Oregon Trail Journal

By: Amanda Tegner

Entry #1

Today , April 25,1824, my family and I set off to Oregon to make a better life for ourselves. My name is Luke Hemmings and I'm a banker from Boston, Massachusetts. I have six family members joining me on this trip: my wife, Ariel, my son, Mikey, my other son, Calum, my daughter, Demi, my other daughter, Rose, and my elderly father, Ashton. I am also bringing $500 to use throughout my trip.

We came across the Missouri River today and had a couple choices on how to get across. Our choices were to float across and hope nothing in our wagon falls off or pay $25 to cross the river on the ferry. I decided to go on the ferry just to make sure I would make it safely. Everyone else in my wagon train made it, too, even the ones who floated across. After we crossed the river, we found a big field full of game. I used all of my ammunition and shot 15 pounds of fresh meat. During this hunting trip, I, unfortunately, lost my rifle.

Entry #2

It has been a month or so on the Oregon trail and not much has been happening. Today we got stumped at a fork in the road. We decided to go on the Burial Grounds Trail. This upset plenty of Native Americans. This is sacred land to them and they don't want us intruding on it. We went on the trail despite the warning of maybe being attacked. This trail is pretty scary. To be honest, all my kids are scared we will die from an Indian attack of some sort.

We just heard a yelp and we all walked over to check out what the fuss was about. It turns out someone in my wagon train fell out of their wagon. What's even worse is that I'm positive the wagon ran over them after they fell out. Now, this poor person is stuck on getting a makeshift cast for their leg. We helped this poor fellow by putting his leg between two sticks and letting it heal over time. Luckily, this person won't die of infection because we didn't cut open their leg to try to fix it. I'm just glad everyone in my wagon is safe and sound.

Entry #3

We have been stuck on this Burial Grounds Trail for a few weeks now. Today, we are faced with having to cross the Sands Flat River. This river looks deeper than the last. It would be hard to keep all of your supplies safe while crossing it. I decided to stay safe and take the ferry again. This time everyone who swam, which luckily was no one in my train, lost a lot of supplies. As we were finally coming to the end of this horrible trail, we got attacked by Indians. Luckily, we were able to circle our wagons and fight them off without injuries, but it sure did scare poor Demi and Mikey.

Something absolutely horrible happened to me today. I was minding my own business when a scorpion decided my boot would be a great napping place. When I put my boot on, the scorpion stung me. This sting wasn't vital and wasn't going to kill me but it did hurt a lot. I had to ask someone from my wagon train to help me out and suck out the poison, so I wouldn't get infected. This experience wasn't a great one for me because I had to watch someone cut open my leg and then suck poison out. Also, today we were faced with another fork in the road. My wagon train decided to take the Massacre Canyon Trail because it is supposedly was the fastest.

Entry #4

We are so close to ending our trip on the trail, but tragedy has struck my family. Today, I found out that Ashton, my elderly father, has cholera. Cholera is such a common disease on the trail and it's caused by drinking water or eating food with human feces in it. Everyone in my wagon trail has at least one family member with cholera.

Sadly, I woke up this morning and Ashton is dead. It turns out every member of my wagon train has lost someone to this horrible disease. We have only a week left and all we have to do is make it to the clearing through the mountains. Snow has been falling very heavily lately and we are nervous we won't make it through the mountains in time. If we stay in the mountains when the snow storms hit, we would die. We had a few options today about how we should go through the pass: We could either send a scout ahead and have them check out if we could make it; stay back at the area we are at now, which has shelter, food, and warmth; or we could just risk going ahead. The issue with these options were that if we sent a scout we would lose lots of valuable time; if we stayed back we would miss out on most of the good land; and for the last option we might not make it in time and freeze to death at the pass. My wagon train took the risk of just going for it and prevailed. We have made it to Oregon safely. We weren't the first people to show up but we were very close and got some good land.