When the travelers crossed over the Idaho border into Oregon, they have traveled 1606 miles. To reach Oregon City, the official end of the trail, they would travel 524 more miles. A daunting prospect.
The word tired didn’t begin to describe how weary the travelers were at this point. Or how dirty. They hadn’t been able to take a real, hot bath in a real bathtub the whole time they had been the trail. Smelly would be a good description of their condition.
Comfort wasn’t a word that belonged in the same sentence as the words Oregon Trail.
It was a time when discouragement could overwhelm the travelers. There was very rough ground, rivers and mountains to get through.
The end of the trail must have seemed like a far off dream.
If a family chose to settle before the wagon train got to Oregon City, they could do so. They would need to be able to buy land. They would need to have a town within traveling distance to get supplies. And most important of all, they would need land where they could grow crops. The distance from a source of water was important. There was also the problem of living in complete isolation without any neighbors  That would not only be dangerous if they needed some kind of help, but the loneliness would be severe.

By now, the travelers were positive that there were some fellow travelers in the wagon train that they wished would just please drop dead. Yesterday.
They were still putting up with the talkers. It was hard to shut them out when the travelers were tired. Of course, if there was a traveler that was silent, that could have well given the others the creeps. Speculation might have run from the man or woman had a broken heart to he or she must have murdered someone.
Friendships for life have formed between travelers.
The cows were still following the wagons. The chickens in the wagons were still complaining at every bump.

It was hard to tell that they were in Oregon at this point. There were still rough river crossings and it was still hot. The nights were cooling a bit and that did help.
Exhaustion has set in and it was a matter of putting one foot in front of the other.
The dream of owning land and starting a new, better life must have seemed remote. It was a question of surviving the rest of the trail.

The Maps.

This is map of the Oregon Trail  by, National Park Service.

trailmap npsThis is a NASA topographical map, modified by, Mathew Trump.

Wpdms_nasa_topo_oregon_trail Matthew Trump WCThis is a relief map of the state of Oregon  by, US Department of Agriculture.USDA Relief map oregonThis is a picture of a covered wagon  by, Gary Halverson, Oregon State Archives.
They didn’t paint the wagon boxes because it wouldn’t be good for the wood. This one was painted at a later time.

Covered_Wagon_(Josephine_County,_Oregon_scenic_images)_(josD0021 Gary Halverson Oregon State Archives)

The pictures I am showing you are to give you an idea of what the Oregon Trail was like in Oregon.
Let’s say that it was at the end of August or early September.
Oregon wasn’t a hard winter state, but it would get cold at night as the month of September passed. The days were getting shorter. Traveling over the Blue Mountains could get dicey because it was higher up and it could get wintry.

This picture is from National Park Service. It’s a general covered wagon type picture.

nps otWagon ruts in Oregon  by, Gary Halverson, Oregon State Archives.

Covered_Wagon_Ruts_(Baker_County,_Oregon_scenic_images)_(bakDA0042a) Gary Havorson Oregon State Archives

This map of Oregon counties, shows Wallowa County in red. It is by, David Benbennick, Wikimedia Commons.

Map_of_Oregon_highlighting_Wallowa_County.svg png David Benbennick WC

The Wallowa Mountains are in this part of Oregon. By, Mark Shandro, Wikimedia Commons.

640px-Wallowa_Mountains MArk Shandro WCHells Canyon was also part of the trail It is in Idaho and Oregon. It is in the Wallowa County area. It is the deepest gorge in the United States.

Hells Canyon  by, Ken Petty, FWWA, DOT.

hells canyon

The first Oregon river they needed to cross was Malheur River. This picture is from the Bureau of Land Management.

Malheur_River,_Oregon,_2008 BLM

This is a picture of the North Grand River  by, the Forest Service, US Department of Agriculture.

fs usda noth grand riverThis is a recent picture of La Grande Valley  by, Sam Beebe, Wikimedia Commons.

640px-La_Grande_OR_-_aerial Sam Beebe WCIn 1843, the year our travelers made this trek, a wagon trail was cut through the Blue Mountains.

These are pictures of the Blue Mountains.

Three pictures  by the Forest Service, US Department of Agriculture.

blu fs usdastelprdb5372472 fs usda blue mtns oregonfsbdev3_032825 s blu mtns fs usda

The next two picture are of a part of the Blue Mountains that the Oregon Trail went through. I have no author name for wither of them.

24655881 OT blue oregon panomiofig22nps blue mtns oregon john day fossil bedsThese two pictures are of the John Day River. They crossed it. By, Gary Halverson, Oregon State Archives.

John_Day_River_(Wheeler_County,_Oregon_scenic_images)_(wheDA0165) Gary Halverson Oregon State ArchivesJohn_Day_River_(Wheeler_County,_Oregon_scenic_images)_(wheDA0155a) Gary Halverson Oregon State ArchivesA part of the John Day Fossil Beds are here. There are a total of three areas of these fossil beds.

This is a map showing the thee John Day Fossil Beds  by, Finetooth, Wikimedia Commons.

Oregon_map_with_national_inset.plus_JODAdots User Finetooth WCThis is Sheep Rock Monument  by, Finetooth, Wikimedia Commons.

640px-Sheep_Rock_near_sunset Finetooth WCThis is a picture of the John Day Fossil Beds. I don’t know the author’s name.

300px-John_Day_Fossil_BedsThe next place of note was The Dalles. It is in the Columbia River Gorge area.

This is a map of the Columbia River Gorge Region  by, the US Department of Agriculture. The Dalles is over a bit from the right lower part of the map.

fsbdev7_004927 columbia River Gorge FS USDAThis is a recent pictures of The Dalles  by, Sam Beebe, Wikimedia Commons.

The_Dalles_Oregon_aerial Sam Beebe WCThe next part of the Oregon Trail led to the Willamette Valley and Oregon City. This is a NASA topographical map.

Wpdms_nasa_topo_willamette_valley_short WCTo get to the Williamette Valley, they had to go through the Columbia River Gorge.The gorge goes through the Cascade Mountain Range.

This map is modified by Matthew Trump, Wikimedia Commons.

Wpdms_nasa_topo_columbia_river_gorge MAthew Trump WCTwo pictures of the Cascades.

By, Gary Halverson.

Cascade_Mountains_(Crook_County,_Oregon_scenic_images)_(croDB1079) Gary Halverson Oregon State ArchivesBy, Tucker Ansel Blake, Wikimedia Commons.

Cascade_mountain_range_Oregon Tucker Ansel Blake US FWSThere is a section of the Cascades called the Cascade Rapids.
These are two pictures of them.

The first is by US Government and the second is by the US Geological Survey.

Cascades_rapids Cascade rapids colum r USGOVUSGS cascade rapidsThey would have to portage for 1.6 miles to get around them. Not an easy trip at all.

The most difficult part of the Oregon Trail was next.
This was the Columbia River Gorge through the Cascade Mountains before Willamette Valley.
There was no trail here in 1843. The travelers would have to take apart the wagons and make log rafts to go down the river. The cows would go through Lolo Pass. This meant that the families would be separated.
People died trying to get down the river at this point.

A recent picture of Lolo Pass  by, EncMastr, Wikimedia Commons.

640px-Lolo_pass_from_2_km_south_on_road_P3126 EndMastr WCThese are two pictures of the gorge in this section of the Columbia River.

By, Cacophny, Wikimedia Commons.

640px-ColumbiaRiverRowenaView Cacophony WCBy, Walter Siegmund, Wikimedia Commons.

640px-Columbia_River_3315 Walter Siegmund WCI decided that our travelers got off the Oregon Trail at The Dalles. They could buy land. They could start their new lives. The chickens would be quiet.

This last picture is a recent one of the kind of farmland our travelers settled  by, Ryanatta, English Wikipedia.

Our travelers were home.

640px-Wvatbethel1 Rvanatta en wiki

 

 

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