How is this for a summer vacation: Missouri to Oregon. 2,000 miles. 5 - 6 months. Walking most of the way. Of course, any ride in a buckboard, stagecoach, buggy, or prairie schooner was not the most comfortable. Is it any wonder that folks walked when they could--plus the fact that those wagons were chock full of stuff. "The Oregon Trail was much more than a pathway to the state of Oregon; it was the only practical corridor to the entire western United States." writes the website "The Oregon Trail" (america101.us/trail/Oregontrail.html). "The places we now know as Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho and Utah would probably not be a part of the United States today were it not for the Oregon Trail. That's because the Trail was the only feasible way for settlers to get across the mountains...The journey West on the Oregon Trail was exceptionally difficult by today's standards. One in 10 died along the way; the common misconception is that Native Americans were the emigrant's biggest problem en route. Quite the contrary, most native tribes were quite helpful to the emigrants. The real enemies of the pioneers were cholera, poor sanitation and--surprisingly--accidental gunshots." The BLM has a great page about the Oregon Trail for kids: blm.gov/or/oregontrail/education-kids-trail.php. Take a look at how these artists connected with wagons. Which one would you like to have ridden in for your pioneer trek?
A Buffalo Bill Center of the West Virtual Exhibit
Curated by: Marg2309