Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail fascinates me.  How did women pack up their lives and walk into the unknown like that?  They had so little information to go on and the journey was difficult.  How did those women manage day to day?  They wore long skirts.  They had to keep house in the dust and the dirt under very primitive conditions.  They had children to take care of, often including a baby.  They were usually pregnant.  They walked all day and then had to set up camp, make dinner and clean up after the dinner.  There were clothes to wash.  Illnesses to tend.  Firewood to gather.

Much of the time the women didn't choose to go.  Their husbands would announce that they were going.

The Oregon Trail makes walking the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail seem like a piece of cake.  On the Oregon Trail they couldn't ship things to pick up along the way.  If they were sick, they couldn't get off the trail for help.  All the wonderful lightweight watertight modern materials weren't available.  There were no convenience foods.  No water filters.  There were no good accurate guide books.  It was easy to get lost.  I could go on, but you get the picture.

My fascination with the Oregon Trail is long standing.  Recently I got a book that answers so many of my questions about how it was to travel that trail.   The book is called Women's Voices from the Oregon Trail by Susan G Butruille.

Here's a link to the book with some information about it.

Women's Voice from the Oregon Trail

And here is an Amazon link

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