Oregon Trail Journal.

By: Mur Hendriks

Journal Enter #1

We left April 26, 1854 to find our new paradise, or at least the stories I had heard of it made it seem like paradise. My family which consisted of 6 other siblings, Dylan my 14 year-old brother, Gillian my 12 year-old sister, Eliza my 11 year-old sister, Brandon my 8 year-old brother, Zach my 7 year-old brother, Quinn my 5 year-old sister and me, the oldest sibling. We were joined with other families who were also dreaming of paradise. We headed out in our wagon to the Oregon Trail. We brought $400 and objects which added up to 1000 BWUs. My little sister Quinn was most excited to find our new home. She told me that we could get a new life without getting reminded of our mother and father's deaths which we still sorrow everyday.

We have been traveling for three days, and we finally reached the Missouri river. The stream wasn't flowing very hard but our family doesn't like to take many chances. We decide to pay the Indian who was on the other side of the river $25 to take the ferry. We safely made it past the river with only a few drops of water covering our already filthy, dirty skin.

After crossing the river we moved along the path we had been following before. We found a perfect spot to hunt. I decided to make use of one of my ammunition boxes and hunted for our family. Sadly, I was not a very good hunter yet. I didn't have the luck to shoot any animals and came back with no meat to pleasure my family. We moved along with empty stomachs and met an Indian gambler. He decided to make a deal with us. The deal was if we won a challenge we'd get some good ol' money but if we lost we'd give it to them. We lost the dang deal but we showed great effort so the Indian gambler decided to let us move on without winning or losing any money.

Jounal Entry #2

By now we've been at this trail for about 3 weeks. It's hard to keep track of time under these circumstances. We reached a large river. The stream was flowing a bit harder and the water was higher. We once again decided not to take any chances. We pay the Indian $45 to take the ferry. We made it safely over the river. I counted out my money and we still had $335 left.

Some of the other families got out their rifles and ammunition boxes. They were getting ready to hunt. I decided to do the same. We can't live off of vegetables and pinto beans forever. I use one of my ammunition boxes. After a while of sitting in silence behind a bush, I decide to give up. I once again go back to our wagon with an empty stomach. When I got back I saw that one family even got 50 pounds of fresh meat! Zach frowned when he saw me come back with nothing but an used rifle.

Our wagon train chose a path to follow. It was the long way to the end of that path yet it was safer then the other road we could've taken. Once again, we took no chances.

Journal Entry #3

We met a Native American today who wanted to trade. Even though we could have gained some valuable stuff from him we decided to move on anyway. We want to get to our dream place as fast as possible. We walked for a while until we met another Native American. He asked us a question. "Do you have a warm heart?" Every single family including ours answered yes. Without another word he handed each family one orphan baby which we had adopted. Little Eliza asked me if we could name the little baby Benjamin. I agreed and we once again moved on. To make our wagon lighter we got rid of 75 BWUs. We definitely felt the difference and followed the path. After a few hours the wagon seemed like it was about to break. We decided to get rid of even more BWU's. 100 BWUs to be exact. The wagon seemed fine so we started walking again.

We reached the a very large river. Since we still had $335 left we took the ferry for $50. It was quite expensive but worth it since the river's stream was flowing pretty hard. We got to the other side. What we didn't know was that we had to make a hard decision once we did cross the river. We were to choose what path to take. After 20 minutes of debate we decided we should take the massacre trail. It was a shortcut to the Hades Desert. A man that had traveled this path a few months ago had told us all the tales about Indians attacking anyone they saw at this trail were false. We decided to believe him and started our way to the path, some of us still scared and others all good.

Welcome to the family Benjamin Hendriks.

Journal Entry #4

A disease called Cholera had been spreading all over the place. Many people in our wagon train have died, including our little orphan baby Benjamin. Still sorrowing our loss, I wanted to find out what this disease was. I tested infected people and found out it gives you watery diarrhea, grayish blueish skin, and sometimes it could even kill someone. After my findings I got $25 as a reward. I now had $315. We buried Benjamin and had a moment of silence for our loss. However, we sadly had to move on to keep the living safe.

We got to a stop because some families decided to hunt. I decided to test my hunting skills again. I prayed to God that I could finally hunt some fresh meat for me and my family. Fortunately, He helped me this time.I came back with 5 pounds of fresh meat. It may not seem much but it sure did cheer up my siblings.

Our wagon train had to move on after eating our fresh meat. We wanted to get to our destination faster so each wagon got rid of another 100 BWUs. After a while we reached the Hades Desert. If we survive this we will officially be able to get a new life. However it was a dangerous place here because of Indians and temperatures. We had 4 choices, send 3 pioneers to check the dessert out which could waste time , stay back for the winter, or just follow the path without wasting any time. We decided to do the latter.

We followed the path. We lost all our food which led to cannibalism and because of the cold temperatures some of us froze to death. People have gone crazy and started eating people. All my siblings have died while I'm hiding from the other people. They will find me soon but for now I'll hide behind these bushes with my journal in my arms. My journal; the only thing I have left.

RIP Benjamin Hendriks