass a high cliff. There is no

wood and you're forced to use the buffalo chips to make your fire - it gives

a distinctive taste to the food.

Day 7

Sweetwater River Crossing

You camp near the river because it is a lush area with good water and grass

for the animals. Indians attack this evening, and while your wagon train

fought them off, several friends died.

Day 8

Soda Springs

You have decided to camp here in a cedar grove where there are round

openings several feet in diameter. One hole contains a natural soda water

and you bake several batches of bread with the water, you don't have to use

yeast. The other hole contains water that is like beer. Several men drank

too much of it and got giddy.

Day 9

Valley of Grande Ronde, and Barlow Road

You are almost there and you have rested in a beautifully lush valley with

berries everywhere. After spending several days picking fruit and resting

you are on the last leg now.

You decide to use the toll road rather than raft down the Columbia River.

Even the road, though, is dangerous as it plunges down cliffs, so you have

to slow your wagons by wrapping rope around trees to gently guide it down the

steep incline. You can see Mount Hood in the distance, and some in your

party decided to stay here.

Day 10


You have reached your destination and it's beautiful as you have heard.

Describe your feelings and expectations now that the trip is over. Have

they changed? If so, how? and why?