Voices from the Oregon Trail

Ben Wendlandt

Day 1

Today we started our journal on the Oregon trail. We came to a river where an Indian had set up a ferry that you could take for 25 dollars. Me and my family decided to ford the river. We lost nothing and no one fell out. Later in the day, we went hunting. Some of us got meat, while others did not. Some people even broke rifles. We also had our first possibly negative encounter with Indians today. They offered a gamble, but none of the families in my wagon train participated.

The trails so far have been good to us. No one has gotten hurt and none of the wagons have lost anything. I have heard rumors about how the trail gets harsher as you continue on. I can only hope that's not true, for the sake of my family and the entire wagon train.

Day 2

Today was the first day that the Oregon trail became real to us. One of the horses that were pulling our wagon got spooked by a snake and it toppled our cart. My daughter got caught under the wagon and we fear her leg is broken. Fortunately, I had researched how to treat broken legs before we left. Later in the day we came across a tribe chief. We lost his game, and we paid with all of our ammunition. There will be no chance to get it back, so we cannot use hunting as a source of food.

We came across a stream and decided to fill up our water barrels. We filled up 12 in all. One of the women in our wagon train is pregnant, and their child is due soon, which would mean another addition to our wagon train. At the end of the day, we reached a fork in the road. One option was the burial grounds trail, which is short and leads directly to where we are going, but is rumored to be inhabited with violent Indians. The other follows a river and is safer, but it is much longer. In the end we decided to take the risk and use the burial grounds trail, for fear we wouldn't get to the snow pass to be able to cross it. Hoping for the best.

Day 3

Today Aiden's wife gave birth to a baby girl! On another note, 2 of our wagons lost 100 bwu's of items, which is severely crippling. I spotted a good spot to hunt, but as we have no ammunition, we could not go look. Later in the day, India got bitten by a scorpion, but she is expected to live.

Later today tragedy struck. One young man died of sickness, and another died when she fell from her wagon into a fast flowing river. After his and her solemn burial, we continued on our way. We came across a fork and chose to take the most direct route, the massacre trail. I am mourning our dead, but we have started to see so many graves on the trail that is has become normal to see them.

Day 4

We are nearing our destination. As we continue down the massacre trail, we come upon a large pile of rubble blocking the trail. It takes time to clear it and by the time we are done it was already dusk. After continuing on for sometime, we came across a desert. We filled our water barrels and started on the journey. After some days, we began to run out of water. after 2 weeks, we were completely out. My Daughter and my wife both succumbed to the heat and died of heat stroke. We also lost all of our animals when we ran out of feed. Things are beginning to seem pointless.

We have finally made it to the mountain range that will lead us to Oregon. Every wagon dropped 400 weight units so that their wagons could make it up the mountain. We decided to take the snow pass that would lead us straight to Oregon. All the other options were safer, but we wouldn't get to Oregon until next year. As soon as we entered the pass, we knew we had made the wrong choice, but could not back out now. Eventually our wagons got stuck and we knew it was pointless to try to survive any longer. I watched my family die until I was the last one still living in the train. I write this as I sit in my wagon, knowing I don't have much time left.

Signing out for the last time,

Ben Wendlandt