The Oregon Trail

By: Robert Smith

Journal Entry #1

Today, April 25th, 1854, we left Independence Missouri. I loaded up the last few things into the wagon, and then we were off! The family was a little nervous on what we might find along the trail, but I can picture great things for our family of seven. Even Pa, who is now 78 years old, is very enthusiastic about the trail. Along the way, we met some of my old friends, Lucy Smith, and her 4 children, James Baker, his wife Alice, and their 2 children, and James Smith, and his wife Mary, and their 4 children. The kids were very excited to be with everyone, and have an adventure. The past two days have been fairly easy for all of us, and so far NO TROUBLES!


The third day on the trail, our wagon trains came to the Missouri River. We all were very unsure about how we were going to get past this, but luckily we saw a man with a ferry willing to help us get across, with a fee of forty- five dollars. At that moment, we had come to a decision. The water seemed okay, and the water was rather shallow, so my family and I decided to forge the river. We got across safely and on our way to our destination, and the adventures let to come for our family.

Journal Entry #2

Its been three weeks since we left Independence, Missouri. So far, everyone and everything has been holding up, but I am now a little optimistic on what we might encounter on this trip. As we were coming a long the trail, our wagon trains meet an indian. He wanted us to make a bet with him, and since we were all feeling lucky we decided to do the bet. After doing this, we had lost, and we had to pay a fifty dollar fee to get past him, with no harm.

We continued along the trail until we came to a river. This river was a little bit deeper than the last river crossing we had, and the current was moving at a constant speed. Our wagon trains were very unsure whether to forge the river, or pay a fee for a ferry. After several minutes of deliberation, our wagon trains decided to pay the fee of forty five dollars, and cross safely. Shortly after our river crossing, our wagons came to a rocky part of the trail, and Dallas Ritter, from the wagon behind us fell off and broke his leg. About two hours after the incident, Dallas passed away. After Dallas's burial, we continued on our path. Suddenly, we get stuck in a sandstorm, and after hours of trying to get through the storm, we finally manage to get past it.

Journal Entry #3

We continued a long our path away from the past that occurred. Suddenly, our wagons came to a halt, and everyone wondered why had this happened. I got out of the wagon to see what all the commotion was about. When I got over to where all the men were, I saw five indians. The indians wanted to know why we were crossing into their territory, and we gave them an explanation. After about twenty minutes, they let us go, but this costed us one hundred bulk weight units of our supplies in order to go on with the trip. Just as I was about to get back into the wagon, Lucy Smith, who was two wagons ahead of me, screamed. I ran over to see what happened, she pulls her foot out of her boot, and there was a scorpion clamped onto her foot! We yanked the scorpion off her foot, and luckily it was just a minor sting, and she would be okay to continue a long the trail.

As we went a long the trail, we had to give up ten pounds of rabbit, thirty pounds of dried fruit, and twenty pounds of coffee to some indians in the area, in order to pass them. After our encounter with the indians for the third time this trip, we arrived at Fort Choice. From this point in our journey, there were three different routes to take to get to Oregon. Our wagons came to a decision on the Massacre Canyon Trail, even though it is the most dangerous and unpredictable route, it was the fastest way to our destination. We all tried to keep our heads held high, and hope not to regret this decision.

Journal Entry #4

We were about two days in trail when something tragic happens. I have been realizing that in the other wagons besides our wagons in my group, people have been getting cholera and dying. I hoped and prayed that nothing like this will happen in our wagon trains, and luckily, we had no one have any signs of cholera. So, we continued a long our path to success. After a couple days on the trail, which feels like years for my family and myself, our wagons decide to go hunting. We had a very successful hunting trip, and I brought back five pounds of goafer for the family.

After two weeks from first coming on the trail, we got through the desert lands. At this point, we thought the best way to look for the most successful trail was to send scouts. It took a couple of days for the scouts to come back, and bring the news that it was all good to continue, we continued a long the trail path. Then suddenly, the path got very narrow along the cliffs we were coming up, and our wagons tipped our and fell down the mountain taking all our supplies with it. Luckily, no one was injured or still on the wagon as it fell down. We walked in the cold mountains for days, and every moment, each step was getting harder,and harder to take. After days since the wagons tipped, we all were freezing to death, and starving. The only way to stop the starvation was to kill someone, and eat their flesh to stay a live. At this moment, people were either freezing to death or trying to kill each other.

Even though we did not get to our final destination, I am so very proud of my family, and blessed for this great opportunity to chase our dreams. This experience has made a big impact on my life and an experience I will treasure forever. I'd like you to know whoever finds this journal, promise me to remember you can set your mind on anything.... even traveling half way across the country to get to a dream destination.