I am splitting the Idaho part of the Oregon Trail into two parts. There is too much information to include only on one post. I found that my eyes were starting to cross after Fort Hall, so that is the stopping point.
So far, the travelers have traveled 1,096 miles. By the time they reached Idaho, they were positive that there were people in the wagon train that they never wanted to see again as long as they lived. They were confident that there just might a friend or two that they might know for the rest of their lives. There were those fellow travelers that they wished would stop talking.
Idaho was the toughest part of the Oregon Trail. There were rivers to cross, either by ferry or fording. There was grassland. There were hilly spots that were difficult to get the wagons up and down. There was the soon to be hated sagebrush. There was so much sagebrush on the brown land and it was stultifying to see day after day. This part of the trail was 510 miles long. They still had 524 miles of Oregon, starting with mountains to climb after Idaho.
There were also delightful places to camp along the way.
Let’s say they were in Idaho in late July and in August. It was hot. It could be 100 degrees Fahrenheit for days on end. There were also the sudden violent storms with thunder, lightening, downpours and hail to make them wary.
For the pictures from Wikimedia Commons, I’ll put WC.
There were places that I couldn’t find public domain pictures for along the trail.
Here is a relief map to show they kind types of ground they were covering in Idaho. One picture I didn’t find was at the beginning stretch of the trail in Idaho. It was the Thomas Fork Crossing. From what I read, this was a nasty crossing that was very hard to do.
This illustration by National Park Service shows wagons fording a river.
Big Hill was considered the most difficult place on the trail It was coming down the trail that was the hardest. This hill had a thin layer of soil over granite. This made the ground a bit slippery. It was also steep. At the time travelers were on the trail, there were trees on this hill. They would tie ropes around a wagon and a trunk of a tree and loosen the rope to help the wagon from going out of control.
The hand breaks on the wagons wouldn’t stop the wagon from gaining speed and crashing at the bottom of Big Hill.
This drawing of Big Hill was done by James Wilkens in 1849.
These are three pictures of land with the soon to be hated sagebrush.
By, Matt Lavin from Boseman, Montana, USA, WC.
This is the last picture in part one.
This was Fort Hall by, William Henry Jackson 1843 -1942. The travelers would camp here and perhaps stay for a day.