Life on the Oregon Trail

Joshua Weinstein's Journal

Entry 1

In seek of fortune and prosperity, the Weinsteins headed for a destination in the west. We was beginnin' our journey from Independence, Missouri, with our personal belongings in a wagon. I was bringin' my whole family: my oldest son Tim Weinstein, my youngest son Jared Weinstein, and my beloved wife Ellen who was pregnant.Alas, our wagon train departed on April 25, 1824.

The first three days caused no trouble. Then we encountered the Missouri River, its waters rushin' decently and the water fairly deep. Nearby, a ferry was givin' rides in exchange for pay. The ferry was temptin' alright, for I wanted my family and supplies safely delivered across the nation. But all I had was $150, not much since I was a farmer. Fortunately, I crossed the river without pay. After the river, we began to hunt in a lush open grassland. I caught 10 rabbit, but with a casualty. My rifle was broken during the hunt.

Entry 2

Our wagon train came to a halt as everybody came to discuss about an issue. The trail split, and we had to pick one that would satisfy all of us. We headed our journey on the Ancient Native American Burial Grounds. Everythin' was goin' our way til our group was headed in a wrong direction! What a shame, it took us a while til the roads were familiar. I felt very frightened indeed, imaginin' what will happen if we were lost forever.

Thank the Lord, my wife Ellen who was havin' a baby, and well, the delivery was successful! I am a proud father and I'm definitely looking forward to share the stories of the trip to my newborn, Bertholomew! We safely left the ancient land and started onward into the unknown. All this good luck gave me much confidence of to what lies ahead...

Entry 3

The trail kept us goin' as long as I could remember. Suddenly, the trail stopped as an ominous river blocked the passage. The wild white water rippled as heavy pointy rocks were sporadically spread throughout the river, causin' an even more terrifyin' scene. The water was deeper than the other encountered one. Another ferry was offerin' rides across the river, and I couldn't help riskin' my family in danger. It was a must. We crossed the river on the ferry by paying $50. Since I had a frugal amount of money, I regretted of paying that much.

We kept on goin' mile after mile, step after step. It was excruciating. We all felt the need to relax and treat ourselves with clean water and an average meal. But we all knew that would happen after our trip, not now. We were wanderin' in a forest, when an arrow whistled by and Crack! It hit a nearby family wagon. We quickly assembled our wagons into a circle formation. Those darn Indians. It would be a hell of a lot easier to get the job done and live our life in the west. But we always knew these are the consequences when traveling in an unknown location. The fight began. Arrows flew and rifles were shot. Many bodies were heard thumpin' on the ground. After all of the intruders were dead, we checked on ourselves. Thank god my family was safe and sound. But one family member was shot in the right shoulder with an arrow. A shame that we was ambushed, but it could've been worse, right?

Entry 4

Another decision had hit us, which trail we should take. There was a long trail, the Salt Flats, or Massacre Valley. We went on the Massacre Valley, a dangerous path with many deaths that occurred there. We would have to watch our backs for takin' this risky yet short trail that will lead us to freedom.

On day 4 during our hike through Massacre Valley, something tragic hit our wagon group. My son Jared, started to feel nauseated after drinkin' possibly contaminated water. Within a few hours, he past away right in my arms. I never knew what was the cause of his death, since there ain't no doctor in our wagon train. Many others coincidentally died too, shortly after my son. I will make of this as somethin' to remember for, god bless you Jared, rest in peace.

Halfway through the valley and another problem arose. A landslide blocked our path. Fortunately, each family was supplied with pickaxes and shovels to get the deed done. We were there and out in no time.

We exited the valley safely, but the final obstacle was to cross the Hades Desert. The heat can damage our wagons and we wont make it on foot. Luckily, a train would take them across the desert, but each of our wagons would have to drop 500 bulk weights in order to cross. We were very lucky, and the train brought us safely on the other side.

A few more kilometers until my family reaches our destination. I am currently writing my journal as my wagon pulls the last few steps to what we dream for, what many people dream for, a new life.