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    Game Script by VinnyVideo

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 03/23/09 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Document (c) 2009 VinnyVideo (VHamilton002@gmail.com)
    Game Text (c) 1993 MECC
    Borland C++ - Copyright 1991 Borland Intl.
    Divide error
    Abnormal program termination
    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.
    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.
    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
    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
    your raft
    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  .
    Bare Bones
    Very Poor
     member s  of your wagon drowned.
    Your wagon   and you lost .
    You decided to change the pace to  .
    Heavy snow has rendered your wagon snowbound.
     was bitten by a snake.
    An Indian helped you find some food.
    You found some wild fruit.
    Severe storm.
    Heavy fog.
    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,
     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.
     , 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.
     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
    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
    bare bones
    You changed your rations to .
    Sorry, but nobody here's got   to spare.
    Sure, I'll trade you   for  . Is it a deal? (You have  .)
    You traded   for  .
    set of clothing
    wagon wheel
    wagon axle
    wagon tongue
    pound of food
    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.
    Broken Leg
    Broken Arm
    Snake Bite
    Very Poor
    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
    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
    Wagon Score
    You arrived on   and received the following number of points.
     people  person
    arriving in 
     very poor
     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
    Cheyenne Indians
    Chimney Rock
    Chinook Indians
    Columbia River
    Dalles, The
    Donner Party
    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
    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
    Umatila Indians
    Wagon Tongue
    Wasatch Mountains
    Willamette Valley
    This disk appears to be damaged or some
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    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.
    This product is licensed for use by a single computer
    at a time.  It is currently being used by someone else
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    The network version of this program may be licensed
    from MECC.  Please call MECC at %s for
    What would you like to read about?
    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
    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 
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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.
    Special Advantages
    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
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    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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?

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