However, the Nation's first "campers"-the pioneers who migrated west by covered wagon train in the early to late 1800s-did not have today's luxuries and travel was not quite so easy. Aside from the rough journey of traveling by oxen-pulled wagon and walking great distances, travel was slow, and roads that were only rough dirt pathsto begin with often ended abruptly and detours were needed. Although pioneers did not have to pay the high cost of gasoline, they did have the challenge of keeping themselves and their livestock alive-particularly the oxen that pulled the wagons.
Time was another important factor in wagon train journeys, as settlers tried to reach their destinations before winter. We enjoy a coast-to-coast drive within a few days, with our RVs temperature controlled. The covered wagon made 8 to 20 miles per day depending upon weather, roadway conditions and the health of the travelers. It could take up to six months or longer to reach their destination.
Broken axles from ruts in the trails were a major problem, but many travelers brought along a spare, just as we are equipped with a spare tire. Without it, the wagon would be abandoned and other travelers would assist the family until the wagon train reached a town to purchase another.
In April 2002, the Public Broadcasting Station showed Frontier House where three families lived the frontier life for five months. The DVDs of the program are available for sale or from your local library. The project, an educational mini-series filmed the families' daily lives and survival as 1883 settlers. Experience the bumpy covered wagon journey to their destination as we get a first hand look at how our ancestors traveled on primitive paths and roads, and often no roads at all.
The Oregon Trail is an educational strategy video game developed and published by the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC). It was first released in 1985 for the Apple II, with later ports to DOS in 1990, Mac OS in 1991, and Microsoft Windows in 1993. It was created as a re-imagining of the popular text-based game of the same name, originally created in 1971 and published by MECC in 1975. In the game, the player assumes the role of a wagon leader guiding a party of settlers from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon's Willamette Valley via a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail in 1848. Along the trail, the player makes choices about supplies, resource management, and the route, and deals with hunting for food, crossing rivers, and random events such as storms and disease.
The Flax Scutching Festival offers demonstrations of the complete process of making Linen from the Flax plant. The festival also has great homemade food, crafts, antique farm equipment, live music, civil war encampment, covered wagon train encampment and a staged Indian raid. The Indian raid is a realistic battle between Indians & Settlers, representing the hazards of the era.
But after making trailside repairs, the Bucks persevered, becoming the first wagon travelers in more than a century to complete a crossing of the trail. Rinker tells the story of their epic adventure in The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey. 2b1af7f3a8