Oregon Trail Journal

Legacy of the McSwagsters -Kevin Henderson

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We're off!

Our family just left our home in Toldedo, possibly for the last time ever. We've set off to start a new life in Oregon, now that my Beloved passed away. With me are my eldest daughter, Sue-Ann, and my three sons, Jiraiya, Amani, and Fish. On our first day, our wagon train paused at a river. Everyone else in the wagon train decided to pay 25$ and use the ferry to cross, but not my family. We didn't take the biggest risk of our lives to pay 25$ for safety. We're gamblers and survivors. Whenever there's a ferry, we ford. Whenever there's a cliff, we jump. We are the next generation of the McSwagster family, and we are not going to be playing things safe.

We all made it across the river safely.


Later on, a native chief offered our wagon leaders a gamble based off of native tradition. Our wagon leader din't fare so well, and all of our wagons lost 25$ for losing the gamble. Our previous leader, doubting she was up to the responsibility of managing our wagons, delegated the responsibility to me, which I gladly took. Now that I'm in charge, things should go better from here on out.

Day Two

Things didn't go so well today.

While fording a river today (instead of ferrying across like the others), tragedy struck.

The current was too strong.

The wagon tipped.

Our beloved piano went sailing on down the river.

There was nothing anybody could do.

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Although I was still lamenting our prized piano (rest in peace, buddy), I had to push on as the wagon leader. A native chief offered me a challenge that had been passed down through generations.

After emerging victorious from his challenge, he rewarded everyone in our wagon train with blankets and ammunition. What a nice fellow.

At the conclusion of our day, we came to a crossroads. We could take the safe, longer way, OR we could take the short, dangerous way. It wasn't much of a question, really. Everyone voted to go big or go home.

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Day 3

So far, so good. Although there haven't been any immediate consequences so far, we aren't necessarily safe here on the burial trail.

I had a near death experience today. While I wasn't looking, a scorpion somehow climbed into my boot. I was sure I was a goner as soon as I put my boot on and felt it there. However, one of us made it out of that encounter safely, and the scorpion is no longer with us. Spooked, I read up more on scorpions with my immense mobile library we packed aboard our wagon. I now know that I wasn't in any real danger because the only scorpions that can kill an adult live in Arizona and New Mexico. Thank goodness for that.

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Also, I think that it's worth mentioning that we've discovered few people in our train packed adequately for this journal, as a result, we've been delayed. A lot. However, we must push forward. I, as the leader of our train, will see to it that we make it to Oregon safely, or die trying. Besides, it's too late to turn back now.

Day 4

Now things are getting very difficult. We're running out of supplies on the last leg of our trek. We've been subjected to a test of endurance known as a desert: there's no water, and we have scarce food for our oxen. All of our food that wasn't already dried was destroyed in the heat. Not only are there natural hardships, but there's others too. We had to dump half our wagons at the bottom of a mountain so we could get over it.
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i don't think we're going to make it. We have several choices right now, and Oregon is right around the corner. We can go all out and risk everything before the snow really sets in, we can scout ahead, or we can turn back. The last two sound the safest and smartest, but who wants safe? We don't. This may be the last time I write here. If it is...


Goodbye.

-The McSwagsters