Oregon Trail Journal
By Rachel Mondloch
Today is April 25, 1854. I have left on the trail with my family. I am Dave Baker and I have 2 boys, 2 girls, a wife, and my wives father. Billy is our first child and is 16 years old, Mike is 10 years old, Sam is our oldest daughter and she is 4, and my youngest daughter is Cynthia and she is a new born. My wife's name is Jill and her elderly father is joining us on this trip.
We had left on this journey trying to find a better life than we had in Boston, Massachusetes. I have brought along 983 bwu of supplies and 500 dollars. Sadly on our first day we had to overcome an obstacle. we had to cross the Missouri river and pay 25 dollars to ride the ferry, but the good news is that no one got hurt and we crossed safely. we were also able to keep track of all the supplies. After we had crossed the river we kept going along the trail. The wagon groups all decided that we should stop and hunt. I used my rifle and one box of ammo. Thankfully I shot 50 pounds of fresh meat.
Next we went back on the trial to continue our wonderful journey. I had seen a man standing off in the distance and I couldn't tell until we got closer that he was an Indian chief. He meant no harm but he offered us a deal. our wagon groups lost the gamble and had to pay him 25 dollars, and the bet us costs 500 minutes in delay. Now it is night and I must get my rest for our first official full day on the trail.
It has been a while since I last wrote in my journal. Today is May 27, 1854 so it has been about one month. While resting after a hot couple of hours a tribal chief approaches our family wagon and offers us a challenge. My wife said that we should accept, I did so. thankfully we won against him and he payed us in boxes of ammo, I received 5. we ended up advancing 100 minutes faster than we had expected.
After our fast time that we had made, we quickly approached the sand flats river. Since the ferry costs 20 dollars more than the last ferry I decided that it would be best if we cross ourselves. Unfortunately I a have horrible judgment and Jills father fell off of the wagon and broke his leg. Stan did not make a quick recovery and tragically died. after a proper burial , and ceremony for Mr.Stan Smith we did have to move on. We have just reached our first fork in the trail. our group wagon leader said we should sleep on it and then decide what route to take in the morning. I personally think we should take the quicker but unsafe route but I am certain that Jill thinks differently about that.
Today is June 14 and It has been a week or two since I have written last. We had chosen the burial ground trail when we reached the fork and it didn't have any negative effects on the wagon groups. The wagon has been on the burial grounds trail but it just recently met up with the other trail. Today has been a wild day. Within the first hour of traveling a native American told us to turn around. He threatened that he and his tribe would soon attack us if we followed along his trail. Of course we took the risk to get there faster and ignored his warnings. As the wagons kept on going, there was a rough patch in the road and someone had fallen off. As i had looked over the edge to see who it was I saw Cynthia crying and suddenly the cry faded off...
Jill and I had a proper burial and ceremony once again but it was time to move on. When Sam had asked me for some food I checked the wagon and realized that we have gone through 10 BWU of food so far and we where almost out. I decided I should go hunting, again that used up 1 box of ammo but this time I used my pistol. I guess my pistol was my lucky charm because I shot 15 pounds of turkey. We forged the river because it was a small one. No supplies where lost or damaged thankfully. A couple hours after we had made it to massacre canyon and took that route.
Today is September 12 1854, and It is what we suspect will be our last day on the trail. Our family alone has gone through or lost about 300 BWU of food. We lost most of it today when crossing the vast, hot, and humid desert. All food that wasn't dried was spoiled and had to be left behind. Everyone in the Baker family is hungry, but I haven't gotten the chance to go hunting yet. We only have limited dried fruit left to eat.
The other wagons where not as fortunate as us to still have a little bit of food left. After 2 and a half days of starvation they had resulted to cannibalism and everyone died. After that, two more wagon groups moved on into the snow. It was very cold and very harsh compared to what we had gone through at the desert . We decided to take a chance and go through the snow instead of waiting for it to melt. Thankfully we made it through and no one got hurt and no extra supplies where lost. We are spending one last night on the trail and then continuing along with our lives in Oregon after tonight.