Friday, August 27, 2010

The Oregon Trail

I started reading a book lately called Wagons West! by Dana Fuller Ross. I'm a nut about American History, especially colonial or pioneer history. These books were written in the 1980's and perhaps I read them back then but it's been so long I can't remember. On our journey home from Yellowstone we were traveling through southern Wyoming through flat land filled with sagebrush. A butte here and there, but mostly very flat, sagey blue-green landscape. The two lane highway was nearly straight as an arrow. I asked Mr. Scottie Dog to stop so I could use the bathroom n our trailer and he pulled off into a large turnoff with an historical marker.

Lo and behold! (don't you just love an old cliche') it was a marker for The Oregon Trail. We'd have missed it if I hadn't had so much diet coke to drink! Here I am standing right in the actual ruts of The Oregon Trail. You can even see it off in the distance.

Where, oh where would a staid lady of the times find a place to do her duty? I've heard that when a train stopped for a break, all the ladies would go a ways off and take turns "going." All the other ladies would form a circle and facing out, they would fan out their skirts so as to shield the one in the middle.

Another thing I've always heard was the most women didn't ride in their covered wagons. That would put undo hardship on the animals pulling the wagon. So most of the women actually walked from the mid-west to Oregon or California. Imagine!

It took us only a couple of hours to drive through this lonely landscape and on the Salt Lake City. I can only imagine how many weeks of walking through this flat and desolate landscape it took. Hats off to you, my pioneer foremothers!


Anonymous said...

This is great Brenda--can I have your permission to use this in with my 4th graders--show them my friends and the trail we learn so much about? I too am a history nut! My new school year starts Monday. Wagons, HO! Christi

Beka and Jason Haché said...

Love it!!! Wish I could've been there, so cool! I'm glad you found it!

Anna Lena Land said...

Brenda, I'm so jealous! I'm busy researching that part of the trail. My great-grandma crossed the trail in 1852 when she was 10 years old. Her parents both dies, and she arrived at the Cascades an orphan. Someday I'm going to write a book and tell her story.

Carol E. said...

This is such a fascinating part of our history. I would have loved to see the trail, too.. although your picture is just about as good as being there. I can't imagine going through all of that.. the heat, the pain, the boredom, the fears, and the not knowing what was ahead. Unimaginable. Interesting "mother nature" story.. i'd always wondered about that, too!

Danny said...

This is very good of having holiday times and this affects also health and body re freshness.
Every body should go after certain time to the holidays.