|April 26, 2015 Baker City
Today we drive to Baker City Oregon and visited the Oregon Trail National Interpretive Center. They had some nice exhibits there, many interactive. One of my favorite ones involved a model of a covered wagon and some wooden blocks. The blocks were of varying sizes and represented things such as 50# sack of flour, 25# ammo, an iron stove, food for your horses, heirloom china and things like that. You had to try to fit as much as you could in the wagon. It did not all fit. What do you leave behind? What must you take? Do you still have room to ride or sleep in it? Is it too heavy for the horses to pull? Kind of reminded me of packing this trailer!
I also learned a few facts. Did you know that one out of every ten of the people who attempted this died on the way which translates to one grave for every 80 yards of trail? Or that even kids had to work like adults, getting up at 4am to help gather firewood, fix meals, help tend livestock, still have a little play time walking 20 miles a day and do it all again in the morning? Today’s kids would never make it. Heck, I would not make it!
Outside the center is a pull out off the highway where you can still see, and stand in ruts from the Oregon Trail. I can’t imagine people seeing this valley, and the hills beyond, knowing they still had further to go if they wanted to get to the Willamette Valley. Of course there were some that stayed. And then there was the fact that they had to build a house, clear land, and plant crops, and somehow irrigate them. Wow.