Document (c) 2009 VinnyVideo (VHamilton002@gmail.com) Game Text (c) 1993 MECC ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Borland C++ - Copyright 1991 Borland Intl. Divide error Abnormal program termination BEEP.SND Pulling up on shore... unable to write to drive %c, it is write protected. drive %c is not ready. critical error #%d. action not completed. press any key. NOSOUND The Oregon Trail requires 480K of memory to run, 525K with sound turned on. There is not enough free memory. Remove any TSR programs or device drivers that are not needed. Your display is not supported by The Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail requires a VGA video device. The Oregon Trail requires a mouse to run. Please make sure that you have a mouse attached and a mouse driver loaded. OREGON.GXL Unable to open The Oregon Trail library. Your copy of The Oregon Trail may be damaged. Please reinstall The Oregon Trail. Licensed To: Trail Guide Adventurer Greenhorn Memory Allocation Error, not enough memory to continue. Remove any TSR programs or device drivers that are not needed and run The Oregon Trail again. Stephen Meek David Hastings Andrew Sublette Celinda Hines Ezra Meeker William Vaughn Mary Bartlett William Wiggins Charles Hopper Elijah White You Lost: wagon wheels wagon tongues wagon axles pounds of food sets of clothes bullets oxen (drowned) your raft nothing Independence, Missouri the Kansas River Crossing the Big Blue River Crossing Fort Kearney Chimney Rock Fort Laramie Independence Rock South Pass Fort Bridger the Green River Crossing Soda Springs Fort Hall the Snake River Crossing Fort Boise Grande Ronde in the Blue Mountains Fort Walla Walla The Dalles the Willamette Valley You started down the trail with . You brought back pound s of food. You bought at the store. You decided to hunt. You chose to ford the river. You chose to caulk your wagon and float it across the river. You chose to take a ferry across the river. You chose to have an Indian guide help you cross the river. You decided to rest for day s . You have reached . January February March April May June July August September October November December Steady Strenuous Grueling Filling Meager Bare Bones Good Fair Poor Very Poor Dying lbs. Stopped Resting Delayed Moving tipped sank member s of your wagon drowned. Your wagon and you lost . steady strenuous grueling You decided to change the pace to . wheel axle tongue Heavy snow has rendered your wagon snowbound. was bitten by a snake. An Indian helped you find some food. You found some wild fruit. Blizzard! Severe storm. Heavy fog. Hailstorm! You've lost the trail. You took the wrong trail. The trail is impassable. Rough trail. You had a wagon break but were able to fix it. You had a wagon break but were able to replace it from supplies. You have a broken wagon and are unable to fix it. You have no more oxen. An ox is sick. An ox died. has a broken arm. has a broken leg. Strong Winds! An ox wandered off. got lost. A fire in your wagon destroyed . Strong Winds! You found an abandoned wagon, but there was nothing to be scavenged. You found in an abandoned wagon. A thief stole from your wagon. No grass for the oxen. Bad water. No water. Strong Winds! ox en set s of clothing bullet s wagon wheel s wagon axle s wagon tongue s pound s of food, and is suffering from exhaustion. is sick with typhoid fever. has cholera. has the measles. has dysentery. has a fever. died of typhoid fever. died of cholera. died of measles. died of dysentery. died of a snakebite. is well again. got sick and died. Burying and mourning the dead. Hunting Outcome: You brought back You shot pound s of food and used bullet s. If you continue to hunt in this area, game will become scarce. , but were only able to fit more pound s in your wagon. , but were only able to carry pound s of food back. You can only buy supplies at forts. You can't go hunting because the weather is too severe. Hunting is not allowed near You have no oxen. You must get another ox to continue. You have a broken wagon Your only ox is sick. You must get another ox to continue. You made it safely across the river. You can't go hunting because you have no bullets. You made it across the river, but got stuck in the muddy river banks. You made it across the river, but all of your supplies got wet. Your wagon tipped. Your wagon sank. You don't have three sets of clothing to give the Indian. You cannot afford to take the Barlow Toll Road. You cannot afford to take the ferry. wheel axle tongue , because there are too many people around. and are unable to fix it. You will have to trade for one. Fortunately, nobody was injured and you recovered all your supplies. Your wagon tipped sank while crossing the river. You lost: Everyone in your wagon has died. (drowned) ox en set s of clothing bullet s wagon wheel s wagon axle s wagon tongue s pound s of food You decided to take the trail to the Green River Crossing. Fort Bridger. Fort Walla Walla. The Dalles. the Barlow Toll Road. You decided to go rafting. River Crossing Help To ford a river means to pull your wagon across a shallow part of the river, with the oxen still attached. To caulk the wagon means to seal it with pitch or tar so that no water can get in. The wagon can then be floated across like a boat. To use a ferry means to put your wagon on top of a flat boat that belongs to someone else. The owner of the ferry will charge a fee to take your wagon across the river. To hire an Indian means that you will give an Indian several sets of clothing to help you across the river. You must cross the river to continue. The river is currently feet wide and .5 0 feet deep. Head to Fort Bridger to buy supplies Take the shortcut to the Green River Head to Fort Walla Walla to buy supplies Take the shortcut to the Dalles Take the Barlow Toll Road Raft down the River filling meager bare bones You changed your rations to . RATION.CTR Sorry, but nobody here's got to spare. Sure, I'll trade you for . Is it a deal? (You have .) You traded for . ox set of clothing bullet wagon wheel wagon axle wagon tongue pound of food dollar sets of clothing pounds of food You don't have enough space in the wagon. There won't be enough grass for all the oxen. Zeke Jed Anna Mary Joey Beth John Sara Henry Emily Exhaustion Typhoid Cholera Measles Dysentery Fever Broken Leg Broken Arm Snake Bite Healthy Deceased Banker Blacksmith Carpenter Doctor Farmer Merchant Saddlemaker Teacher Good Fair Poor Very Poor Dying Status Current Supplies: Current Health: ox en set s of clothes bullet s wagon wheel s wagon axle s wagon tongue s pound s of food Money: Occupation: more I'm afraid there's not enough room in your wagon to carry %d %s%s. You'll have to go back and buy less. Matt's General Store Fort Kearney Fort Laramie Fort Bridger Fort Hall Fort Boise Fort Walla Wall I'm afraid there won't be enough grass along the trail for %d more oxen. You will have to go back and buy less. sets of clothing boxes of bullets wagon wheels wagon axles wagon tongues pounds of food is well again. Independence, Missouri Kansas River Crossing Big Blue River Crossing Fort Kearney Chimney Rock Fort Laramie Independence Rock South Pass Fort Bridger Green River Crossing Soda Springs Fort Hall Snake River Crossing Fort Boise Grande Ronde in the Blue Mountains Fort Walla Walla The Dalles Everyone in your party has died. Many wagons fail to make it all the way to Oregon. Crossing the river Banker Blacksmith Carpenter Doctor Farmer Merchant Saddlemaker Teacher Wagon Score You arrived on and received the following number of points. people person arriving in good fair poor very poor health x 1 wagon x 50 oxen x 4 spare wagon parts x 2 sets of clothing x 2 bullets 50 pounds of food 25 dollars 5 = bonus x . Your Score Unknown Traveler Animals of the Plains Animals of the Mountains Arapaho Indians Bannock Indians Barlow Toll Road Bear Lake Big Blue River Blackfoot Indians Blue Mountains Boise Climate Caulking Cheyenne Indians Chimney Rock Chinook Indians Cholera Columbia River Dalles, The Diseases Donner Party Dysentery Ferry Fording Fort Boise Fort Bridger Fort Hall Fort Kearney Fort Laramie Fort Walla Walla Fur Trade Grande Ronde "Great American Desert" Green River Independence, Missouri Independence Rock Indian Reservations Kansas-Nebraska Climate Kansas River Laramie Climate Laramie Mountains Measles Mount Hood Nez Percé & Cayuse Indians Oregon City Oregon Territory Pawnee Indians Plains Indians Platte River River Crossings Rocky Mountains Shoshoni Indians Sioux (Lakota) Indians Snake River Soda Springs South Pass Sweetwater River Typhoid Umatila Indians Wagon Tongue Wasatch Mountains Waterfalls Willamette Valley MECC OREGON TRAIL MECC OREGON TRAIL CLOCK$ CON AUX COM1 COM2 COM3 COM4 LPT1 LPT2 NUL PRN This disk appears to be damaged or some files are missing. This is a MECC Membership product copy that has not been properly duplicated and registered. Please use the MECC duplication program to make working copies. This is a MECC Demo product whose time has run out. Please call MECC to obtain a legal copy. PROGRAM IS NOT AVAILABLE This product is licensed for use by a single computer at a time. It is currently being used by someone else on the network. Please try again later. The network version of this program may be licensed from MECC. Please call MECC at %s for details. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ What would you like to read about? Introduction What was it like to cross 2,000 miles of plains, rivers, and mountains in 1848? The Oregon Trail" allows you relive one of the greatest adventures in American history: the journey taken by thousands of emigrants on the Oregon Trail. It was a long, difficult journey--one that often resulted in failure and death. But for those who succeeded, it led to a new and better life in the rich, fertile Willamette Valley of Oregon. How will you make life-and-death decisions? How will you cross the rivers? How much and what kind of supplies should you take along? If you run low on provisions, will you be able to hunt or trade to get the food you need? Will you overcome the dangers of disease and severe weather? "The Oregon Trail" poses these and other exciting challenges. If for some reason you don't survive--your wagon burns, thieves steal your oxen, you run out of provisions, or you die of cholera--don't give up! Unlike the real-life pioneers of 1848, you can try again and again until you succeed and your name is added to "The Oregon Trail List of Legends." The object of "The Oregon Trail" is for you to make it all the way from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon's Willamette Valley. Along the way, you'll have many decisions to make. On the computer screen you'll see various "buttons" that you can click with the mouse. Clicking on these buttons allows you to perform different functions vital to the success of your journey. For example, clicking on the "Rations" button lets you decide how much food you'll eat each day along the trail. How fast do you want to travel? A steady pace A strenuous pace A grueling pace Welcome to The Oregon Trail! You're about to begin a great adventure, traveling the Oregon Trail across the rugged landscape of North America. Your covered wagon, pulled by a team of oxen, will travel from Independence, Missouri, to the fertile Willamette Valley of the Oregon Territory--a journey of approximately 2,000 miles. Before you set off on the trail, register your name, the names of the members of your wagon party, and your occupation. After that, you'll need to buy supplies and make other important decisions. Good Luck! The final leg of your journey is a trip down the Columbia River, beginning at The Dalles and ending at the Willamette Valley, where the Willamette River flows into the Columbia. You've built a raft and loaded your wagon, supplies and oxen aboard. Use your mouse to steer the raft down the river. You can steer to the left and right by moving the mouse in those directions. Moving the mouse up and down and clicking has no effect. The Columbia River is very rough in spots, with lots of rocks. If there's been a lot of rain recently, the river level is higher and rocks won't be as much a problem. But if there hasn't been much rain--which is common since eastern Oregon is a dry region--you'll see more rocks in the river. Try to avoid those rocks! If your raft hits a rock, it may be damaged and you may lose some supplies. Your raft may even tip over or be destroyed, and lives may be lost! Good luck! The Great Plains boast a diverse wildlife population. Among the animals that you may see on the plains are bison (also called "buffalo"), whitetail deer, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and jackrabbits. You may also see prairie chickens, geese, and ducks. The hunting is pretty good, but the closer you get to the mountains, the drier it gets. In the drier regions, wildlife is less plentiful. Among the many animals that live in the mountains and valleys of the West are whitetail deer, mule deer, elk, moose, beavers, snowshoe hares, jackrabbits, squirrels, bighorn sheep, minks, otters, geese, and ducks. There are also some large predators, such as bears and mountain lions. These can pose a danger to careless travelers, so it's important always to have your rifle handy. One of the American Indian tribes that live in the region along the Platte River is the Inuna-ina, better known as the Arapaho. Like most other Plains tribes, they are a nomadic people. Inuna-ina culture includes highly structured military societies, but most of their wars are fought with other Indian tribes, such as the Pawnee and the Shoshoni. Their relations with settlers so far have been peaceful. The Bannock Indians live along the Snake River in the southeastern part of the Oregon Territory. They're a small nomadic tribe but exercise considerable influence over their neighbors, the Shoshoni, with whom they are closely allied. During the summer they catch salmon in the Snake River and its tributaries, while in the fall they hunt buffalo Emigrants who don't want to raft down the Columbia River can take the Barlow Toll Road. It was cut in 1845 by Samuel Barlow, who obtained a grant from the territorial legislature to charge a toll for its use. Passing through rough, mountainous terrain, it runs from The Dalles to the Willamette Valley. It's a difficult 90 miles, but many prefer it to rafting. Between Fort Bridger and Soda Springs, the Oregon Trail passes near Bear Lake. With a surface area of a little more than 100 square miles, it's one of the largest lakes you'll encounter on your journey to Oregon. It's also one of the best sources of good drinking water in the region. Near Bear Lake is the Bear River, which you'll follow for a short ways. The Big Blue River is a tributary to the Kansas River, which is in turn a tributary to the Missouri. It's approximately 300 miles long. Farther to the south and west is the Little Blue River, which links up with the Big Blue at Blue Rapids. You'll cross the Big Blue north of the rapids, allowing you to avoid the Little Blue River altogether. Although it's unlikely, you may encounter some Siksika Indians--better known as the Blackfoot--near Soda Springs, which is at the extreme southern fringe of their territory. Unlike most of the other tribes on the trail, the Siksika have not had peaceful relations with emigrants, whom they consider to be trespassers. The Siksika are the most powerful tribe of the Rocky Mountains region. After you leave Fort Boise, you'll face another dry stretch of rugged land. But soon you'll see the Blue Mountains, so named because their slopes are covered with pine and fir trees, which give them a dark blue color. At the Blue Mountains, the trail divides. If you're low on supplies, head for Fort Walla Walla. Otherwise, you should go straight to The Dalles. Although near Fort Boise there is adequate moisture for many trees, this region is still quite dry overall. In some areas it's like a desert! Luckily, you'll have plenty of water as long as you stay close to the rivers. During the summer, it gets extremely hot. The winters are equally harsh, and blizzards are not uncommon. Don't be caught here during the winter! "Caulking" is when you turn your wagon over and cover the bottom with pitch or tar to make it watertight. Then you can pile your supplies on top and try to float them across a river. It should only be attempted in water more than two-and-a-half feet deep. Even then, there's some risk that the wagon may sink or capsize, in which case you may lose some supplies. There may even be some drownings. The Tsistsista--better known as the Cheyenne--are a widely scattered American Indian people, some of whom live in the region surrounding Fort Laramie. They have a nomadic culture, following the buffalo herds and living in easily moved tepees. Until recently they were in a long-standing war with the Kiowa, but peace has now been established. So far relations with settlers have been good. Chimney Rock is an important landmark on the Oregon Trail. It's a spectacular natural formation of solid rock and can be seen for miles around. In fact, you can see it for a whole day as you approach it and for another whole day as you leave it behind. If you don't see it at all within a week or so after leaving Fort Kearney, you've probably strayed too far off the trail. The Chinook Indians live along the Columbia River. Famous as traders, they travel widely across the Northwest, carrying goods back and forth between coastal peoples and those living in the mountains and Great Plains. The Chinook language has therefore become the chief trading language of the region. Anyone who wants to succeed as a trader in the Oregon Territory had better know Chinook. Cholera is caused by a bacterial infection of the small intestine, acquired from contaminated food or water. Its symptoms include severe diarrhea, vomiting, muscle cramps, and weakness. If left untreated, its victims can quickly become dehydrated, go into a coma, and die. It's vital that patients rest and replace the water and salt they've lost. Recovery takes place within two to seven days. The Columbia River is the largest, most important river in the Northwest. It starts up in Canada and passes through the Oregon Territory, flowing more than 1,000 miles to the Pacific Ocean. It has cut a deep gorge through the rugged Oregon countryside. It also has many rapids, making navigation difficult. Rafting down the Columbia can be very dangerous! The Dalles is the chief embarkation point for rafts heading down the Columbia River toward the Willamette Valley. It was named by French fur-trappers, who likened the deep, stony river gorge to a huge gutter. (In French, the word "dalles" can refer to "gutters" or "flagstones.") Emigrants to Oregon often stop here to rest and trade before rafting down the Columbia. Various types of disease are common threats on the trail, especially during the second half of the journey as supplies run low or travelers become exhausted. Among these diseases are measles, cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. When members of your party fall ill, you would be wise to stop and rest for several days in order to aid their recovery. In 1846, a wagon train captained by George Donner set off on the Oregon Trail. After South Pass, they turned southwest toward California. But they were delayed in the Rockies and Great Salt Lake Desert and were blocked by winter snows in the Sierra Nevada. Half of them died, and the survivors resorted to cannibalism. To keep slow wagons moving, usually all you have to do is mention the Donner Party. Dysentery is an inflammation of the intestines that can be caused by bacteria, internal parasites, or chemical poisons spread by contaminated food or water. Its symptoms include abdominal pain and severe diarrhea. Death can result from dehydration or blood poisoning. Rest and good water are important for recovery, although it can recur chronically for a long period of time. At some rivers, there are large, flat rafts known as "ferries" available to take your wagon across. You'll have to pay the ferry-owner several dollars for the crossing. It is, however, one of the safest ways of crossing a river, especially if the water level is high. But it's not without some risk. Like any boat or raft, a ferry can sink. "Fording" a river means trying to pull your wagon through a shallow part of the river, with the oxen still attached. It should only be attempted in slow- moving water less than two-and-a-half feet deep. Even then, there's some risk of getting stuck, of the oxen losing their footing, or of having your wagon swamped by water, in which case you may lose some supplies. Fort Boise was built by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1834 as a fur-trading outpost. Its name comes from the French word "boisé," meaning "wooded." That's because there are lots of trees here, unlike the dry region of the Snake River Plain to the east. An important stop on the Oregon Trail, it stands on the banks of the Boise River, a tributary to the Snake River. Fort Bridger is a U.S. Army outpost, although it was founded in 1843 by fur trader and scout Jim Bridger as a trading post and way station. It's an important stop along the Oregon Trail, where travelers can rest, buy supplies, and obtain information about the next stretch of the journey. A little over 100 miles to the southwest is the recent Mormon settlement of Salt Lake City. Fort Hall is an outpost on the banks of the Snake River. It was originally a fur-trading post, founded by Nathaniel Wyeth in 1834. Later it was bought by the Hudson's Bay Company. Ever since it has served as an important stop along the Oregon Trail, where emigrants can rest and buy supplies. Some travelers turn southwest at this point and head for California. Fort Kearney is a U.S. Army post established in 1848 near the Platte River. It garrisons cavalry troops who protect settlers and travelers along the Oregon Trail. It was named for Gen. Stephen Watts Kearny (often spelled "Kearney"), who died in 1848 after helping to establish law and order in the region and serving in the Mexican War. Fort Laramie is a U.S. Army post near the junction of the North Platte and Laramie Rivers. Originally called Fort William, it was founded as a fur- trading post in 1834. It was renamed for Jacques Laramie, a French trapper who worked in the region earlier in the century. Fort Laramie is an important stop for resting and getting supplies along the trail. Fort Walla Walla was established in 1818 as a fur-trading post at the juncture of the Columbia and Walla Walla Rivers. It later became a military fort. Marcus Whitman worked as a medical missionary nearby from 1836 to 1847. Walla Walla is the name of an American Indian tribe living in the region. The Walla Wallas are closely related to and allied with the Umatila. The Oregon country was opened up by fur trappers and traders. Indians, British, Russians, French, Spanish, and Americans all took part in the northwest fur trade. But it was the British and Americans who eventually laid claim to the Oregon country, and they divided it between themselves in 1846. The fur trade is still important to the region, but agriculture and the timber industry are gaining on it. The Grande Ronde (French for "great ring") is a river that runs roughly parallel to the Blue Mountains. The Oregon Trail crosses through the Grande Ronde river valley just before the mountains. The Grande Ronde valley is noted for its beauty and is greatly appreciated by emigrants as a sign that their long journey is nearing its end. Many people call the region that stretches out hundreds of miles to the west of the Big Blue River "the Great American Desert." That's because it's a flat, dry region in which there isn't much growing except for grass. Others, however, see all that grass as evidence that such crops as wheat may be grown here someday. But for now hardly anyone wants to live here. The Green River is a tributary to the Colorado River, flowing south from the Continental Divide along a twisted, rugged path. It's estimated to be more than 700 miles in length. It's navigable only at high water, and even then it's extremely dangerous. But you must cross it before proceeding west on the Oregon Trail, so be very careful. The town of Independence in western Missouri is one of the chief starting points for folks setting off on the Oregon Trail. Emigrants from the east often rendezvous here to form wagon trains. They stock up on supplies, get information about the journey, and make important decisions--such as when to set off on the trail. Independence Rock is an important landmark and resting place along the Oregon Trail. It's a large natural formation, almost 200 feet tall, made of soft stone into which many travelers and traders have carved their names, initials, or brief messages. It gets its name from the fact that, in order to stay on schedule, travelers try to reach it no later than July 4--Independence Day. Early on the trail, in the area of the Kansas River, you'll be passing through some Indian reservations. The Indians who live here belong to tribes that originally lived much farther to the east, but were forced by the government to move. Among these tribes are the Lenni Lenape (Delaware), the Kaskaskia, the Kiwigapawa (Kickapoo), the Maumee (Miami), the Peoria, and the Shawunogi (Shawnee). The Kansas-Nebraska region has a continental climate, with very hot summers and cold winters. But the soil is quite fertile, and already some farmers are beginning to settle here, especially along the Kansas River. But the farther west you go, the fewer settlers you'll find. Once you cross the Big Blue River, you'll be entering the so-called "Great American Desert." The Kansas River is a tributary to the Missouri. It is approximately 170 miles long. Its width and depth vary depending on the amount of recent rain or snow melt. Where the Oregon Trail crosses the Kansas River, the average width is 620 feet and the usual depth in the middle is about 4 feet. But be sure to check the present conditions when you get there. The farther west you travel along the North Platte River, the drier it gets. The region surrounding Fort Laramie has a near-desert climate with sparse vegetation. In the summer it's extremely hot, and in the winter the cold can be just as extreme. It's important that you stay close to good sources of water. That's why the Oregon Trail follows the rivers. After you leave Fort Laramie, you'll see the Laramie Mountains rising in the distance. These are at the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountain system and are relatively low. The mountains get much higher as you go farther west. Still, the Laramie Mountains would be difficult to cross. Luckily, the Oregon Trail cuts to the north, allowing you to go around them. Measles is a highly contagious disease that usually strikes children, although adults can get it if they've never had it before. Its symptoms include fever, cold-like symptoms (such as a sore throat), and a splotchy red rash. If patients get good food and rest, they almost always recover after several days. If ignored, however, it can lead to pneumonia and death, especially among infants and the elderly. If you take the Barlow Toll Road, you'll be winding around the southern foot of Mount Hood. One of the tallest mountains in the Oregon Territory--more than 10,000 feet in height--its snow-capped volcanic peak can be seen for many miles around. It's less than fifty miles from the Willamette Valley. Emigrants use it as a landmark, telling them that their long journey is nearly complete. There are many different American Indian tribes in the region surrounding Fort Boise. Two of the largest are the Tsutpeli and the Waiilatpus, better known as the Nez Percé and the Cayuse. Their major source of food is salmon, although they also hunt deer and gather roots and berries. They are the sworn enemies of the Shoshoni. Be careful not to get involved in any disputes between different tribes! Oregon City is the capital and one of the largest towns of the Oregon Territory. It sits at the end of the Barlow Toll Road at the north end of the Willamette Valley, just south from where the Willamette flows into the Columbia. Many emigrants settle within a few miles of Oregon City, though others head for less crowded unclaimed land farther south. If you're on the trail between Soda Springs and Fort Hall, you're already in the Oregon Territory. The bill establishing the Oregon Territory was passed by Congress and signed by President Polk in 1848. But you still have a long way to go before you reach your final destination, the fertile Willamette Valley. In fact, some of the most difficult country still lies ahead. Many of the American Indians in the area surrounding Fort Kearney and along the Platte River are Chahiksichahiks, a Plains tribe better known as the Pawnee. They live in villages consisting of dome-shaped earth lodges, although on buffalo hunts they use tepees. Relations between the Pawnee and emigrants are peaceful. In fact, many Pawnee serve the army as scouts. For about the first half of the trail, most of the American Indians you may encounter will be Plains Indians, who live very differently than eastern Indians. They're generally migratory and rely heavily upon buffalo for food and clothing. Among the Plains tribes that you may meet along the first half of the trail are the Pawnee, the Arapaho, the Cheyenne, and the Sioux. After leaving Fort Kearney, you'll travel along the Platte River for quite a ways. This will help keep you on the trail as well as provide you with a reliable source of good water. About 60 miles west of Fort Kearney, the Platte River splits in two, into the North Platte and the South Platte. The trail then follows the North Platte on to Chimney Rock and beyond. You'll have many rivers to cross on your way to Oregon. You can always choose to ford a river--that is, to pull your wagon across a shallow part--or to caulk your wagon and float it across. At some rivers you can also choose to pay to take a ferry across or to hire an Indian guide to help. Be sure to consider a river's present conditions before deciding how to cross. The Rocky Mountains make up the largest, longest mountain system in the United States. In fact, one might think of them as being the "backbone" of the North American continent. They are very high and extremely rugged. If it weren't for a few valleys, such as South Pass, it would be almost impossible for wagons to pass through them. You may encounter Shoshoni Indians (who call themselves the Nomo) near Independence Rock and beyond. They are a nomadic people who live on wild seeds, insects, and the mammals of the region--rabbits, pronghorn, and sometimes buffalo. Their relations with emigrants so far have been peaceful. Sacajawea, who was a guide for Lewis and Clark, was a Shoshoni woman. The Lakota Indians are better known as the "Sioux"--a French term based on an Ojibwa word that's insulting to the Lakota. They are one of the largest American Indian tribes of the northern plains. They inhabit a vast territory stretching from Minnesota west to the Rockies and south to the Platte River. While traveling to Oregon, you may see their hunting parties in pursuit of buffalo. After leaving Fort Hall, the trail follows the Snake River for hundreds of miles. The Snake River gets its name from the way it twists and turns through this rugged country, sometimes through steep gorges. But the trail is fairly flat (though dry and desolate) near the river, which makes wagon travel possible. Crossing the Snake River, however, can be very dangerous. Soda Springs is an important landmark and stopping-off point along the trail. It gets its name from the alkaline (sodium) mineral springs you find there. Some travelers separate from the Oregon Trail at this point and head southwest to California. Others wait until they get to Fort Hall before going on the "California Trail." South Pass is a valley that cuts through the Rocky Mountains at their highest point, the Continental Divide. It marks the halfway point on your journey to Oregon. After South Pass, the trail splits. If you're short on supplies, you should head for Fort Bridger. But if you don't need supplies, you may want to take the shorter route and go directly to the Green River. The Oregon Trail follows the Sweetwater River southwest from Independence Rock to South Pass. About 175 miles long, the Sweetwater is a tributary to the North Platte River. In this hot, dry country, life depends upon the rivers. It's very important that travelers stay close to the Sweetwater at this point along the trail. Typhoid is a serious disease caused by a bacterial infection of the bloodstream. It's usually spread by contaminated food or water. Early symptoms include fever, headache, and weakness, later followed by a red rash. Often there's also diarrhea, nosebleeding, and coughing. Good food, water, and rest help in recovery, which may take several weeks. Untreated, it can lead to massive organ failure and death. The Umatila Indians, who live in the region of the Blue Mountains, are related to the Nez Percé and the Cayuse and, like them, have a culture based on salmon fishing. So far their relations with emigrants coming to settle in the Oregon country have been good. Some are worried, however, that this may not last as settlers continue to flood into Oregon. The wagon tongue is a wooden beam that extends from the front of the wagon to which the oxen harness assembly is attached. In other words, it connects the wagon to the oxen that pull it. If the wagon tongue breaks, you have to repair or replace it before you can continue on the trail. The region between the Green River and Fort Hall is extremely rugged and difficult to cross. The Wasatch Mountains account for much of this ruggedness. A branch of the Rocky Mountains, the Wasatch Mountains run south about 250 miles from near Soda Springs down to the area of the Great Salt Lake. As you follow the Snake River through the southeastern Oregon Territory, you'll see many waterfalls--some of them quite spectacular! It's because of these waterfalls that you can't simply get on a raft and float all the way down the Snake River to the Columbia. Among the more scenic falls are the American Falls, the Shoshoni Falls, and the Fishing Falls. The Willamette Valley is the goal of most emigrants to Oregon. The Willamette River flows north into the Columbia River, running parallel to the Pacific coast, only about 50 miles to the west. The river has created a wide, fertile valley with some of the best soil in Oregon. That, plus the mild climate and plenty of rainfall, makes it ideal farming country. Steady - You travel 8 hours a day. You take many rests and rarely get very tired. Strenuous - You travel 12 hours a day, starting at sunrise and stopping at sunset. You stop to rest only when you must. You finish each day very tired. Grueling - You travel 16 hours a day, starting before dawn and going until dark. You rarely rest and sleep. You finish each day exhausted and your health suffers. Occupation Help People from all walks of life went west to Oregon. You can pick your occupation, but each choice has its advantages and disadvantages. Starting Final Occupation Cash Special Advantages Bonus Bankers Doctors Merchants Blacksmiths Carpenters Saddlemakers Farmers Teachers none sick or injured people are less likely to die more likely to repair broken wagon parts more likely to repair broken wagon parts oxen are less likely to get sick and die Congratulations! You've made it onto the Oregon Trail List of Legends! Please enter your name : There is no game to exit. Notice! The sound & music system that The Oregon Trail uses is not compatible with Microsoft Windows. Since you are running under Windows, sound and music will be turned off. If you want to hear the sounds you will have to exit Windows and then run The Oregon Trail. Better take extra sets of clothing. Trade 'em to Indians for fresh vegetables, fish, or meat. It's well worth hiring an Indian guide at river crossings. Expect to pay them! They're sharp traders, not easily cheated. Did you read the Missouri Republican today? --Says some folk start for Oregon without carrying spare parts, not even an extra wagon axle. Must think they grow on trees! Hope they're lucky enough to find an abandoned wagon. Some folks seem to think that two oxen are enough to get them to Oregon! Two oxen can barely move a fully loaded wagon, and if one of them gets sick or dies, you won't be going anywhere. I wouldn't go overland with less than six. With the crowds of people waiting to get on the ferry, we could be stranded here for days! Hope there's enough graze for all those animals--not many people carry feed! I'd rather wait, though, than cross in a rickety wagon boat! Can't afford to take a ferry. We're making our wagon into a boat. We'll turn it over, caulk the bottom and sides with pitch, and use it to float our goods across. Have to swim the animals. Hope it doesn't rain--the river's high enough! Don't try to ford any river deeper than the wagon bed--about two and a half feet. You'll swamp your wagon and lose your supplies. You can caulk the wagon bed and float it--or be smart and hire me to take your wagon on my ferry! We've had enough! Pesky flies all day and mosquitoes all night! It's either baking sun or oceans of mud--and sometimes both. Worry over Indians attacking--haven't seen any yet, but still a worry. This prairie is mighty pretty with all the wild flowers and tall grasses. But there's too much of it! I miss not having a town nearby. I wonder how many days until I see a town--a town with real shops, a church, people... Be careful you don't push those animals too hard! Keep 'em moving but set them a fair pace. Can't keep driving 'em so fast or you'll end up with lame-footed animals. A lame ox is about as good to you as a dead one! The trails from the jumping off places --Independence, St. Joseph, Council Bluffs--come together at Fort Kearney. This new fort was built by the U.S. Army to protect those bound for California and Oregon. The Platte River valley forms a natural roadway from Fort Kearney to Fort Laramie. Travelers bound for California, Utah, and Oregon all take this road. Could be the easiest stretch of the whole trip. Should see antelope and plenty of buffalo. The game is still plentiful along here, but gettin' harder to find. With so many overlanders, I don't expect it to last more'n a few years. Folks shoot the game for sport, take a small piece, and let the rest rot in the sun. I hear terrible stories about wagon parties running out of food before Oregon --the whole party starving to death. We must check our supplies often; we might not get there as soon as we think. Always plan for the worst, I say. Chimney Rock by moonlight is awfully sublime. Many Indians came to our wagon with fish to exchange for clothing. We bought a number. They understand 'swap' and 'no swap.' Seem most anxious to get shirts and socks. About noon yesterday we came in sight of Chimney Rock looming up in the distance like the lofty tower of some town. We did not tire gazing on it. It was about 20 miles from us, and stayed in sight 'til we reached it today. The Pawnee are the mortal enemies of the Sioux. I would not hesitate to kill any Pawnee I met. But I have never killed a white man. All I ask from the white man is to leave me alone, and to leave my buffalo alone. Be warned, stranger. Don't dig a water hole! Drink only river water. Salty as the Platte River is--it's better than the cholera. We buried my husband last week. Could use some help with this harness, if you can spare the time. These greenhorns heading across the Rockies know nothing about surviving in the mountains. It gets awful cold up there, even in summer. Many a traveler crossing the mountains too late in the year has gotten snowbound and died! I carved my name way up the side of Independence Rock, near the top. There are hundreds of names up there! The oldest ones were carved by mountain men and fur trappers --famous names like Fremont, Bonneville, and DeSmet! No butter or cheese or fresh fruit since Fort Laramie! Bless me, but I'd rather have my larder full of food back East than have our names carved on that rock! Well, tis a sight more cheery than all the graves we passed. Goodbye Platte River! Goodbye sand hills and white buffalo skulls! Now we climb the Sweetwater valley to cross the Continental Divide at South Pass. Once across the Rockies, we'll make a steep descent into the Green River valley. My family and I travel with 40 other families to the valley of the Great Salt Lake to seek religious freedom. Back east, Mormons are persecuted. In Utah, we'll join together to build a new community, changing desert into farm land. When the white man first crossed our lands their wagons were few. Now they crowd the trail in great numbers. The land is overgrazed with their many animals. Do any white men still live in the East? My people talk of moving. My father is very sick and we are resting here until he gets better. We have been pushing too hard and our health has suffered. When my father is able to travel again, we will go at a slower pace. One child drowned in a swollen creek east of Fort Laramie. My husband died of typhoid near Independence Rock. Now I travel alone with my five children. The eldest, Caleb, is eleven. I fear he'll be a man before we reach Oregon. This fort was built by Jim Bridger. Jim was a mountain man before he put in this blacksmith shop and small store to supply the overlanders. Does a big trade in horses, Jim and his partner, Vasquez. We should've taken the Sublette Cutoff! Not enough at this fort worth the time it took to get here. And the outrageous prices! Food's not fit to eat, much less pay for. Some folks'd sell the clothes off our backs if we'd let them! When wagons first started coming through here, we did not mind. We even found it good to trade game and fish with the travelers and help them cross the rivers. Now there are too many white men and too little land for grazing. Five dollars to ferry us over the Green River? Those ferrymen'll make a hundred dollars before breakfast! We'll keep down river until we find a place to ford our wagon and animals. What little money we have left, we'll keep! My family didn't buy enough food in Independence. We have been eating very small rations since Fort Laramie. Because of that our health is poor. My sister has mountain fever, so we're stopped here for a while. I've heard it said that there are many cutoffs to take to shorten the journey --that by taking all the shortcuts, you can save many days on the trail. And why not? Saving time and provisions is worth the risk! My, the Soda Springs are so pretty! Seem to spout at regular intervals. Felt good to just rest and not be jostled in the wagon all day. When I get to Oregon, I'll have a soft feather bed and never sleep in a wagon again! My job every day is to find wood for the cook fire. Sometimes it's very hard to find enough, so I store extra pieces in a box under the wagon. On the prairie I gathered buffalo chips to burn when there wasn't any wood. Well, friend, this is where we part. I'm bound for California with an imposing desert to cross. And you--you've got the Snake River to cross, which I hear is no picnic! Write us, you or the Missus, just as soon as you reach Oregon! Hear there's mountain sheep around here. Enough water too, but hardly a stick of wood. Thank heaven for Fort Hall! But I'm real sorry to be saying goodbye to cousin Miles and all the folks heading for California. Fort Hall is a busy fort! The wide stretches of meadow grass here are just what our tired animals need. As for me, I'll fix up the wagon leaks. Amanda's real anxious to wash all the clothes and linens in one of those clear streams. It says right here in the Shively guidebook: "You must hire an Indian to pilot you at the crossings of the Snake river, it being dangerous if not perfectly understood." But my husband insists on crossing without a guide! Down there between those steep lava gorges, twisting and writhing, is the Snake River. So much water--and so hard to get to! We've got many miles of desert before Oregon, so be sure to fill your water kegs at the crossing! See that wild river? That's the Snake. Many a craft's been swamped in her foaming rapids. Her waters travel all the way to Oregon! We'll be crossing her soon, and then again after Fort Boise. Take care at the crossing! You'll not get yer wagon over them Blue Mountains, mister. Leave it! Cross yer goods over with pack animals. Get yerself a couple of good mules. Pieces of wagons litter the trail--left by them folks who don't heed good advice! At every fort along the trail, prices have been higher than at the previous fort! This is outrageous! They're taking advantage of us! If I had the chance to do it again, I'd buy more supplies in Independence. Every night, even though I ache from the day's toils, my head is filled with dreams of the rich farm land of the Willamette Valley. I will build myself a fine, handsome homestead--and I'm certain I'll be rich within five years. Since crossing the Snake at Fort Boise, it's been just mountains and desert. Dust deeper each day--six inches at times. No tracks, just clouds of dust. Many cattle choked on the dust after swimming the river, then bled and died. We followed the edge of the desert from Fort Boise to the forbidding wall of the Blue Mountains. The hills were dreadful steep! Locking both wheels and coming down slow, we got down safe. Poor animals! No grass or water for days. This valley of the Grande Ronde is the most beautiful sight I've seen in months. Water and graze in abundance! And if this valley is so fine, the Willamette must be twice as fine! We'll be sittin' pretty in our new homestead! I've traveled in fear of Indians since our journey began. As of yet we've seen few. Those we met helped us cross rivers or sold us vegetables. Still I fear. I've read grave markers and heard stories of killings in these mountains. My cousin Catherine was one of six children orphaned and left at Whitman's Mission. Lived with them for three years--until the massacre last November. She has survived snakebites, stampedes, falls, fights--not to mention a massacre. You ask about the Whitman massacre. I ask you why Doctor Whitman's medicine did not cure my people's children? Many caught the measles from the strangers. Why did the medicine poison our children and cure the children of white people? These last hundred miles to the Willamette Valley are the roughest--either rafting down the swift and turbulent Columbia River or driving your wagon over the steep Cascade Mountains. Hire an Indian guide if you take the river. My cousin Lydia engaged passage down the Columbia with Indians--a canoe with 17 people and luggage! The wind blew so heavy they had to lay by. Near dark, high waves came up over their heads! Finally, they made it to shore safely. I collect the tolls for the Barlow Road--a bargain at twice the price! Until last year the overlander had no choice--everyone floated the Columbia. Now with Mr. Barlow's new road, you can drive your wagon right into Oregon City! We tried floating our wagon across the Kansas when the river was high. The wagon overturned in the middle of the river and we lost everything we had. But we're not giving up! We'll be back and try again. Check your supplies often. If you are near to running out of essentials, you can usually buy more at the forts. If you have no money, you might be able to trade with other travelers for what you need. Don't wait until too late! My brother went overland to Oregon last year. He wrote and said that he spent all his money in Independence. He had no money left for buying supplies along the way, for paying ferries and tolls, or for hiring Indian guides. You need to decide when to set off on the trail. If you leave too early, there won't be much grass for your oxen to eat. You may encounter some very cold weather and late spring snow storms. But if you leave too late, you may not get to Oregon before winter, which can be very dangerous. If you leave at just the right time, there will be green grass and, for the most part, mild weather. When do you want to start?
FAQ Display Options: Printable Version