Life on the Oregon Trail

James Baker

Day 1

Today, April 25th, 1824, me and my family head out on the Oregon Trail. The family consists of Me, James Baker, my wife Alice Baker, my 12 year old son Gus Baker, and my 3 year old daughter Nellie Baker. I also brought along my brother Lewis Baker, his wife Lucy Baker, and his baby boy Nathaniel Baker. The first couple days leading up to our journey we packed all the supplies our wagon could carry, which was 1,000 BWUs. We also got together our wagon train, and chose our wagon leader. Our wagon leader's name is Robert Smith, and he brought his family. The other people in our wagon train consisted of Lucy Smith and her family, James Smith and his family, Felix ritter and his family, John Doe and his family, Renee Johnson and his family, and another James Smith and his family. After getting the wagon train together, we set off on the trail, my family had with us 550 dollars.


For the first few days of our journey, everything was fine, and we didn't run into any problems. Then on the 3rd day of our travels we ran into the Missouri River and we had to cross it. We could either cross the river at a safe looking spot Robert Smith found, or we could take the ferry operated by a Native American for 25 dollars. Our family chose not to take the risk and to pay 25 dollars for the ferry. The people that chose to cross the river as well as the people that chose to take the ferry both crossed the river safely, and nothing bad happened, though I was very sad that we wasted 25 dollars when we could just have crossed the river and saved the money.


While we were traveling we started to run out of water, and because my family had 1 water barrel, we didn't have to stop for water. Along the trail, we stopped to go hunting, but because I already had a ton of food, I decided it would be best not to go hunting, which I personally think was a good decision.

Day 2

We have been on the trail for about 3 weeks, and everything is going well. Then suddenly disaster strikes, and sadly,in our hurry to circle the wagons, Felix's Elderly Father Dallas Ritter died because a wagon wheel fell on his leg. Then the Chief of a Native American tribe came forward and demanded that the leader of our wagon train be put to a test. Robert failed the test, so we each lost 50 dollars, and we had to give it to the chief. After that, we got to the Salt Flats River and stopped to fill up our water barrels. Once we finished filling up our water barrels, we had to cross the river. We could either take the Native American Ferry and pay 45 dollars, or forge the river at a safe looking spot. Because of the outcome of the last river crossing, I decided to forge the river, and luckily we crossed the river safely.

After the river crossing, we had a chance to hunt. Because I did not hunt last time, and we had some room in our wagon, I decided to hunt. I got a pretty decent catch of 10 LBS of rabbit. We continued our travels, and soon came to a fork in the road. We had two options, and we chose to take the Burial Ground Trail, which is faster, but supposedly more dangerous. On the trail we got caught up in a dust storm, but luckily things turned out for us and nothing bad happened in the end.

Day 3

We continue on our way on the Burial Ground Trail. But soon were warned by Indians that we have to turn around. Robert and the rest of us decided that we should ignore that warning, and continue on our way, though it causes us to slow down. Half a day goes by, and everything is going great. Then tragedy strikes, and in an attempt to hurry and circle the wagons, some of our wagons fall over. Sadly I lost 100 LBS of supplies because my wagon tipped over, and also in our attempt to circle the wagons, a wagon wheel fell onto Tomas. We all were so very worried about Tomas, but luckily he pulled through and stayed alive.


We got a chance to hunt again, but because of some of the bad things that were happening to people when they hunted, like them breaking their gun, I decided not to hunt. I had plenty of food anyway. We had another river crossing. We had to cross the Chyan River, and we could either spend 50 dollars to take the ferry, or you could cross it. I chose not to risk it, and to pay the 50 dollars, which I think was a good idea. I'm starting to get scared because those mean Native Americans are still chasing us, and we were attacked. Luckily we got out of the situation with our lives. We finally made it to Fort Choice, and we came up to 3 splits in the road, we chose to take massacre canyon.

Day 4

The deadly disease of Cholera is rapidly spreading through our wagon train, someone must have drunk nasty water. Luckily though, the disease passed through our train, and no one died. We had another chance to hunt, but I decided not to because I already have lots of food, and I don't want to risk breaking anything.


We got to the last leg of our journey. But there is a problem, winter is coming very soon, and if we take the fastest trail to our journey, we could get stuck and not be able to turn around and freeze to death. We could also stay where we are and wait out the winter, or we could just turn around altogether and head back to the closest town, or we could send scouts to the trail to see if we have time to go on the fast trail. We decided to send scouts but it was too late and there was nothing we could do, We had to wait out the winter and hope to survive. We were going to be stuck the whole winter, and most likely die. I'm starting to lose track or time. Its getting colder, we are starting to run out of food and water. All I want is to be warm. I can hardly write in my journal anymore. All of them are slowly dying, First it was Renee, then John and then both of the James's. My brothers baby didn't even make it the first week of this torture. I'm starting to feel light headed, and I just want the pain to end. I think I'm dying now, and being put out of my misery. But all i know is, the american dream was worth it, just the hope of living it was worth the pain........