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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?