An interpretative observation of traveling the Oregon Trail by Jack O'Conner. (AKA Lumyr D.)
Can You Survive on the Oregon Trail?
Zap, pow , boom! went the loud video game.
"I won. I won. Yahoo," shouted Carla, the 12-year old daughter of Jack and Jane O'Conner.
"I don't want to play anymore," said Jake, the 12-year old son of Jack and Jane O'Conner.
"Because you always win! Now why don't we just watch some TV, okay?"
"Okay," replied Carla.
When they turned on the TV, it was on the Discovery Channel.
It said, "The Great Outdoors!" so Jake and Carla went to their dad and said, "Can we go camping, pleeeaaase!"
"Jane," called Jack, "Can you come down here? The kids want to go camping."
In a flash, Jane came down the stairs and said, "Kids, do you think that camping and living outside is fun?"
"Well, we suppose so," said Jake and Carla in an unsure way.
"Well, your father's grandparents and my grandparents in the 1840s had to camp. You may think that was fun, but they had to travel in an oxen-pulled wagon from Nebraska to Oregon. That's why we live in Oregon.
"Your mother's right. It was hard back then," said Jack. "My grandfather was bit by a snake and my grandmother had diarrhea."
"How do we know if you're not lying?" Jake said suspiciously.
"Here. Take this journal that my grandfather wrote."
So Jake and Carla went to their parent's room and read from the journal.
From the Journal of Zachary O'Conner - Day 1: March 6, 1843
Elanor, Cassie, Jim, and I set off today from Nebraska in hope of reaching Oregon by June or earlier. We have two wagons (two people per wagon), 400 lbs of food (200 pounds per wagon); 6 boxes of bullets (20 bullets per box); 2 axles (1 axle per wagon); and 4 oxen (2 oxen per wagon).
Jim and I drove the wagons and stood watch at night because Cassie could not stay awake for long. Elanor was scared to watch.
Day 2: March 7, 1843
We are on the trail and danger hasn't shown his ugly face yet.
Day 3: March 8, 1843
I had dropped my rifle and when I got out to get it, a snake bit me. Now I have a fever. Despite my sickness, I went on. In only three days something bad had already happened. I knew I should never have left home.
Day 4: March 9, 1843
It's raining and 50 pounds of food spoiled plus with the 20 pounds we ate, we only have 30 pounds of food left.
Day 5: March 10, 1843
The rain stopped and the sun came out. We passed by a forest to go hunting and we shot a deer. We wet and salted it to keep it from spoiling. We almost shot a tied up dog, but Cassie stopped us in time. It had no collar or tag and we were nowhere near a house. We found out it was a girl and we named her Katherine. In total, we caught 75 pounds because the deer was 50 pounds and Katherine was 25 pounds.
Day 6: March 11, 1843
We left the forest and crossed upon a group of Indians. They cured my snake bite and they informed us that the river up ahead was very shallow so we should try to ford the river.
Day 7: March 12, 1843
Like the chief said, the river was very shallow. In fact, it was one foot deep so we forded it with no problem. Remember when we got out of the forest. Since then Elanor has been sweating a lot. Maybe she's just real hot.
Day 8: March 13, 1845
We reached Fort Laramie in one week. We got there quickly because we lived closer than most people going west. We lived in Nebraska.
Elanor has malaria. All of the sweat was caused by it. We're putting water on her to cool her off because she says she is very hot. Maybe we can find a cure.
Day 9: March 14, 1845
Elanor is getting worse. I don't know what to do. I want to help but it seems that I can't do anything.
Day 10: March 15, 1845
Elanor's dead. While we were riding, Jim heard a moan, so we both stopped our wagons to check on Elanor. We found her dead in the back of my wagon. At the next river or fort, we will bury her.
Day 11: March 16, 1845
It stinks. I hope we can bury Elanor's carcass soon because it is building a stench that Katherine and I have to deal with. Jim and Cassie refused to go on if they had to stay with a dead body and Jim won the flip.
Day 12: March 17, 1843
Cassie has diarrhea. Jim didn't know how it happened but she needed to keep using the bathroom.
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"Stop," exclaimed Carla. "I can't take it any more! Mom, Dad, I can't survive outdoors! I don't want to go camping!"
"Ditto," said Jake in a queasy way.
From that day on, Jake and Carla never asked to go camping again and yet again the O'Conner camping excuse has been used on another generation.