Journeys on the Oregon Trail

Sophie Tovani

Day one

5/9/1843

Today my family and I will set out for our journey to the west. I am a recent immigrant from Germany, traveling with my wife Melinda Gutenhign, my two daughters, Ann and Belle Gutenhign, and our friends youngest boy, Madison Billy. Our wagon is quite large but we have a limit of 1000 bulk weight units. We only have $150 to travel with. My family traveled in a wagon train, by traveling in groups with several other families traveling West. Our journey started when we came across the Missouri river. We had the option of paying $25 to get across the river safely with the use of the guide. We chose to pay the fee, and we made it across safely. Later we came across a great area to hunt. I used one ammunition box to hunt which left us with two left. We came back succesfull and earned 15 pounds of deer. We came across a chance to roll the dice and took the gamble. Lucky for us we did not lose anything, nor did we gain anything.


In my opinion it has been a real struggle and its only the first day. I can't even predict to what the next days to come will be like. It is tiring to walk along side the wagon and watch Melinda keep the spirits high for the children. So far its been ok. We knew it was going to be a wild ride coming into the idea of moving west. I can only imagine what the future will hold for us.

Day Two

5/10/1843

Today has been rough and its not even noon yet. So far we have lost all of our ammunition, so we can kiss goodbye to a good hunt for today. Earlier there was an incident envolving another wagon train… Earl's dad broke his leg while falling off the wagon. Just when we thought the day was cursed, we came across a lovely river. We filled up 19 galloons of water. My family chose not to pay to cross the river with the guide but instead we forged across. We made it across safely except for the part where we lost 100 bulk wait units. While crossing the river we managed to lose all of our flour, and seeds.


Todays been rough. I still can't manage to believe we lost all amunition. This trip is tough enough let alone now Earl has an injured member of their wagon. Loosing all flour, and seeds was a definate surprise. Looking on the bright side we have plenty of water to last us. Hoping for a better day of adventure tomorrow.

Day Three

5/11/1843

Things aren't looking to savvy around here for us. My wagon train chose to take the burial grounds. Not the safest choice, but is the fastest way out of this journey. Bab's wife gave birth to a baby girl named Lilly. Lilly had a unfortunate accident and fell of the wagon. She is doing better now. Our water was recently infected with dirt and bacteria and is not edible now. We decided to use our dutch ovens to boil the water and then strain the left over dirt and sand. We approached yet another river that inded needed to be crossed. After the last river forging incident, we are not taking any more chances, so we are paying the $50 fee. With the help of the ferrie we reached the other side safely. The day started going down hill from here… First our wagon train lost 10 bwu's each. After that I lost another 600 bwu's. As a group we chose the Massacre trail, which probably isn't our best desicion we have made along this journey. I wish we had not chosen this trail. I just lost everything I have. We have to minimize to another 500 bwu's.


Im very sad to say this could be one of my last days writing here. Things aren't turning out like they should be. Almost everything has gone wrong for my wagon train. Im just thankful that my family hasn't been involved in any accidents. I am proud to say the Gutenhign legacy does not consist of any klutzes. I hope to be continuing on this wild ride tomorrow.

Day Four

5/12/1843

Today doesn't look very well. I am having a very hard time writing for my body is numb and my hands are very frost bit. It is snowing out of control, more storms to come for days. We don't have many clothes and blankets with us and the oxen are being very difficult today. Then again I wouldn't want to walk with 500 bulk weight units attached to me in the freezing cold, but that is there job. My family is freezing and Ann has slowly been getting sicker by the day and don't know if she will make it any farther. Poor Melinda is slowly fading and I don't know what to do without her. We are officially being snowed in and won't be able to travel until the storm is gone. I need to go gather the family.


Im back and am mournful because Ann passed but I'm proud that she had made it this far. The snow paths is a unpredictable sight full of deaths everywhere. I have nothing left. My family is a better place above now and I will soonly join them. This is just the way of the Oregon trail telling us they just aren't ready for the Gutenhigns.