Go West Book Project

Year of The Big Snow

Obstacles During The Travel West

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geographical obstacles

When people were traveling west there was many challenging obstacles on the trails like steep uphills and downhill these conditions were very hard to travel on but were also dangerous because wagons could go out of control. Another problem we could not change was large bodies of water you had to pass to go west. In the book the big snow by steve frazee it explains the only option to pass these obstacles was to go around witch takes more time. These are some geographical obstacles when traveling west.


People traveling to the west go through many different types of extreme weather so they had to be ready for anything. Some travelers would cut through the nevada desert instead of go into oregon and back down into california if they did this it would make the trip a lot more challenging if you did not plan for this. Travelers also had trouble in the great plains because they have very similar geographical problems. Another problem with weather during the travel west is extreme cold and snow. A good example of cold and snow being a problem during travel is how in the story the year of The Big Snow John Fremont and his expedition traveled all the way to the summit then were faced with a harsh storm that brought lots of snow in a short time, some people in the expedition had to go back down the mountains to find help. These are some ways weather can change an expedition.
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During the travel west there was many people or animals that might try to attack. Some people that may try to attack are native americans. They would do this because some travelers that were passing would steal things from them or kill them or they're animals, This would make native americans think that all travelers were going to do this so any travelers they saw would be attacked. Also after the indian removal act was established and there was still some free tribes native americans would attack any travelers on sight. Another dangerous attacker is wild animal, there is many reasons wild animals can attack. One reason wild animals would attack is too get the large amounts of food they carried. These are all dangerous attackers during the travel west.
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There are many diseases that are an easy fix now but would be deadly when traveling west. Smallpox now can be fixed by a simple vaccine but on the trail thousands of people died from it. Some minor injuries like a broken arm or small open wounds would be easily infected from always being outside and never leaving it time to heal. Also clean water was hard to get so open wounds could not be cleaned easily. These are some diseases that effected some peoples travel west greatly.

The Frontier Thesis

Westward Expansion: The Homestead Act of 1862 & The Frontier Thesis