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  1. Explore by activity
  2. Best Trails in United States
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  4. Oregon Trail - Wikipedia

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The page you are attempting to access contains content that is not intended for underage readers. Highways By Lyn Wilkerson. This item has not been rated yet. The route of the southern Cherokee Trail route along U. Over historic sites and points of interest are documented, with detailed driving directions to locate them. Reference maps and GPS Coordinates for all listed sites are also included. How can I use this format? Log in to rate this item. You must be logged in to post a review.

Please log in. There are no reviews for the current version of this product Refreshing There are no reviews for previous versions of this product. First Name. Last Name. Additional Comments. Moderation of Questionable Content Thank you for your interest in helping us moderate questionable content on Lulu. How does this content violate the Lulu Membership Agreement? From our Membership Agreement "Lulu is a place where people of all ages, backgrounds, experience, and professions can publish, sell, or buy creative content such as novels, memoirs, poetry, cookbooks, technical manuals, articles, photography books, children's books, calendars, and a host of other content that defies easy categorization.

Address Address is required. Phone Number. Location of Infringing Material Identify each web page that allegedly contains infringing material. Sworn Statements I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted materials described above as allegedly infringing is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law. Canning also added weight to a wagon. Rather than canned vegetables, Marcy suggested that travelers take dried vegetables, which had been used in the Crimean War and by the U.

Some pioneers took eggs and butter packed in barrels of flour, and some took dairy cows along the trail. At the time, scurvy was well-recognized, but there was a lack of clear understanding of how to prevent the disease. Emigrant families, who were mostly middle-class, prided themselves on preparing a good table. Although operating Dutch ovens and kneading dough was difficult on the trail, many baked good bread and even pies.

Best Trails in United States

For fuel to heat food, travelers would collect cedar wood , cottonwood , or willow wood, when available, and sometimes dry prairie grass. Tobacco was popular, both for personal use, and for trading with natives and other pioneers. Each person brought at least two changes of clothes and multiple pairs of boots two to three pairs often wore out on the trip. About 25 pounds of soap was recommended for a party of four, for bathing and washing clothes. A washboard and tub were usually brought for washing clothes. Wash days typically occurred once or twice a month, or less, depending on availability of good grass, water, and fuel.

Most wagons carried tents for sleeping, though in good weather most would sleep outside. A thin fold-up mattress, blankets, pillows, canvas, or rubber gutta percha ground covers were used for sleeping. Sometimes an unfolded feather bed mattress was brought for the wagon, if there were pregnant women or very young children along. Storage boxes were ideally the same height, so they could be arranged to give a flat surface inside the wagon for a sleeping platform.

The wagons had no springs, and the ride along the trail was very rough. Despite modern depictions, hardly anyone actually rode in the wagons; it was too dusty, too rough, and too hard on the livestock. Travelers brought books, Bibles, trail guides, and writing quills, ink, and paper for writing letters or journalling about one in kept a diary.

A belt and folding knives were carried by nearly all men and boys. Awls, scissors, pins, needles, and thread for mending were required. Spare leather was used for repairing shoes, harnesses, and other equipment. Some used goggles to keep dust out of the eyes. Saddles, bridles, hobbles, and ropes were needed if the party had a horse or riding mule, and many men did. Extra harnesses and spare wagon parts were often carried. Most carried steel shoes for horses, mules, or livestock.

Tar was carried to help repair an ox's injured hoof. Goods, supplies, and equipment were often shared by fellow travelers. New iron shoes for horses, mules, and oxen were put on by blacksmiths found along the way. Equipment repairs and other goods could be procured from blacksmith shops established at some forts and some ferries. Emergency supplies, repairs, and livestock were often provided by local residents in California, Oregon, and Utah for late travelers on the trail who were hurrying to beat the snow.

Cycling the Cowboy Trail in Nebraska-Ryan and Ali Bike Across America-Ep 20

Non-essential items were often abandoned to lighten the load, or in case of emergency. Many travelers would salvage discarded items, picking up essentials or leaving behind their lower quality item when a better one was found abandoned along the road. Some profited by collecting discarded items, hauling them back to jumping off places, and reselling them. In the early years, Mormons sent scavenging parties back along the trail to salvage as much iron and other supplies as possible and haul it to Salt Lake City, where supplies of all kinds were needed.

During the gold rush, Fort Laramie was known as "Camp Sacrifice" because of the large amounts merchandise discarded nearby. Some travelers carried their excess goods to Salt Lake City to be sold. Professional tools used by blacksmiths, carpenters, and farmers were carried by nearly all. Axes, crow bars, hammers, hatchets, hoes, mallets, mattocks, picks, planes, saws, scythes, and shovels [88] were used to clear or make a road through brush or trees, cut down the banks to cross a wash or steep banked stream, build a raft or bridge, or repair the wagon.

In general, as little road work as possible was done. Travel was often along the top of ridges to avoid the brush and washes common in many valleys. Overall, some , pioneers used the Oregon Trail and its three primary offshoots, the Bozeman , California , and Mormon trails, to reach the West Coast, — Another 48, headed to Utah. There is no estimate on how many used it to return East. Some of the trail statistics for the early years were recorded by the U. Army at Fort Laramie, Wyoming , from about to None of these original statistical records have been found—the Army either lost them or destroyed them.

Only some partial written copies of the Army records and notes recorded in several diaries have survived. Emigration to California spiked considerably with the gold rush. Following the discovery of gold, California remained the destination of choice for most emigrants on the trail up to , with almost , people traveling there between and Travel diminished after , as the Civil War caused considerable disruptions on the trail. Many of the people on the trail in — were fleeing the war and its attendant drafts in both the south and the north.

Trail historian Merrill J. Mattes [92] has estimated the number of emigrants for — given in the total column of the above table.

But these estimates may well be low since they only amount to an extra , people, and the census shows that over , additional people ignoring most of the population increase in California, which had excellent sea and rail connections across Panama by then showed up in all the states served by the Bozeman, California, Mormon, and Oregon Trail s and their offshoots.

Mormon emigration records after are reasonably accurate, as newspaper and other accounts in Salt Lake City give most of the names of emigrants arriving each year from to Though the numbers are significant in the context of the times, far more people chose to remain at home in the 31 states. Many were discouraged by the cost, effort and danger of the trip. Western scout Kit Carson is thought to have said, "The cowards never started and the weak died on the way", though the general saying was written [ when?

Many who went were between the ages 12 and Between and , the U. These census numbers show a , population increase in the western states and territories between and Some of this increase is because of a high birth rate in the western states and territories, but most is from emigrants moving from the east to the west and new immigration from Europe. Much of the increase in California and Oregon is from emigration by ship, as there was fast and reasonably low cost transportation via east and west coast steamships and the Panama Railroad after The cost of traveling over the Oregon Trail and its extensions varied from nothing to a few hundred dollars per person.

Women seldom went alone. The cheapest way was to hire on to help drive the wagons or herds, allowing one to make the trip for nearly nothing or even make a small profit. Those with capital could often buy livestock in the Midwest and drive the stock to California or Oregon for profit. Families planned the trip months in advance and made much of the extra clothing and many other items needed. The route west was arduous and fraught with many dangers, but the number of deaths on the trail is not known with any precision; there are only wildly varying estimates.

Estimating is difficult because of the common practice of burying people in unmarked graves that were intentionally disguised to avoid their being dug up by animals or natives. Graves were often put in the middle of a trail and then run over by the livestock to make them difficult to find. Disease was the main killer of trail travelers; cholera killed up to 3 percent of all travelers in the epidemic years from to Native attacks increased significantly after , when most of the army troops were withdrawn, and miners and ranchers began fanning out all over the country, often encroaching on Native American territory.

America's Scenic Byways

Increased attacks along the Humboldt led to most travelers' taking the Central Nevada Route. The Goodall cutoff, developed in Idaho in , kept Oregon bound travelers away from much of the native trouble nearer the Snake River. Other trails were developed that traveled further along the South Platte to avoid local Native American hot spots. Other common causes of death included hypothermia , drowning in river crossings, getting run over by wagons, and accidental gun deaths.

Later, more family groups started traveling, and many more bridges and ferries were being put in, so fording a dangerous river became much less common and dangerous. Surprisingly few people were taught to swim in this era. Being run over was a major cause of death, despite the wagons' only averaging 2—3 miles per hour. The wagons could not easily be stopped, and people, particularly children, were often trying to get on and off the wagons while they were moving—not always successfully. Another hazard was a dress getting caught in the wheels and pulling the person under.

Accidental shootings declined significantly after Fort Laramie, as people became more familiar with their weapons and often just left them in their wagons. Carrying around a ten-pound rifle all day soon became tedious and usually unnecessary, as the perceived threat of natives faded and hunting opportunities receded. A significant number of travelers were suffering from scurvy by the end of their trips. The diet in the mining camps was also typically low in fresh vegetables and fruit, which indirectly led to early deaths of many of the inhabitants.

Some believe that scurvy deaths may have rivaled cholera as a killer, with most deaths occurring after the victim reached California. Miscellaneous deaths included deaths by childbirth, falling trees, flash floods, homicides, kicks by animals, lightning strikes, snake bites, and stampedes. According to an evaluation by John Unruh, [] a 4 percent death rate or 16, out of , total pioneers on all trails may have died on the trail. Reaching the Sierra Nevada before the start of the winter storms was critical for a successful completion of a trip.

The most famous failure in that regard was that of the Donner Party , whose members struggled to traverse what is today called Donner Pass , in November When the last survivor was rescued in April , 33 men, women, and children had died at Donner Lake ; with some of the 48 survivors' confessing to having resorted to cannibalism to survive.


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Disease was the biggest killer on the Oregon Trail. Cholera was responsible for taking many lives.

Oregon Trail - Wikipedia

Airborne diseases also commonly affected travelers. One such disease was diphtheria , to which young children were particularly susceptible. There were other possible migration paths for early settlers, miners, or travelers to California or Oregon besides the Oregon trail prior to the establishment of the transcontinental railroads. James Sinclair led a large party of nearly settlers from the Red River Colony in These northern routes were largely abandoned after Britain ceded its claim to the southern Columbia River basin by way of the Oregon Treaty of The cost could be reduced to zero if you signed on as a crewman and worked as a common seaman.

The hundreds of abandoned ships, whose crews had deserted in San Francisco Bay in —50, showed many thousands chose to do this. Catching a fatal disease was a distinct possibility as Ulysses S. Grant in learned when his unit of about soldiers and some of their dependents traversed the Isthmus and lost about men, women, and children. Another route established by Cornelius Vanderbilt in was across Nicaragua. Vanderbilt decided to use paddle wheel steam ships from the U. All his connections in Nicaragua were never completely worked out before the Panama Railroad's completion in Another possible route consisted of taking a ship to Mexico traversing the country and then catching another ship out of Acapulco , Mexico to California etc.

This route was used by some adventurous travelers but was not too popular because of the difficulties of making connections and the often hostile population along the way. George Cooke 's Mormon Battalion in who were the first to take a wagon the whole way. This route was used by many gold hungry miners in and later but suffered from the disadvantage that you had to find a way across the very wide and very dry Sonora Desert.

It was used by many in and later as a winter crossing to California, despite its many disadvantages. Employing over at its peak, it used Concord Stagecoaches seating 12 very crowded passengers in three rows. It used 1, head of stock, horses and mules and relay stations to ensure the stages ran day and night. I've just had 24 days of it. Other ways to get to Oregon were: using the York Factory Express route across Canada, and down the Columbia River; ships from Hawaii, San Francisco, or other ports that stopped in Oregon; emigrants trailing up from California, etc.

All provided a trickle of emigrants, but they were soon overwhelmed in numbers by the emigrants coming over the Oregon Trail. Without the many thousands of United States settlers in Oregon and California, and thousands more on their way each year, it is highly unlikely that this would have occurred. The western expansion, and the Oregon Trail in particular, inspired numerous creative works about the settlers' experiences.

The Oregon Trail Memorial half dollar was coined to commemorate the route. Issued intermittently between and , , were sold to the public. With , minted in , that year's issue remains readily available for collectors. The story of the Oregon Trail inspired the educational video game series The Oregon Trail , which became widely popular in the s and early s. The song " Uncle Sam's Farm " encouraged east-coast dwellers to "Come right away.

Our lands they are broad enough, so don't be alarmed. Uncle Sam is rich enough to give us all a farm. In "Western Country", the singer exhorts that, "if I had no horse at all, I'd still be a hauling, far across those Rocky Mountains, goin' away to Oregon. Online rapper Bones has a side project called "OregonTrail", which has roughly 10, followers on SoundCloud.

The lyrical themes of his songs under this pseudonym revolve around the Oregon Trail. The set includes 14 original episodes, including the feature-length pilot and the six episodes that did not air on NBC. The episode of Teen Titans Go! From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 23 September For other uses, see Oregon Trail disambiguation. Historic route to and through the American Old West. Main article: History of the Oregon Trail.

Main article: Lewis and Clark Expedition. Main article: Pacific Fur Company. This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Main article: Mormon Trail. Main article: California Trail. This article's text uses more words than are necessary. Please help improve this article by using fewer words whilst keeping the content of the article.

September Main article: Emigrant Trail in Wyoming. This section may need to be rewritten to comply with Wikipedia's quality standards. You can help. The discussion page may contain suggestions. Archived from the original on March 4, Retrieved May 12, Open Library. Retrieved January 11, History Ink. Retrieved January 12, The Canadian Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on June 6, Retrieved May 11, Archived from the original on February 2, Retrieved December 31, University of Nebraska.

UBC Press. Retrieved March 19, Retrieved October 12, Archived from the original PDF on April 16, Retrieved April 16, Rocky Mountain Rendezvous , pg Gibbs Smith Publisher.

Oregon Historical Society. Archived from the original on June 14, Retrieved May 20, Archived from the original on May 31, Retrieved December 22, Myres, ed. Butler, ebook version, University of Nebraska Press, pp University of Oklahoma Press, , p. Archived from the original on July 19, Retrieved January 5, American West.

Archived from the original on December 5, California Census, the first census that included everyone, showed only about 7, females with 4, non-native females older than 15 in the state. To find a "correct" census there should be added about 20, men and about 1, females from San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Contra Costa counties whose censuses were lost and not included in the official totals.

Retrieved October 13, Washington, D. Government Printing Office: 25— University of Illinois Press. The Beginnings of the West. Archived from the original on June 24, Retrieved January 21, Rainer Printing Company North America Travel Guide. Retrieved August 30, The Great Platte River Road. Bison Books, Archived from the original on November 21, Olch; Pp. June 30, Archived from the original on May 27, Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office.

United States. Archived from the original PDF on February 4, Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. Archived from the original on February 11, If you take a wrong turn, the GPS route will recalculate your path based on your current location. GPS tracks are like breadcrumb trails from previous travelers. Opposed to GPS routes, tracks are when you want to follow a specific path. Unlike the former, if you take a wrong turn, the GPS track will redirect you back to your original path rather than recalculating a new one.

They allow you to recreate the exact path someone else completed before you. Before heading out, we recommend getting yourself familiar with your navigation tools and resources. Learn how to use a compass and take an orienteering class to reduce your chances of getting lost. The spurs add more overlanding miles and opportunities to explore great American landscapes. TAT overlanders can choose their starting point anywhere along the route.

However, drivers should know that the Trans-America Trail, maps, and roll charts were specifically designed to navigate from East to West. The routes are both practical and scenic. This means you can choose to sleep under the stars by camping or you can settle into something a little more comfortable at one of his lodging recommendations. The main route of the Trans-America Trail takes in a huge variety of terrain and landscapes. Near the Utah-Nevada border the trail goes north towards Idaho and then cuts back east through Wyoming and South Dakota.

The TAT takes drivers through and near many of our great national parks. Here are the National Parks closest to the main route:. It should be no surprise that the Shadow of the Rockies route is a very rocky one. After leaving the popular ghost town of St. Elmo, this spur takes overlanders over the infamous Tin Cup Pass.