Facts About the Oregon Trail That Prove Most of Us Would Have Never Made It
Imagine embarking on a journey spanning 2,000 grueling miles, filled with treacherous river crossings, food rationing, relentless weather, and the constant threat of disease. Welcome to the life of a pioneer on the Oregon Trail!
The Oregon Trail stretched from Missouri to Oregon and spanned over 2,000 miles. The trip was made even more challenging due to the rough terrain and lack of roads. The journey along the Oregon Trail typically took between four to six months to complete.
Travelers on the Oregon Trail typically covered only 15 miles a day. With the sun beating down on them, they had to endure hours of strenuous walking, riding, or guiding their wagons through rough landscapes.
Numerous river crossings were part and parcel of the journey. Most pioneers had little to no experience in operating a ferry or building a raft, which often resulted in tragic mishaps such as drownings and loss of livestock and supplies.
Due to the limitation of what they could carry in their wagons, pioneers needed to ration food, water, and other supplies meticulously. A wrong calculation or unexpected delay could mean running out of supplies in the middle of nowhere.
Poor sanitation, limited medical knowledge, and close quarters led to rampant diseases like cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. It’s estimated that about one in 17 pioneers didn’t survive the journey due to diseases.